Thursday, 17 September 2009

Master Chef rejects

I was interested to see that an upcoming cooking show will be the Poh Show - that is Poh of the recent TV Master Chef cooking competition fame.

It was obvious, to me anyway, that at the time of the Master Chef series, Poh had a different way of 'seeing' her food, and approaching her cooking, compared to the other contestants, but the telltale sign that she was destined for something else was when she was bought back to compete after having been eliminated quite a way before the end of the series when the ultimate final competition winner was announced - which wasn't Poh, but was Julie.

Despite the fact that many of her dishes were rated by the judges as pretty average, the mere fact that she put it out there with her use of ingredients, her choice of menu items, and the final appearance of her food provided a small insight as to her potential.

I myself wavered in my thoughts about her. At first I thought she was playing the game extremely well (and very transparently), but when cornered, she had a tendancy to go to water and couldn't maintain the pace. I amended my thoughts as the series progressed, and grew to admire her presentation style, and the Asian touch she added to much of her food.

I assumed the presentation was due to her artistic background, and still think that.

I'm still undecided as to whether or not I actually like her as a character but look forward to seeing how she goes as a cooking show person. It would appear there actually IS life after a TV reality show such as Master Chef if you don't win!
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

It begs the question of why they didn't make it so that Poh won instead of Julie then doesn't it?

sir grumpy said...

I still can't belive Julie won. I still can't believe they cheated me out of weeks of my life believing here was a breath of fresh air cooking-show format that had it all.
Then we wuz dudded. Never again. I should have tumbled it when the show's intro mentioned Matt preston as ``voted world's best food critic''. By whom?
And it, of course, is just one of many awards.
Not that I don't like Preston's work. But world's best, come on.
So, no Poh, no masterchef with no one from Tassie. Take your show and shove it.
(Phew, that feels better).

Victor said...

I actually believe the show and Poh to the end. It was a let down that the judges chose a more familiar and safe Julie's chicken dish over Poh's modern interpretation of a traditional Malaysian's hawker style, "Hainanese Chicken Rice".

In the end, the show chose the safest winner ie Julie for mass appeal, marketing and profit.

I wonder what is happening with Julie and her plan for the future. Not much news, unlike Poh - which has 2 cooking books and an ABC program in the pipeline (according to a tweet by NolamJames).

Stephen Estcourt said...

Not sure it will have the durability of the Cook and the Chef even though I didn't like that show much to start with!

Anonymous said...

Do you think Julie may have won because she has more 'financial viability' than Poh in cooking more 'approachable' food?

I personally found Poh's far more food far more interesting. I think I could cook Julie's food without her book. I think I would be far more inclined to purchase Poh's book. Not sure why Julie won

sir grumpy said...

I don't think anybody knows how or why Julie won, anon. Agree totally.

steve said...

I never warmed to Poh but I concede her take on food was ambitious & very contempory. Out of the two finalists, she seemed the logical choice to be the winner. perhaps the powers that be wanted a safer option as some of you have already suggested.
I never really got into the cook & the chef but many people did, I'm sure the ABC was very happy at its succeess. I certainly wont be watching Poh's show. Why would I tune in to watch a relative novice & serial reality TV contestant, teach me about cookery? Her aim all along was to become famous by hook or by crook & she has succeeded.

sir grumpy said...

That Poh-faced grin, or was it grimace?
i think we've all been scarred!

Victor said...

LOL! I can't believe you SirG and Steve are badgering Poh. She is probably the most interesting character on the show, aside from George. I mean compare her with that humourless, grumpy, sourface looking Chris!

sir grumpy' said...

Sorry Victor, I just thought she was so fake but I suppose most of them were.
I wont watch anything by that mob again. It's back to Iron Chef repeats for me!

Victor said...

SirG - Also they probably edit what viewers will watched for rating. Iron Chef is great and so OTT. But I wish the judges taste the dishes without knowing who cooks them.

sir grumpy said...

By the way, Victor, greatly enjoyed your tea oddysey. I just bought myself a litte Japanese Zero teapot at habitat and have been using it every day.
As a tea-aholic I'm going back to leaf, green and black.
(Sorry Rita, to go off post AWOL?, but Victor' site makes you reveal your identity!)
I want to remain an inter-suburb man of mythstery.

lemon curd said...

I heartily agree with Steve, Sir G et al - working in the industry, for the first time since all these reality shows started rearing their heads, I was quite...confronted by the format of MC. I could cope with My Restaurant Rules (amatuers yes, but they weren't claiming that by winning the show they would be the countries best restaurant) and other shows.
I couldn't stand the way they bandied the title of Chef around with reckless abandon, a complete insult to the countless young professionals I've had the pleasure of knowing who have completed the hard yards of an apprenticeship.
The one segment that summed it all up for me was when one of the contestants (can't remember his name...Italian, cooked off against Emmanuel Stroobant...) was tearfully telling the judges why he should stay in the competition, and exclaimed that "All I've ever wanted to be is a Chef, I really really want it, and if I don't win this I don't know what I will do". I know mate - Go Get An Apprenticeship!
Glad that's off my chest!

steve said...

Glad you reminded me of hism Lemoncurd-his name was Andre & he was a Shitweasel of the highest order. I nearly did a little Vom when he blubbed to the judges & i thought the exact same thing-If you want it so bad then do a fucking apprenticeship like everyone else & dont expect a free ride you total sad wannabe

Rita said...

I am totally there with you two regarding Andre and that statement! When he was saying that, my instant thought was "Well why the hell not just get a job doing an apprenticeship, you tool! That's how everyone else got to cook!"
I love your Andre-description too Steve - he WAS a shitweasel of the highest order! I couldn't wait for him to be ejected - and it was WAY too long into the series when he actually did get ejected too.

sir grumpy said...

Yes that andre was an arrogant piece and going on and on about Italian cuisine as if he was THE expert.
We all love Italian grub but he nearly put me off it.

Barry said...

Hmm Andre, currently residing in the 'Where are they now?' file

Bri said...

Looks like Celebrity Masterchef starts next Wednesday!

Anonymous said...

Andre is currently the only contestant to be in a commercial kitchen after the show.

End of story...Enough said!!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I watched every single episode and Andre's story was.... " I never came into the competition wanting to be a chef, I came here to find out if my love of home cooking can translate to the commercial kitchen." Through the process of Masterchef he discovered he wanted to be a chef thats why he is curretnly in a kitchen.

Get your facts straight!