I’m very partial to The Voice. I like the early rounds where the judges choose their teams for the more contrived later events. What appeals is the talent of the singers and that they are judged blind. Ok there is still the occasional back-story but there are no cruelly-treated misguided fameseekers or awkward novelty acts. Ultimately the voice has to stand the test of four people using only their sense of hearing. They can’t be swayed by a pretty face although the audience reaction may influence their decisions.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were something similar for chefs? The presentation of dishes is important and all the technology in the world can produce something very clever. People like me can be misled by a price tag or a description on a menu into thinking that something quite ordinary is actually quite special. In recent times blind tastings of wine have overturned traditional hierarchies and allowed new producers to shine. Discount supermarkets have beaten those who spend a little more on advertising and the refined palates of famous chefs have failed to discriminate between premium and everyday products.
I would love to see Masterchef competitors decided on a blind tasting. They can learn how to present and finer technique but the sense of combinations, seasoning and correct use of ingredients needs to be there. Too often I think judges get mislead by ‘flash’ and too often competitors crash and burn (literally) through feeling the need to do more work than time allows.