Did you happen to be doing something this year that allowed you to watch daytime tv? Um, I did.
First there was my knee surgery last year, and then this year I have to say, having miss Oprah available for a 1pm date each day, if I needed it, kept my sanity intact when I really couldn’t face another page of de Certeau, and had had it up to here with writing sentances and deleting them again. ah thesis writing, fun times!
Additionally to my Oprah hour, I also found myself watching ReadySteadyCook, until my solitary yelling at Peter Everett drove me totally insane (hey dude, no one wants to give you double high-fives. especially not septuagenarians. give it up!), old All Saints, the occasional Dr Phil, and towards the pointy end of the thesis (when I really shouldn’t have been watching tv at all): BBC’s Masterchef.
Masterchef is a chef competition for amatuer cooks.. meaning, contestants are untrained, non-prefessionals competing as chefs – they have secret ingredient challenges, food and food safety knowledge tests and spend a sweaty day in a busy restaurant during lunch service. Yikes! if you havent seen it before and want to check it out, here is a youtube search link so you can waste a few hours.
I am intrigued by Masterchef – watching it, and pondering the concept: what is the goal? from what I saw of the BBC version (and this is from a short sampling, so let please let me know your thoughts if you saw more of it than me!), because the contestants must be amatuer, and they are not 16 years olds just entering the industry, and because of the pro-chef style, I felt contestants were people looking for a seachange or deciding to give a go to the idea they’ve always had at the back of their mind that they might, really, actually want to be a chef.
My mama would say they are having their Saturn Return. In case you don’t know, my mama is an astrologer, and we’ve been talking recently about Saturn Return, the period around 28-30 years old when Saturn returns to the spot it was when you were born, and all hell breaks loose. Actually, most people just have a good hard look at their life (consciously or subconsciously) and make some changes. There’s been a bit of that going around, as Tom and I, and many of our friends, are hitting our big 30 / big SR. It is scary, it can be traumatising, but also very positive. I have been moving towards making changes in my professional life and am feeling better and better about new directions as I sort it out.
Anyway, back to Masterchef – it was interesting watching contestants who were obviously very passionate about food, putting themselves into a professional kitchen environment, testing their skills – and the waters I guess. The winner, at least on the BBC version, gets a placement job in a top restaurant, which would obviously be a big leg up if entering the industry. Other constants seem to be in a good position to enter the industry, also in other ways – 2007 contestant (the series I saw parts of this year) Hannah has 2 food writing columns and a cookbook coming out – check out her blog.
SO: are you Saturn Returning? or prehaps you’ve just been re-evaluating your life, thinking about your interest in food – is it the direction you want to start to follow?
Because guess what??? Channel 10 has bought rights to Masterchef, the word on the grapevine is that it is their big replacement for bigbotherbr0ther. Frankly anything would be an improvement, but I think the idea of an Australian Masterchef will be interesting indeed. I got an email this week from a casting agent spreading the word that they are currently searching for applicants.
Are you up for it?
If you are 18+, are not a trained chef, do not work as a chef, or get your main source of income preparing food, and are prepared to be available between Feb-June next year (for full rules of entry follow link!), and up for a challenge…
go to www.masterchef.com.au and get your application in by 9 January 2009!
Thoughts? anyone interested in entering? anyone running in the opposite direction?