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Masterchef UK


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#1

wunderbar12

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Posted Jun 18, 2013 @ 4:32 PM

Am I the only one watching this show? It's on BBC America and it's the best competitive cooking show on TV. They are showing two episodes every morning and it's totally addictive. It's similar to the US version only in that chefs cook competitively for a celebrity chef --- there is none of the infighting, trash-talking, team challenges or long dramatic pauses. I highly recommend it.

 


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#2

TWoP Howard

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Posted Jun 18, 2013 @ 4:45 PM

Sorry for the confusion—I didn't notice that the older thread had been archived. Go ahead and use this one, and when the old one is unarchived, we'll merge them. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by TWoP Howard, Jun 18, 2013 @ 9:14 PM.


#3

wunderbar12

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Posted Jun 18, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

Well, if no one but me posts here, you can lock it back up.


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#4

MommaPenguin

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Posted Jun 18, 2013 @ 11:06 PM

You aren't the only one watching.  I too have quickly become addicted to watching the original (I'm assuming) Masterchef, the British version, on BBC America each morning.  What a great show! So unlike the American version.  ALong with the Great American Baking Contest, or whatever CBS calls the Jeff Foxworthy-hosted baking competition they are currently doing, this has restored my faith in cooking shows.  No cat fights between contestants, no silly twists mid-way through a round, just good cooks cooking and being judged on the results.


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#5

biakbiak

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Posted Jun 18, 2013 @ 11:31 PM

I have enjoyed them but actually found them quite repetitive, I don't need for contestants to be assholes but I also have no real memory of the contestants.
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#6

ClaireO

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 7:04 AM

I don't need for contestants to be assholes but I also have no real memory of the contestants.           

 

Agreed - I prefer the way this show is constructed from a skills and judging standpoint, but the contestants are less vivid than in the U.S. version. With limited air time, there has to be a choice, of course.


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#7

nancyr

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 7:53 AM

I have been watching every morning. Really enjoy the no drama chefs and the classic recipes. The head chef (Michell?) is such a great mentor.
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#8

MommaPenguin

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 8:42 AM

Watching this morning, I rememberd that there is one aspect of the show I do despise- the critics!  In this round of competition, the final round is cooked for three critics and they are so determined to be negative.  The gifted chef always tries to find somethng positive to say even when he's faced with a problem plate, but they just turn up their noses and compete to see who can say the most cutting thing. I particularly dislike Jay's attitude--- had only seen him before on Ramsay's F Word show (gosh, I miss that show) and didn't expect him to be so completely negative.


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#9

Artistictype

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 9:24 AM

I'm a big, new fan of this show too.  It's nice to have something on BBCAmerica besides Top Gear.

I forget the woman chef's name...but her facile expressions when she's watching the individual chefs try to complete a dish, is priceless.


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#10

zillabreeze

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

Just found it this week, too.  So much more cooking info and less histrionics than anything else.  I'm hooked. 

 

The only thing I question is that often chefs go over the time limit and don't seem to suffer for it.

 

The chef with the great expressions is named Monica, I believe.  She's a hoot, but I really learn a lot from her demonstrations.


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#11

BensBritches

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Posted Jun 19, 2013 @ 3:14 PM

I'm watching obsessively too! I love this show and I appreciate the focus on cooking and food and not the chef's personalities or the contestants being a-holes, stunt cast, etc. However, I think the scarcity of TH on the show makes it hard to really connect to one chef over the other. Still, I much prefer how nice and helpful the judges/mentors are. They always say positive things, the guy (can't recall his name, but not Michell) has the sweetest grin, they all seem to really want the best out of the chef's and Monica's facial expressions are priceless.

 

While I'm a total anglophile, I do find that at times I have trouble understanding what food the contestants have actually made, partly due to accent and partly due to different names of ingredients and/or cooking styles.

 

And boy do the English have a love affair with rhubarb!


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#12

zillabreeze

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 9:50 AM

So, after watching MCUK this week, last night's MCUS was painful.  US really drove home how loud and crass Americans are on our "reality" shows.

 

The chefs on MCUK seem so humble and focused on the food.  They seem to appreciate and absorb every suggestion or criticism from the mentors.  It would be nice to know just a little more about the chef's backgrounds without the drama. The two that are so very talented, Aaron & Ollie, are also soooo very young and their backstory might be interesting.

 

BensBritches, I'm an anglophile, too, and I find I have to back up the DVR often to catch a word or phrase.  If I'm feeling especially "Yank", I turn on the closed caption.

 

AND... just who doesn't love that aubergine = eggplant?!?


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#13

moldyfig

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

I also love how low key this show is, and it's a relief to watch it.


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#14

zillabreeze

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 1:51 PM

The competitors and judges are a pleasure to watch.   Only problem is, they are also so humble & serious, I can't find a favorite!

I get a little teary with every elimination!


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#15

BensBritches

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 3:47 PM

Exactly, there hasn't been a contestant that I haven't like, or wanted to see eliminated. Some of my favorites have been eliminated early, but I have enjoyed all the contestants. It's so refreshing to watch folks on a competitive reality show where they aren't acting as a character just to gain more screen time. Although I do wish there was more insight into the background of the contestants, I'll take this format and chivalry over Masterchef US anytime. I hate the nastiness of GR and cohorts and I dislike the focus on personalities rather than cooking skills on said show (and let's face it, even shows like Chopped have become all about the sob story over the ability to make an amazing meal out of the basket ingredients).

 

I'm several episodes behind at the moment, but I think at some point the "winning" chefs from each group will battle against each other, yeah? Will there eventually be 1 winner? Maybe as the show goes along and contestants are whittled down we'll get more insight into each of them. But I am all for the positivity displayed on this show!

 

I’ve also been surprised at some of the eliminations on the show, which is good.  It means that Masterchef UK doesn’t keep someone around because they are “good for ratings” or create drama.  And like someone mentioned upthread, I’m so surprised at how young some of these cheftestants are and how much they have accomplished. 


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#16

zillabreeze

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 5:07 PM

I haven't completely sorted out the elimination structure, yet, but it does appear to go in several groups, then the best of each group will go to the finals.  My DVR is showing 2 new episodes each day through next week.

 

It's great to have a program with nice people all around, competing with talent & grace.  The big bonus is that I come away from each program having learned something about cooking! 


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#17

Darian

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 6:59 PM

I love this show for all the reasons already mentioned. I wish my cable guide had numbers for the episodes, because I can't tell how many I missed (I only became aware of it a few days ago and recorded all I the episodes I could). I've watched maybe ten so far. 

 

Today, I watched one that I'd taped. Four chefs were competing for two spots. They served Michel (love him), Gregg, and three critics. Two chefs blew it hugely and two did very well. There was no fake-out to create drama. I knew exactly who was going home. It was great.  


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#18

LivenLetLive

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 7:10 PM

I'm watching this periodically, but damn, I wanted to jump through the TV screen this afternoon when Oliver (I think that is his name) made that beef with infused fat, and mushroom puree (and I haven't eaten beef in 25 years!), and he made a dessert of chocolate genache on a crispy base with pickled cherries that I am still drooling over. The lack of fake manufactured drama ala the US version was the cherry on the top of this delicious cake.


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#19

Streya

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 7:11 PM

I'm LOVING this show, too.  They repeat episodes in the afternoon, I tape them and watch when I get home from work.  Quality cooking, zero drama except what comes naturally from the cooking under the time constraints -- no CRAZY twists or blindfolds or cooking with no pots or one hand tied behind their backs.  Serious chefs cooking great food.


Edited by Streya, Jun 20, 2013 @ 7:11 PM.

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#20

biakbiak

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 7:46 PM

I did enjoy them going head to head in the restaurant, though I liked both Olie and Aaron.

I have to say I loved the faces that Monica makes during the skills test.
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#21

MrsRochester

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Posted Jun 20, 2013 @ 9:23 PM

Looks like you are watching Masterchefs: The Professionals, with Greg Wallace (we like to call him Shrek, affectionately, in the UK) the lovely Michel Roux, and the sometime scary (not to me) Monica.

 

This version started about 5 years ago, or so, the original being just plain Masterchef, which is the amateur chef version (there are also MC Celebrities & MC Kids) all hosted by  Greg & pro chef, John Torode (apart from the professional). So MC in some form is shown for much of the year here.

 

The  focus of the shows very much is on the food, and we don't tend to find out much more than the basics about the chefs until the final rounds, sometimes not until the final episode. There is still plenty of drama though, usually when cooking for the critics or in the pro kitchens.

 

The show usually airs around 9pm and apart from all the great cooking, does raise a smile whenever  particular ingredients or techniques are used. Pea puree, scallops, black pudding, foams, and smears show up on the plates with hilarious regularity on this show.

 

.


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#22

Pooki

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Posted Jun 21, 2013 @ 4:20 AM

Looks like you are watching Masterchefs: The Professionals, with Greg Wallace (we like to call him Shrek, affectionately, in the UK) the lovely Michel Roux, and the sometime scary (not to me) Monica.

 

 

The thing I like about Monica is that even though she's pretty tough and has high standards, she's also very fair. And, as has been mentioned above, the faces she often pulls during the Skills Tests are hilarious! Michel really is lovely too.

 

The show usually airs around 9pm and apart from all the great cooking, does raise a smile whenever  particular ingredients or techniques are used. Pea puree, scallops, black pudding, foams, and smears show up on the plates with hilarious regularity on this show.

 

 

Oh God yes, scallops, especially combined with pea puree and black pudding seems to be a perennial favourite with the contestants! Maybe there should be some kind of drinking game for whenever they're used! Or say, whenever Jon Torode says "Flavours!"

 

I remember someone did a very funny YouTube montage of a lot of the inadvertent innuendos that crop up on the show. Usually it's the narrator saying something like "It's taken Jonathan two hours, but he's finally got his meat out..."

 

I wonder how you guys in the US would respond to the Celebrity MC series, given that very few of the contestants would be recognisable to you. I guess it'd be like any of the regular amateur series.


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#23

Rickster

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Posted Jun 21, 2013 @ 9:13 AM

I'm really glad I saw this thread, otherwise I never would have realized this show was on. I hope BBC America will run the amateur edition at some point.

 

I'm probably the only person in America who remembers (or watched) the PBS edition of Masterchef about 12-13 years ago. It apparently was a direct lift from the UK format at the time, and had regional competitions to find the best amateur chef in the US. it was hosted by Gary Rhodes (only the Brits will know who he is). It was a great show and I was really looking forward to the revival on Fox, until I realized what they were going to do to   Fox-ify it.


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#24

ChainofFools

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Posted Jun 21, 2013 @ 12:03 PM

I too am new to loving this show. Tried to find past stuff on Netflix, but there is nothing there.

I really love the learning aspect of this show in addition to the hosts and contestants. Seeing how specific test meals should be prepared better enables me to observe and understand where the contestant is going wrong. I also like the way chefs are guided once their errors are being judged. The plain and informative talk about what went wrong with the dishes is also lovely. I like being able to guess who is leaving based on the comments.

This is probably the only cooking show that I watch where I actually have to watch, meaning it is not on in the background or while I am reading a paper, to fully understand. I often find myself cringing when I see one o f the chefs clearly going completely wrong. This is what a cooking should be, you actually have to watch to learn and appreciate.
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#25

walnutqueen

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Posted Jun 21, 2013 @ 4:38 PM

 ChainofFools - I especially appreciate the learning aspects too, including the clear demonstrations, concise explanations, and kind but constructive critiques.  This show is a daily delight, and I hope BBC America serves us MORE.

 


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#26

Denbblbg

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Posted Jun 23, 2013 @ 9:24 PM

Hello all! Good to know others have found this show!

 

Rickster, I too watched the MasterChef Series that was on PBS all those years ago and loved it! I fell further in love with Masterchef when BBCAmerica showed the Masterchef Gone Large series a few years back. Very little drama, great cooking, great challenges, ending with a truly capable and deserving winner! When I found out there would be an American version I was so excited! I am a big Gordon Ramsey fan (don't judge!) and thought we would maybe see the Gordon from the F Word (another fantastic show!). While I do watch the American Master Chef Series, it doesn't hold a candle to the UK version. Here's to BBC America showing all of the series of the UK version!


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#27

BensBritches

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Posted Jun 24, 2013 @ 2:02 PM

Wow, the semi-finals on MCUK:Professionals gets pretty intense!  Cooking at a Michelin star rated restaurant with what seems very little prep- that's a true test of a chef's skill and fortitude.  I'm a bit behind in watching the series, I just watched the first rould of the semi-finals with the head to head challenge.  But I have to say I'm falling in love with Oli.  What a sweet, humble and cute kid. Both he and Aaron were amazing, particuarly as they are only 21/22 years old and yet the handled the pressure so well. They just got down to cooking with no whining, no complaining and not acting like the world owes them a spot in the finals.  Aaron was gracious in defeat and Oli was absolutely thrilled to move on.  There something about the way he tics and smiles that I enjoy...


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#28

zillabreeze

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Posted Jun 24, 2013 @ 2:21 PM

Oh BensBritches- I have the worst old lady crush on Oli!  He is so very talented that he should have a huge ego.  Instead he seems so humble, like he is almost blushing when the judges compliment his food.

 

Does Keri seem like she might burst into tears sometimes?  She is so very intense, which I am sure is why she's a fabulous cook.

 

I want all of these chefs to win!  They are so nice and civilized; none of the silly manufactured "villains" and schtick of the US show.


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#29

MommaPenguin

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Posted Jun 24, 2013 @ 6:37 PM

I am so excited to see who wins!  But I have to admit that, while her food looks delicious, I have put Keri at the bottom of my rooting list.  I can't forget the round when they allowed her to take extra time in getting her dishes out to the critics-- an extra 15 minutes, as I recall.  Yet other chefs talked about the way they had to rush to get done in time, and I have to wonder if thing might have been different if they had all gotten an extra 15 minutes as well.  It felt a little like they really wanted a woman to make it through to the top level.  


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#30

biakbiak

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Posted Jun 24, 2013 @ 6:51 PM

an extra 15 minutes, as I recall


I think it ended up only going 6 or 7 minutes over because they kept praising her for how she turned it in less time than she had been given.

Edited by biakbiak, Jun 24, 2013 @ 6:51 PM.

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