We LOVE Masterchef: The Professionals

Published: 2nd Oct, 2009

Who needs John Torode anyway?

Masterchef

Spin off shows don’t have a great strike rate. Dynasty II: The Colbys was preposterous, Popstars: The Rivals featured Geri Halliwell attempting to judge a singing competition, and late night versions of Hollyoaks tend to justify their post-watershed slot with a nipple-flash and OB saying the c-word. Apart from that, the plots are the same. But, as with any rule, there is an exception, and that exception is Masterchef: The Professionals.

The premise is almost exactly the same as normal Masterchef, in that it features lots of overweight people with stress-induced cold sores making Gregg Wallace a spot of lunch. Only these guys supposedly know what they’re doing, and standing beside Gregg isn’t John Torode, but Michel Roux Jr – a celebrated Michelin starred chef, who they show at work at the beginning of each episode polishing a shot glass and putting it on a plate, just to prove how wonderful at cookery he is. They could, we think, have come up with a rather more thrilling example of his culinary prowess. But, nitpicking aside, this is wonderful television, mainly because Roux Jr seems to be thought of in Jesus-terms by these young go-getting chefs – all of whom want a piece of that Michelin action in “five years time”.

As ever, Gregg absolutely loves his pudding – the general consensus seems to be that if you want Gregg in your pocket, just do him a jam roly-poly. But it’s Roux Jr who is the real star of the show. His looming, eerie presence is felt in the first stage, when the chefs have to prove that they’re worthy of cooking him dinner. He’s not even in the room, yet their hands start with a faint tremor, and after ten minutes of gutting a fish, or peeling a potato, their faces become startled and sheened in sweat, while the tremors have morphed into all over body shakes and jelly legs. He’s a scary entity, that Michel. Although, actually, he isn’t. Were this a Gordon Ramsey vehicle, there would be disturbing images of young cooks attempting to douse a tirade of effing and jeffing whilst roasting a duck. If Marco Pierre White were there, you’d see at least one trembling hand clumsily missing a cucumber and severing a vein. But Roux Jr is instantly kind to the chefs, he dares to compliment their food, and even when it’s bad he explains why, rather than giving them a faceful of plate pie. There is genuine glee in their moistening eyes when he compliments them.

This is touching stuff. He’s our new favourite chef, and we want the French/Welsh bloke called Ludo to win.

Josh Burt
About the author:

Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

6 Responses to We LOVE Masterchef: The Professionals

  1. mustard says:

    ludo is a genius interestment, A MOTHERFCKING GENIUS

  2. forty-forty five says:

    Ludo is brilliant isn’t he? Welsh / Breton accent, French temperament and weird eyes. Genius

    It’s on a par with the regular Masterchef for me – both amazing telly but with awful intros that becoming quickly irritating. Regular Masterchef has Wallace bellowing ‘Cooking doesn’t get any tougher than this’ every fucking day. Whilst the Professionals have MRJ telling us if his bitchy soux chef ‘says it alright, then i know its good’. Why not just shut the fuck up and get on with the programme chefs?

  3. mustard says:

    hmmm

    French?
    Magnificent?
    Genius?

    =

    GINOLA

  4. Woods says:

    A seriously worrying programme. Michel is a bizarre cross between Dracula and Mum-Ra – all long fingernails and crypt breath – accompanied by his very own Igor in the form of Gregg, who instantly agrees with everything ‘The Master’ says. He has no qualifications to my knowledge (a ‘taste expert’?) and looks like a shaved ball bag stuck on top of a meat puppet.

    Dark days indeed.

  5. turbot says:

    Has Ludo has found a place to utilise his genius??? That guy probably could teach John and Greg a few lessons…

  6. Barry Page says:

    That music on Masterchef grates.
    The pounding piano is just overcooked. And the arrangement just overpowers the production. Couple this with the twee voiceovers and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Please chance both.

    The Irish judge guy dresses like a drongo

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