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May 19, 2013 08:21 AM


So I am happy to see Masterchef return. But I have an odd question from watching old episodes that perhaps someone can answer......

Do they get to use actual recipes at any point? Like the lemon meringue pie challenge in season 2. I make a great pie... but I don't have it memorized. Do they get a list of possible foods to memorize ahead of time or to bring recipes for? Just curious.

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  1. When does the new season begin?

    3 Replies
    1. they are not asked to do anything in a challenge they have not had a "class" in the day before. They have the recipe in the drawer at their station. I know this from talking with talking to a former contestant

      10 Replies
      1. re: girloftheworld

        well heck! okay I am so not as much impressed at all right now.

        1. re: girloftheworld

          On the Australian version they're far more honest with the viewers about when they are given a recipe and when they aren't. I don't find that letting the viewer know a recipe is used really takes away from being impressed or entertained by the challenge and really wish they would do that with the American version.

          1. re: cresyd

            I strongly agree. One of the chefs said "this is the first time I made a (insert lemon meringue pie or souffle or whatever) ... but was getting right to it. If I've never made one before I am sure I wouldn't have a clue ...

            1. re: Firegoat

              I agree.

              And I also agree about your observation "I've never made ..." Since they do, in fact, make them (and some pretty well for their first try) I have always assumed they had recipes or iPads or some other reference to use.

              1. re: Firegoat

                That's exactly my problem. Also it makes it difficult to distinguish when they are using a recipe and when they aren't. Things like a souffle or chocolate lava cake - in NO way do I buy that it was done without a recipe. However last season when they were asked to make a fruit pie - I don't know if they're using a recipe or not for the crust. Just that a lot of the crusts looked pretty similar at the end of the challenge.

                In the Australian version and in addition to saying "this is a recipe challenge" and "this is not a recipe challenge" - they also have master class episodes. So it's obvious to the viewer that they're getting ongoing training. However, those are episodes I never watch, so the fact that we don't see the US contestants get classes doesn't bother me.

                However, I feel like creating the illusion of "no recipes" implies that the show is talking down to me. That I know so little about how a souffle is made that if I see the contestants given a recipe I will think less of them. As opposed to knowing that a souffle is very precise, difficult, and even following a recipe there's a lot of room for error.

                1. re: cresyd

                  Yeah, I hate the masterclass episodes, but I like knowing that they get lessons.

                  It's my understanding that they don't get recipes for mystery box challenges or anything of the type, but they do when they need to make a specific dish.

                  1. re: piccola

                    As a Masterchef AU watcher - that was my understanding. But, coming from a position of watching both - I like hearing contestants talk about challenges in the recipe. Also, there are challenges where they specific (I believe in last season it was a quiche) where they specifically say "no recipe" - or there will be a challenge where they watch someone make a recipe, can take no notes, and then have to replicate the recipe.

                    I think overall why I prefer the differences between copy a recipe, use your skill, and copy someone's recipe is that there's diversity. I feel in the US version misses the fun in presenting that diversity. By give the illusion that every challenge is "follow a recipe" (that feels a bit false) - they miss an opportunity.

                  2. re: cresyd

                    I like the addition of "this is a recipe challenge" or "not". Forcing the assumption that they are just able to pull these dishes out of their ass without any pre-knowledge of how to make it bugs me.

                    I will be watching tonight.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Will you be recapping tonight? ;-)

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        LOL! Nice try, but no. That's reserved for TC only. :-)

            2. There are former contestants that post here. I'm pretty sure they can talk about it now.

              1. They are auditioning too many freaks!!!!

                And giving aprons too too many people with "stories"

                I was set to audition but then had a work conflict so so couldn't buy would like to do so again but I'm not a freak or someone with an angle....

                8 Replies
                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Psycho Eyes Beaver Tail Stay-at-Home Guy looks to be a bit of a PITA. Will be interesting to see how he fares.

                  Have to say Sasha cracked me up. Although a little of her goes a *very* long way.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Beaver Tail Guy looked like he was wired. The kind of guy you'd walk away from if he started up a conversation on the subway.
                    He won't last long anyway. I have a feeling he's going to stay with the gimmicky route.

                    1. re: The Professor

                      the gimmick may have been a bit off putting.... yet if you think about it...if he can make a beaver tail tasty... he maaayyy actually have talent. One way to test a chef is to see how well he/she can cook a chciken or egg.

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        The weird thing about crazy eyes beaver guy was that when they showed him after he walked out into the lobby his eyes looked completely normal.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          lol maybe he worked himself into a beaver frenzy...

                  2. re: C. Hamster

                    the guy that called his daughters his "three bitches" and cooked a so-so tasting dish... not impressed... the single mom with a meatloaf...seriously??? and please 1/2 of these were truely home cooks not masterchefs at all... I did audition for Masterchef Jr... No wonder I didn't make it...FIrst I dont have a sob story.. second I dont have an obnoxious stage mom... third I already cook better than the adults..

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      Do you mind if I ask how old you are? I'm assuming the Jr contestants are under 16 or so?

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I am 13.. I started on Chowhound when I was ten..then someone reported me :( and they made me get off.. but they held my name till I turned 13...I guess I could have could have came back with a new account three years ago but that would have been lying..

                  3. Watched Masterchef last night. Is it just me or does it seem like they've really ramped up/pushed the rivalry/competition aspect of it last night. I mean... it's very very early in the competition .. why would people have these rivalries/hatred to each other so soon. Also... I don't need to see another cook with the bangs and giant glasses schtick.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Firegoat

                      Silly and even implausible, right?

                      The producers love it. They encourage this kind of thing because of the "drama" that brings audiences back. The Krissi contestant is certainly into it. She's just like Mikey: she hates everyone!

                      Hard to buy since they hardly even know each other.

                      1. re: chicgail

                        Krissi and Natasha were so fast to talk about "hating" people. How can you even hate them yet?

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          Indeed. As much as I dislike that aspect of shows like this, I would have liked perhaps a little bit of context.

                      2. re: Firegoat

                        it did seem to get to the "nasty" quickly. I am glad they got rid of Sasha quickly. I was afraid they were going to keep around for "sas" I don't need " I am cooking for my dead mom" or " I dreamed about while pushing my girls in the swing " every three minutes... But the worst in Krissy... She is classless and filthy looking I would eat nothing she cooks..