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May 30, 2013 10:54 AM

What happens to Masterchef "waste"?

I'm watching a recent episode of Masterchef where they have one of those "choose between these three expensive ingredients for the other contestants to cook with" challenges. One ingredient is chosen, the others (and in this case you have statements such as "here is $1000 of Stilton) are....what...... Does anyone know what happens to products such as that which are not used?

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  1. I don't have the answer about Master Chef specifically, and have very often had the same question in my mind while watching cooking competition shows seeing several chefs roasting whole hogs, e.g., and each turn in a little plastic box to the judges, or watch as Iron Chefs use hundreds of dollars worth of truffles (or more), lobsters, liquors, etc., to create four tablespoon size dishes. In the case of ICA though it is told that chef Morimoto will open certain items during his battle, such as liter sized tins of caviar, just so he can pack them up and take them home. But in the case you cited, and those many others (like the BBQ cookoffs) I would really like to know as well. I don't think that bbq competitors can sell their food to the public since they are not inspected and licensed by the local city and/or state.

    5 Replies
    1. re: junescook

      I've heard that Masterchef US also does master classes (that aren't aired) - so maybe such items as well as extra pantry items just end up in those classes. Or that staff gets to take stuff home.....or maybe kraft service will be serving up a huge Stilton gratin the next day to the cast/crew.......

      I guess that there are lots of ways for it to not be wasted - but visually I guess there is a moment where it's like "wow - what happening to all of that unused product?"

      1. re: junescook

        IC- feeds the audience- And they also take a lot of food to shelters..
        Masterchef a lot of the pantry is prop.Such as five real apples in a big bushel basket.

        1. re: pi168

          I get that the pantry on its own probably has "natural" waste in a way that many grocery stores and other food service entities do. And that part of the "pantry" is just to provide a TV visual.

          However, I would rather hear that the mystery box is done on day 1 after which the mystery box winning contestant is shown a "tv magic" display of items (none of which are real food or where a small bit is the real item but there's a lot of fake filler), and then day 2 the required amount of that ingredient is brought in.

          1. re: cresyd

            I always worry about waste too. I do a lot of work with food charities. Especially those that deal with kids and it breaks my heart. KInd of off topic but did you see the special the food network did where they did a charity banquet just on food they salvaged?

        2. re: junescook

          I've seen references to the public getting samples at cookoffs. At some, the public can buy tickets to eat at one or more of competitors.

          Some competitors are professionals, having restaurants or catering business back home.

          Practicing for a competition could also result in food 'waste'. Anyone who is serious about developing or testing recipes will end up cooking more than they (or family) can eat. That will be true of individual cooks, restaurant cooks or Americas Test Kitchen.

          Think also of the 'wasted' gas money, and 'wasted' time spent in preparing for and traveling to these competitions.

        3. I'm going to take a guess here. All these lame shows are on for one reason. The main objective is the commercials they show during the segment so you'll buy the crap. After the filming of the show everyone goes home and the food ends up in the garbage. That $1000 Stilton is probably a prop.

          1. For Masterchef, if they're smart they'll save the receipts and return the stuff to Walmart.

            3 Replies
              1. re: pine time

                Right next to the langoustine. Haven't you seen it?;-)

                1. re: chowser

                  One near my house has caviar. But to be fair I live near Walmart HQ, where there are a lot of millionaires.

            1. Someone asked this on twitter yesterday and Ramsay said he cooks a meal for the crew of the show with what is left over.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dbrodbeck

                I hope they all like blue cheese......

              2. I would assume that it gets thrown out.

                I'm a past contestant of the show. There is a LOT of waste, it's kind of ridiculous how much apparently gets thrown out.

                You know the audition round? 100 people all buy ALL of the ingredients for their dishes. Need 2 Tbsp of flour for a roux? Buy a whole bag of flour. Pinch of a spice? Buy a whole bottle.

                Everything that doesn't get used in the dish gets confiscated and (as we're told, anyway!) thrown out. If more food is cooked than is plated, apparently the rest of THAT is thrown out, as well... though many of us suspect that the crew gets to eat it.

                The show has no problem whatsoever with wasting food.

                2 Replies
                1. re: MCBeenThere

                  All the waste gets thrown out ... sad but true.

                  The $1000 Stilton gets gifted or stolen every episode ... also sad but true.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    Sigh - I get that the waste does and will happen on all cooking shows. Ultimately I gather that perhaps it's the glibness on Masterchef in which waste is shown. That the visual impact of having $1000 of Stilton is worth the potential waste.

                    I assume that lots of cooking shows have lots of waste. I'm sure some are better than others - but I'm sure if someone went to do a study on which food competition show wastes the least amount of food, the results would surprise me. But I guess as a viewer, I'd just rather not see that kind of attitude regarding food waste. Not that it factors in the reality or not of how much food is wasted.

                    Which I guess just makes me one of those softies who doesn't want to have to visually encounter an "ill" that I know/assume happens in the world.