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Chefs slam MasterChef culture

Since the first series of MasterChef was broadcast last year there had a been a rise in the number of customers who think they know more about cooking than the chefs.
Since the first series of MasterChef was broadcast last year there had a been a rise in the number of customers who think they know more about cooking than the chefs. AAP

QUALIFIED chefs are hitting back at succesful TV show MasterChef, claiming customers think they are culinary experts now - and they're not even close.

Leigh Dowdall-Stewart, a chef at Miss Lizzies Cafe Restaurant in Lismore with six years' experience, said that since the first series of MasterChef was broadcast last year there had a been a rise in the number of customers who thought they knew more about cooking than the chefs.

“Everyone's an expert now,” he said.

Customers were now more likely to send steaks back to the kitchen insisting they were not cooked properly, when in fact they had been cooked perfectly to the customer's specifications, Mr Dowdall-Stewart said.

He also questioned Adam Liaw's win in the series final on Sunday night.

“The dessert wasn't up to scratch,” he said.

“It wasn't a five-star meal. He stuffed up.”

The main problem with the show was the contestants had no real grasp on the basics of cooking, Mr Dowdall-Stewart said.

“It took me four years of training to become a chef,” he said.

Southern Cross University food historian Adele Wessell said MasterChef had brought French cooking vernacular into kitchens across Australia.

Words like ‘jus' (a really weak sauce) and ‘confit' (meaning preserved food) were now commonplace, thanks to the success of the show.

“Nobody serves up food any more,” Ms Wessell said.

“We all plate-up now.

“It's like a soap opera.”

She agreed that while the show was entertaining it did not create true master chefs.

“The idea of becoming a master chef without training is unrealistic,” she said.

“Being a chef is hard work. There are low-profit margins and long hours.”


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