I came, I saw, I did not conquer.
The wiley among you would have guessed that my last post was in regards to Masterchef Australia auditions. Channel 10’s new big reality TV show for the year and the single train of though that has been occupying my mind for the past few weeks now.
I applied for the show before Christmas and then was pleasantly surprised to hear that I’d got an audition. The details for the audition were that we had to bring along one dish that would impress the judges. It should best be served cold, as there were no facilities to heat things up before they were tasted, and it should showcase your cooking ability and knowledge of flavours.
So being the resourceful food blogger that I am, I started scouring the internet and coming up with as many ideas as possible for a dish that would be seasonal, local, interesting but simple, and ultimately delicious.
With my trusty group of taste testers in tow I toured through the culinary landscapes. Starting off along the lines of a roast beetroot salad with goats curd, rocket, caramelised walnuts and orange, then went towards a roast pumpkin salad with blue cheese, toasted pine nuts and baby spinach, then ventured towards carpaccio of beef, tuna tataki, ceviche of king fish, gazpacho with morton bay bug tails. My taste buds then went a little sweet and I experimented with panna cotta, with frangelico and lime.
I took into account a lot of the great ideas put forward by all you lovely contributors and then a week before the audition I had an almighty cook-athon. Raiding the markets for the freshest, most delicious looking produce I could, then spending all afternoon prepping up all the potential dishes.
I called the taste testers over for a final opinion on the direction to go in. It was a one of the last dishes however, that caught their attention. Kam had casually dropped the idea of salmorejo into the comments, and so while prepping up the gazpacho, I left some tomato aside to make that as well. It was an instant hit and my direction was set.
Salmorejo is basically a cold Spanish soup made with tomatoes, stale bread that’s soaked in water, garlic, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. The hardest part about the dish is pronouncing it properly (sal-mor-echo), the rest is dead simple.
Salmorejo comes from Cordova in Spain, and there it’s generally served with boiled eggs and jamon. I decided to serve mine with some local marron. Thinking the sweetness and lightness would be a great addition to the flavours in the soup, and getting a great suggestion from Deb about using baby herbs to give the dish some lift, without overpowering the flavour of the marron, as the chiffonaded basil I was using to garnish could be a little too much.
Once the main ingredients were set I diligently set about perfecting it. Trying as many different types of tomatoes as I could get my hands on, eating copious amounts of herbs at my local garden centre, and sourcing the freshest marron I could find. Fortunately Dad came to the rescue on that one, letting me know about a marron farm just outside of Corrigin. He rang up and they went out to the dams and fished some out just for me, then he drove them up to Perth in a box for me, well and truly alive and kicking (and ready to sever any fingers inadvertently left too close to the pinchey end).
The ingredients were thus finalised, and the night before the audition I sat up til 1am making the final batch of salmorejo and cooking the marron, ready for the 7:30am (!!) start time. How exactly I made it to the audition on time and awake I have no idea. But everything came together pretty smoothly.
Of course the auditions didn’t start at 7:30am. We instead sat in line for a good couple of hours while the camera guys and producers got little grabs of people looking excited and panned up and down the ever growing queue of people unnecessarily standing outside the building in the growing heat.
New queue buddies Manda, Tash, John, and I chatted about what we were all doing there in the first place, talked food, reality tv, and mused that we’d probably have the worlds best picnic with all the great food in everyones collective eskies at the moment.
So finally we get inside, sign our lives over to Masterchef and head into a little room to be briefed on the process. I’m not entirely sure what I signed when I put my signature to the release form, so I won’t give away any inside secrets about the show (not that I know any), but suffice to say it should be great to watch.
After our initial briefing we were split up into groups, and headed into our first audition session. About 10 people per group all went into a smaller room with a group of producers and assembled their dishes on a table up the front. Then two at a time talked about who they were and why they made the dish they made, and tasted the other persons dish and gave a little feedback on it.
I have to say all the dishes looked excellent, and all the ones I tried after the session tasted great. There was a terrine of chicken, lobster, and scallop, some vietnamese rolls with marron, a japanese tofu custard, a smoked salmon stack, a nectarine and pomegranate salad with lamb, a mango pudding with layers of panna cotta and jelly, a flourless chocolate liqueur cake with a berry sauce, scotch eggs with home made chutney, a layered salmon tartare, and a number of other different and wonderful dishes.
My salmorejo was very well received by everyone who tried it though. I was really happy with how the flavours came together and it looked great on the plate. When I heard my name called out for the second interview I was super happy. Those who made it through gathered anxiously outside, and those who didn’t were bid a fond farewell. It was surprising the amount of camaraderie generated in such a small time…but I guess that’s what being part of a shared experience can do to you.
Then on to my second interview with some other producers. I took my second plate of the soup and marron in and placed it delicately on the table in front of them, only to have them mostly ignore it and get straight to the nitty gritty of why I deserved to be on the show. I did my best to justify just how keen I was and made sure to emphasise keywords like passion, dedication, commitment, and honesty… a motivation speaker would have been so proud of me.
Then, when I thought it was all over, I had another chat with yet another producer. This time the lovely Keily, who wanted to know all about where I came from and what I liked, and if I were a food, what food would I be. It was all quite comfortable and positive when I left it was with a fairly strong idea that I’d be getting a call back for the next round of auditions, where I’d have to prepare a dish and present it in front of the judges for real.
So when the call came through at 8pm that night saying sorry, you didn’t make it through, I will admit, I was a little disappointed. Ok, very disappointed. But what can you do really. It’s TV, they have a specific group of people they are looking for and I guess I didn’t fit into whatever that was. If my dish hadn’t of been so well liked I think I’d be more upset, but as it stands I did everything I wanted and said everything I felt I needed to in the auditions to represent who I am.
Pretty much anyone who knows me will know just how competitive I am, but at the same time I won’t get hung up on things I have no control over. Plus as much as I’d like to hate everyone else who did get through to round 2, everyone I met was really nice and I have nothing but good things to say about the whole audition process.
So to all the lovely people I met over the course of the day (Tash, Manda, John, Rob, Charles, Antoneo, Patrice, Pete) I wish you well and look forward to seeing just who does go through to be the first Australian Masterchef.
And now… how about the recipe for my dish.
Salmorejo with West Australian Marron and baby herbs
You will need
- Roughly 500g of tomatoes – the reddest ripest you can find, I tried about 4 different types
and eventually settled on baby roma tomatoes which were plump and red and super sweet
- 200g stale bread – I used a loaf of sourdough that was left out for a few days, but really any kind of bread would be fine, just not multigrain.
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic – vary this depending on how strong you want the garlic to come through
- 2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 100 ml of good olive oil
- salt and pepper to season to taste
How I made mine
Depending on your tomatoes you may want to peel and core them before you start. I was using baby tomatoes and it wasn’t really an option, so I instead blended whole in a food processor and then strained them through a sieve to get rid of the skin and seeds. If you however, have a thing for peeling tomatoes (or you’re some kind of sadist) then you’ll get a great result that way too.
So blend the tomatoes with the garlic cloves, soak the bread in water til it’s soggy, and then squeeze the excess water out. What you’re basically making is a tomato emulsion, and the bread is here to stabilise and thicken it, and give it a nicer consistency.
While the food processor is still going, add the bread bit by bit until it’s all smoothly blended. It should be somewhat thick at this stage. Check the flavour and consistency and then add your sherry vinegar to taste, and gradually blend in the olive oil until you’ve got the consistency and flavour you like.
This soup is a real vehicle for the produce. So the better the tomatoes and olive oil you use, the better it’s going to taste. Once all of that is blended through, add salt and pepper and perhaps more sherry vinegar to taste, and more bread if you need to change the consistency.
Then either into the fridge for a while to chill it right down, or get a bit tricky a blend 3 or 4 ice cubes into the mixture for a quick cool down. I think it tastes better the colder it is, especially on baking hot Australian summer days.
The marron I simply cooked whole in salted water (after putting them into the freezer for 15 minutes to put them to sleep, and pushing a knive down through their heads between their eyes for a quick, tho still traumatic enough, death).
My final dish is then just arranging the soup on the bottom, a small mound of chopped and lightly seasoned marron into the middle of the dish, and a delicate topping of baby herbs on top. I ended up using baby basil, purple basil, asian parsley, and coriander. An elegant swirl of olive oil and the dish is ready to serve.
I recommend making a large bowl of it and watching Master Chef while bitching and moaning to your friends about what might have been :)
57 thoughts on “Masterchef Australia : Salmorejo with WA Marron & baby herbs”
Awwww…I’m sure it wasn’t the dish itself, just that you weren’t the kind of person they were looking for at that time. I was so looking forward to seeing you in the show too… =(
Oh, look, you probably would have said something you regretted or got busted chatting someone up on telly.
Shame not to be seeing you on telly, though.
Your dish sounds awesome and your attitude about the whole experience is admirable.
If only you had listened to me about the hot dogs…
Great blog, I have linked this to an article on my reality TV website on Masterchef Australia.
It is a pity you didn’t get through.
I can’t believe you missed out with a dish this good looking!
Matt MATT super matt … you should have worn your super special birthday suit that would have surely caught their attention. Can’t believe all the fame and fortune that was so close so close … damn you reality TV. Must be time to quit the day job and start your own gig … I’ll make the coffee ;-) It’s snowing like crazy here, I’m on a completely different planet i tells ya!
commiserations my friend. your salmorejo looked and i’m sure, tasted awesome. you’ve given it your best, but it was not to be … this time. there will be other opportunities.
To be a success on a cooking show, you need to have a cockney accent, large breasts and should use the “f” word a lot. A combination of all three would be hilarious, especially if you’re a guy! Jamie F$#%ing Lawson.
Dinara Safina was quoted in today’s West Australian, “You need to make all the shots, take some risks, and you will be successful.”
Congratulations on having the courage to take the plunge to audition for Masterchef! Masterchef doesn’t know what they are missing – a successful food blogger with pure passion. :)
Cheers everyone. It was a bit of fun and if nothing else came from it I do have another fantastic dish to add to the repertoire.
I guess reality TV will not be the vehicle to launch me towards super stardom just yet, but never fear, I will trudge along belligerently for a while yet.
I do find it somewhat funny that since posting this, people searching for “masterchef australia” come up with my blog ahead of the channel 10 site on certain search engines. And “masterchef australia audition” brings me up number 1″. Oops.
If you’re visiting this site because you’ve got an audition and are looking for ideas of what to cook… I’d strongly advise you to not to take any of my advice :)
Tip for success: to impress the judges ACT to the camera pretending to be cooking during judging in the “JUDGEMENT KITCHEN”, this is after you’ve prepared the dish and cooked it in the kitchen with the audience. Show off any half chopped food while pretending to chop up more, using loud and fast chopping noises like Jamie Oliver. ACT like you are cooking the dish when in fact you’ve cooked it before judging. ACT fast and with pace. With some dishes you can finish off in the Judgement Kitchen. Show off any sauce making ability. ACT like the smells coming off your dish (now cold and soggy after waiting for the judges) to be the best. ACT confident, ACT like you’ve already won the Masterchef, ACT unaffected when the judges give you the @#$*&#$ to prove you can handle pressure and constructive criticism. ACT that you know a lot about creating the right tastes, and wanting a critique to improve, to learn more and to develop your career/style. Choose a dish that is traditional so the taste conform to judges expectation. You’ll be dealing with one french trained expert, so expect what you should expect. Talk up your talents and all the meals/dinner parties you hosted, and include trips to restaurants. Personality count, so ACT, ACT, ACT. Above all don’t tell them the excuse that you have goof, like leaving the pot behind…. Good Luck!
I was in exactly the same position as you and got through to the end of the day, only to be told they didn’t want me any further. Bit strange considering that I can cook, whereas a guy in my group confessed he couldn’t cook and when he did, got his food from dumpsters. He didn’t even have to go to the 2nd interview, they gave him a pass to go straight through to the cooking day! He was a great guy- but he got through on 100% personality and 0% cooking ability. If that’s what the show is based on, I’m not that upset that I didn’t get through.
Kelly here – I was in the judging with you at Masterchef and was eliminated early – glad i didn’t have to hang around until 8pm to find out that was it. Unfortunately, my father in law was very ill at the time and i had a niggle that things weren’t good so i didn’t give it my all (that’s my excuse anyway!!) and i was right and he passed away a few days later but anyway – on with the cooking – i am comforting my family with food. I agree with your comments about the commaradarie in such a short space of time – i had a great time – gave it a shot and will be back with a vengeance next year. Good luck to anyone who made it through – give them heaps for WA!!!!!
Matt, they don’t understand what they missed out on with the additional audience share they could have picked up via your blog. . .
Matt, if nothing else you had a great day an met interesting people.. At least you gave it a shot! Great recipe, the first time I tried Marron was on Kangaroo Island and I’ve been hooked ever since and the sweetness of it would of paired well with the soup.
I got through to the cooking section…I cooked a saffron mussel Risotto with roasted leeks on top – with all organic ingredients, I was slaughtered by the judges (Colombaris, Preston & Mehigan) I dont know what they expected, Im certainly not a trained chef, the presentation was as perfect as I have ever done, apparently my risotto was too al dente, the wine was raw, too much saffron flavour, too salty & I should never use parmesan in a seafood risotto ( though it was well blended in)….it sounds like it was awful when in fact it was quite tasty…so I dont know if they were giving me a hard time or it really was that bad……Ive eaten at many restaurants including 3 michelin starred ones, so Im not clueless about flavours & my palate is good…
I m sure they will make me look like an arrogant fool on TV…with all the editing etc…any thoughts from anyone
By the way I got no’s from all 3 judges, its not as if Im a Michelin chef, so i dont quite know what they are looking for….?
My husband auditioned in Syd yesterday and his group all thought his meal was the best of the lot, but he didn’t get through to second auditions. One girl who did get a second audition admitted she didn’t even make her own dish – she bought a balmain bug already cooked?!?! But of course, she was pretty ;-) It seemed like a lot of “sob stories” got through rather than good cooking, which is a real shame – though your marron dish looks like it would be delicious!
I auditioned in Syd yesterday as well and feedback from peers on my dish was very positive – spoke about a business plan and restaurant concept and how I matched my flavorus etc. Didn’t get a second audition, but the pretty one did and so did the other two who seemed to fit the mould. Disappointing it was more about ‘the look’ than passion and a real love of food. I share your pain Matt!
Hi Matt and Gang,
Can I just say that I think your dish looks great! My husband auditioned in Sydney yesterday and he also came out saying that a lot of women in his group had these big stories pulling at the heart strings!
I am disappointed to hear that somebody did not cook their own dish, especially knowing all the hard work my husband put into his ….. and I am certain a lot of others did too.
The day was loads of fun and we both met some really cool people!
My audition is this Sunday in Brisbane. After reading all of this I’m seriously considering not even bothering. I’m certainly not going to lose sleep over presenting a perfected plate of food, more so perfect my stage presence and story telling skills. I too write a food blog and was planning on detailing my experience but am a little disillusioned now…
To be expected though really isn’t it, it’s reality TV. Nothing realistic about it. We’ve done this to ourselves people!
Don’t get too turned off – you never know, they might be looking for someone exactly like you!!! From the sounds of it, it was an exciting experience and my husband got to meet some really nice people, even if the casting people annoyed him! haha :-)
Sarah’s right. You will have an absolute ball !!! They film it all and do a lot of one on one interviews so at the very least you could be in the first show which highlights the auditions from all over Australia. go and have fun – at least you now have the benefit of all of our experiences.
Being one of the taste testers, this dish tasted absolutely divine. You know how I am with my food adjectives Matt and if I say it is absolutely divine, it is top notch.
So when are you cooking it again? Can I come over to taste test again?
If I was the producer or judge on that show, why would I even let you in if I can’t humiliate you? This show is for people who need some improvements, major one it seems! I think the judges know that you don’t need their tips/humiliation/sarcasm etc.
So you’re cooking it again right? :)
Thanks to Emma pointing this site to me. After reading this, I am feeling the same way… May be this is not the thing for me.
The week of prep and taste tests with friends of my so call “perfect” creation was great fun.
I don’t mind playing the game to get in… but if my dish will not be taken seriously… I am not sure if this show is for me.
I will have my dinner party as planned for my final taste test. If we had too much fun and drinks too much, let it be that I won’t be able to make it there on Sunday!
Dont let anything put you off trying, believe me – the dish I made that got me through was a serious duck dish, I was instructed by a serious French chef..its the next part that confused me, but perhaps my risotto was just not to their taste, they complained it was too al dente…..if a dish is really good YOU WILL GO THROUGH to the next stage of the auditions.
Thanks for the encouragement!
What duck dish did you make? I am doing duck as well.
I think I will get a Big Mac and call it Krusty burger for my audition!
Grilled duck breast (marinated for 2 days in thyme & shiraz) on frisee lettuce, walnuts, walnut oil & sherry vinegar as dressing with kipfler potatoes – sauce on top of the duck was reduced duck stock & currents macerated in red wine etc
What duck dish did you have in mind?
Going by some of the comments here of other people that auditioned, it seems as though it’s likely to be another reality TV show that is more interested in the train wrecks and mentally unstable, rather than the people who might actually have some talent and the smarts to avoid the trap of clever editing.
Admittedly I wasn’t there, but your description of your experience seems to reinforce my opinion. How can something be too al dente? It’s either al dente or it’s not.
Also, this supposed rule about not mixing seafood with cheese is bullshit. If it tastes good, is done well, then what else really matters?
I am making a duo of duck, duck breast and duck moouse.
As far as train wreaks and mentally unstable goes… perhaps I will make it after all! :-)
I auditioned in Sydney & got through to day 2. After waiting 12 hours to present to the judges it was death by risotto ! Don’t cook risotto – mine was far from perfect but unfortunately perfect was what they expected. The best advice I could give anyone is show your passion for getting into the restaurant industry – you have really got to fight for it. Even though it was a long day I enjoyed the experience and met some fantastic people. Oh, one last thing – make sure you don’t have a stray hair garnishing your dish.
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. It definitely sounds like there was a lot of great people with excellent ideas. I guess though the interesting stories will always give people an edge, and this is a TV show, so entertainment is the name of the game. I guess time will tell as to the type of people who got onto the show and I’ll definitely be following it quite closely.
One other thing… My pet peeve is anonymous comments… This blog is where I talk to real people, who all love food, not nameless strangers. So at least take a minute to think up an interesting pseudonym, or I’ll just do it for you :)
I am just so depressed that I didn’t even get the oportunity to audition!
Hi everyone,intereseting to read your comments!!
Im in the top 50 and filming heats next week so ill keep you all posted!!!
monday week it starts (9/2/09)
I was at the sydney audition with my wife. She made it through to the cookoff, but I can tell you, this show is not about food. It’s a TV extravaganza wholly designed to sell advertising space while it goes to air. If you’re a serious cook and serious about food and you didn’t get to the audition don’t even bother thinking about it again. You’ve missed nothing.
However it should be an interesting show and I’ll watch it as it appears it’s going to be a Big Brother/Biggest Loser/Masterchef cross as what Channel 10 are famous for. It’s not like the original. Just my opinion and as stated previously, I had to sign my life over to the media too, and I wasn’t even in it.
Have been reading this blog looking at the process. I think I cook rather well. Yes, it is reality TV as opposed to reality, so yes you do have the young blonde not-can-cook, but as someone going through to Sydney and not like that, personally, comments about the show because people didn’t get in because it was personality over cooking skill/appreciation, is a little disappointing. Dare I say, a little bad sport!!
I think your missing the point of our ramblings Jen. Some of us are a little disapponted with the selection process as we were under the impression it was about the passion and desire to be taught by the best, and in some cases (not all) this was clearly not what the producers were looking for. A lot of people poured their heart and soul into that one cold dish, so to say they’re bad sports is a little unkind. Congratulations on getting through, and good luck to you.
Fair enough Sarah, but what makes my passion and desire to be the best less than yours? I see the point that a lot of people do make but surely, I would like to think, there are people like you that appreciate food and cooking, skills etc, that made it through? What also makes me pouring my heart and soul into what I did less than someone who didn’t get in but also think they can do as well? It is reality TV really, isn’t it or am I too naive? Just interested to know.
I think your missing the point again Jen! People’s comments are not a personal attack on you and I’m sure you DO have the passion and drive.
But again, clearly some people were not chosen for their passion and drive.. and some people were more outspoken and/or came across better than others. I get the distinct impression if I had have said who I was related to and who I worked for, I would have been chosen for the next rounds. But for me, it wasn’t about that and I’m not about to whore my personal life out for the sake of being on a show (and again, I’m not saying you did this at all – just some people did and it paid off).
Yes, it’s reality. And for those of us who thought differently, we know for next time not to put our hats into the ring :) If anything, it’s motivated me to go out and chase my food passion and I’ve become more driven to pursue my goal of running a restaurant – so for me, a positive definitely came out of the whole process.
And as a post script to all that? perhaps it might be best not to take things as personally as you do, cos there’s going to be a lot worse said out there than what people are saying on this blog here (and I really don’t mean to offend you by saying that). Sincerely, good luck. I hope you do well.
passion and drive does not mean incorparating as many french words into the title of your dish as possible.
The whole idea of this show is to turn someone into a chef and the makings of a chef arnt just about pulling off one dish.I believe they considered who would handle pressure as well as who would crack(that makes good TV)
Nothing wrong with knowing french terms either!
Its impossible to second guess what the judges & producers are looking for.
Some of us who did not get through may well have to improve our flavours & techniques….maybe we are not as good as we thought we were, or on that day our dish was a flop…OR we were not what they were after….how can we really know….I know alot of restaurants that are not very good, but the owner may have all the passion in the world, but lacking that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (special undeniable something)There is alot of mediocre restaurants out there, charging top dollar & getting alot of people who dont know any better thru the door……do we need more of these?
master chef what a joke i went for the brisbane audition and if you can cook and are for real they dont want you ,i met so many great folks on the day who poured their heart and soul as i did into their dishes well what a waste of flippin time,if i had worn a clown suit and boiled a couple of eggs and drew faces on them and gave them little names i would have been picked because every nut job at the brisbane audition got through,they picked the model,the gay guy,the ramling greek lady,there was one guy who i thought was homless he was so dirty ratty dreadlocks and had some pretty weird stuff written on his esky ,well he shucked a dozen oysters that he got of the rocks and made some crazy play dough chicken feet as a garnish,well he got through ,flippen unbeleivable,one lady turned up dressed as a construction worker,well guess what she got through,the fat guy from the ATO(media liason officer) who disclosed names of current clients being investigated and going to court so of course casting staffs ears pricked up,man any juicy gossip got you in, the fat cow in the pink dress that made a salad for god sake,if you had a real passion for food and cooking you werent who they were looking for,my respect and admiration for meehan and colombaris is down the toilet with the turd i flushed this morning,sounds like im pissed -well i am,mad as hell because its all about ratings and selling ads,and really its just a real life version of drawn together..in the kitchen…what a joke ,i think the final will be between captain hero and the pig…master chef more like master-baters.
I’m a food blogger and I got through, but we have been told that we can not disclose online who we are.
I’m off to Sydney for filming next week. A lot of the food I saw was rather dubious, and yes some did get through on ‘drama stories’ but my dish was praised by the judges as one of the best they had seen at the auditions so far, so they are also looking for good cooks that are passionate and driven about food.
There are 50 of us heading to Sydney to be eliminated to 25 for the main filming starting at the end of Feb.
50/50 chance of getting in…
have already been writing posts to back publish should I get through enough to make it interesting.
Its is a cooking contest but ALSO a reality tv show, people need to remember that. And make sure that they offer the judges something that is a marketable end product should they be lucky enough to make it all the way.
Hey – “secret blogger”
Can you disclose which state you are comming from?
Well what a hot bed of intrigue we seem to have on our hands. Keep your eyes out for a new post shortly where I got to have a chat to one of our mystery people who have made it through to the next round.
New post out now with a little more info that I’ve gleaned.
as a chef i think this show is bullshit, i have worked my arse off to get somewhere in this shit for money industry. How can a show be called master chef, does being part of this show mean you automatically get the qualifications of being a REAL chef. Which I work 14 hours a day min on 6 hours sleep, on low wages for years to achieve. Your taking the piss out of my show. better still when i got the chance to meet one of the finalists before they went to sydney. The judges have picked them not for their cooking skills but for other reasons. Your taking the piss out of the chefing industry which is currently in a skill shortage. Thank you once again channel 10 for this misrepresentation of real life.
angry chef, which state are you from? who did you meet??? well, i’m sure we will all be able to judge whether it is a real cooking show or not based on the top 20… just another tv-drama series perhaps…
What we will see is the producers ability or lack there of to make it appear as though they can cook… My sauces (sic.) tell me its about 10 minutes cooking and 14 hours food styling and setting up shots! That’s TV for you!! Enough with the back story shite, all the GREAT cooking shows are 95% food and a 5% human interest and not the reverse. We will see?? Even the crappy US shows dont seem to play the MAN and not the BALL with such vigour as it seems channel 10 will be!