|Masterchef vs Great British Menu
Firstly, this article must begin with me accepting that watching food programmes is a guilty pleasure of mine, put pretty pictures of food or houses on screen and i’ll watch any old trash, like most of the British public. There is nothing better than sitting down with your packet bought tortellini in hand allowing yourself to imagine that you’re really eating the culinary masterpieces displayed in front of your face instead of the sub-standard pre-prepared rubbish out of your freezer because you couldn’t bare to face a supermarket after a long day at work.
These two food competition based programmes have a few interesting similarities and differences. Each of them completely oversaturates the programming for BBC2 to the extent of familiarity until addiction. Masterchef attempts to allow you to believe you could become as good a chef as those before you with just a little practice or by holding regular dinner parties with your yuppy friends who can compare you to ‘London’s top restaurants’, within whic they have been on numerous ocasions. Great British Menu, however, is meant more as a spectacle of cheffing skills and doesn’t expect a mere home chef to be capable of anything like their standards of expertise.
On moral issues Great British Menu this year focusses on the availability of local produce from the farmer down the road who has fed his cow on Thorntons chocolate and caviar. It does this with the only background reasons given being to showcase the produce available in Britain, irrelevant of cost. On an environmental scale it is generally accepted that this is the best way to procure meat and it would be nice if some of these values were at least hinted out throughout the series, which has substantial audiences, instead of relying on the specially pigeon holed documentaries to relay the message to their few viewers of whom the knowledge is already there. What would be particularly nice to see in the next series of Great British Menu would be a vegetarian theme to help dispell the myth that vegetarians can’t eat enjoyable, good quality food.
On the other hand Masterchef shows no morals and basically aims to be a reality TV soap opera featuring two semi qualified critics repeating the same forty set lines but at varying volumes. One of the most interesting things about Masterchef is the judging rounds which feature professional critics, comparing their comments to Greg and John makes you realise either food criticism in general has a particular lack of worth or Greg and John really know nothing.