Sunday, 9 September 2012

Editorial: Art Fist Issue Six editorial

Thank God that Masterchef has finally come to an end. The winner of this year’s competition looked as close to the stereotype of an evil genius as you are ever likely to find. For anyone familiar with the Command and Conquer series, this year’s winner was played by Kane – the bald, goateed leader of NOD – and went by the name of Mat Follas. As the winner of Masterchef, Follas has won the opportunity of a lifetime: split shifts, gruelling workload and constant abuse. If you believe the hype of Masterchef, you will probably think that being a chef is possibly the most glamorous job in the world. The simple fact is that it isn’t.

For those who haven’t seen Masterchef in its recent incarnation, you are missing out on possibly the strangest show on television. At the star t of each week a gormless bunch of hopefuls come onto the show and share their romantic notions of what it means to be a chef. Then after they’ve blasted a salvo of clich├ęs about how great it is to eat, they get to the cooking. At this point its always fun to turn the volume onto mute and simply watch the magic: without the loud dance music booming over the visuals, you are left with a bizarre series of images of the contestants wiping sweat from their forehead, shaking a frying pan and dropping things into hot water – the sense of drama and tension dissipates quite quickly if you do this.

The thing that bothers me most about Masterchef is that anyone who comes on the show who isn’t white and British gets pummelled with a series of crude racial stereotypes. Obviously anyone who is not white and British will ‘cook to their heritage,’ which in the judge’s minds equates to cook ing with spices. I could go on...

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This was originally published in Art Fist magazine, 2009.

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