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Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Trip Down the MasterChef Rabbit Hole!

Sydney, Australia

MasterChef; you’ve heard of it right?  You know that cooking/reality show where amateur cooks battle their way though many rounds/episodes of cooking tests until one is left standing at the end of 6 months.  It’s a great opportunity for people aspiring to make themselves know to the big bad world; it’s something I’ve wanted to try, so when the opportunity presented itself to enter I jumped in head first.

The application form itself was a long and lengthy process of filling a web form.  After almost 1/2 a day of thinking of what to write I was finally presented with the “Submit” button.  With some blind faith I pressed the button and waited…
A few months past then low and behold one morning when I was in the office I got a call from one of the casting crew from Australian MasterChef informing me that I’d been invited to partake in the up and coming auditions for season 4! In the space of a week I had to think of what to cook for the audition, sort things out work wise and last but not least book myself on a jet plane back!
The dish that I had planned to cook (after much discussion with Chef Bansani) would be a Sashimi salad with honey and wasabi dressing topped with fish roe and mango; “A salad?” I hear you ask, well the conditions for the audition were that you bring a dish from home and assemble it on the spot; with no means of refrigeration, heating (stove) or knives at your disposal.
So with ticket in hand, dish decided and my bags packed I set forth to the land down under in pursuit of something I never thought I’d see myself doing: a dream to perhaps be working in a kitchen.  With The Chili Padi, Sarah, mom and dad on hand to see me off it was the biggest shot in the arm before heading out into the land of the unknown!
8 hours (and 6 Singapore slings) later and a familiar sight of the harbor greeted me, while thoughts of the MasterChef audition were still in the back of my mind all I wanted to do was land and head out to a supermarket, buy stuff and cook something!
In preparation for the audition involved me visit the fish markets for the freshest and tastiest white fish sashimi (I bought snapper and king fish) for the salad, and several trips to to the local produce market for some choice vegetables. 
I made a practice version of the dish for the family, it seemed to have gone down well.  I was ready and raring to go for the audition!
The audition for MasterChef season 4 itself, well sad to say I don’t have too much to write about, I didn’t make it past the first round.  Perhaps my life was a little too ‘normal’ in relation to the other people in the group that I was auditioning with. Unfortunately the initial audition was more about how well you’re interview than with how well you cook; you were not allowed access to a hotplate, stove or any means of cooking prior to your allotted slot, so you basically had to come in with your dish ready to present and eat.
I won’t go too much into detail about what was discussed or what I thought of my other audition-ees food, but I suppose it just wasn’t my year.  To say I was bummed would be a understatement but having family around to pick you up when you’re down really does make a big difference!  The whole audition process left me a little jaded, more determined to pursue the dream I have of cooking better and tastier food more often and to proved to the judges that there were wrong for not letting me go through!  I’m still a fan of the show, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got to work on getting more issues into my life to make it a lot less boring and make it more interesting for TV.  It was a fun experience, something that I can look back at and say that I gave it my all!
Aside from the MasterChef audition I was able to sneak in some eating at Adriano Zumbo’s new outlet at “The Star”, a visit to a fete, family time with the relatives, and most importantly I got to cook nearly every day for my family!  Stay tuned more to follow in subsequent posts!

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