30 September 2006

Celebrity Master Chef

The other day was one of the semi-finals. The three remaining contestants had to cook for the Roux family.

I'd never heard of them before - two brothers came over from France and opened up a haute cuisine restaurant in London. Not only were they successful, they've expanded their business over the years and now, their two sons are running the show.

The world of haute cuisine is very interesting and I've been looking it up a bit on the internet. Mentioning it to Lundulph, he said, no thanks, I like to eat sufficiently to make me full.

My Dad has had his share of haute cuisine meals in his career. He's a musician and ever so often he gets to play at royal dinners. Royals are stingy and aren't too keen on paying. Instead the musitians get to join in at the dinner. Around midnight, my Dad returns home on those nights. My Mum has a large plate of food ready for him - he's starved. At the dinner, he gets a huge plate with an itty-bitty piece of whatever in the middle. He's never impressed, but he likes to be able to say that he's had dinner with their majesties, the King and Queen of Sweden.

Speaking of that, Lundulph was surprised to see the Crown Princess do a childrens TV show and let herself be interviewed by a muppet. And why not. The royal family also cook, particularly the King, it's one of his hobbies.

True, haute cuisine is fancy stuff - you use exotic ingredients, they need to be cooked in a particular way to bring out their flavour at it's best and in addition, it needs to be beautifully presented. The dishes have fancy names too.

I like the presentation bit - it's really like playing with food and it's completely OK. One of the Master Chef contestants made a basket of caramel, I'm keen on trying that out. I have tried to do little bowls of a sugary egg mixture once, but it failed miserably, despite following the recipe to the letter. But the basket on Master Chef was of pure melted sugar and it was drizzled over the back of a metal ladle, criss cross and thus forms a basket. I suspect the ladle was oiled a bit, just so that the basket would come off easily without breaking.

Ah, well, I'll write about it when I've tried it out.

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