Every season on MasterChef, we watch as a number of exceptional home cooks compete in weekly challenges in the hopes of being crowned the winner – and walking away with $250,000.
For many contestants, however, the competition is just as much about guessing what it is the judges want as it is about the quality of the food they create. And just like any other industry, trends in the cooking world come and go at a pace most of us can’t keep up with.
Now, judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan have spoken to Confidential about the unspoken foods they’ve ‘banned’ from the show this season.
According to the judges, smears, deconstructions, crumbs, spheres and even parfait are completely out.
Mehigan said there really is an unwritten ‘black book’ of MasterChef don’t do’s, which contestants spend the season following.
“It’s unwritten, but if we ask ‘So what are you making? and the answer is ‘parfait,’ it’ll be a frown,” said the chef and restaurateur.
Similarly, Matt says edible flowers are a no-no. “Edible flowers have become the micro herbs of five years ago,” he said. “Garnish for garnish sake has always been on the out for us. If you can’t eat it, what’s it doing on the plate.”
The judges do acknowledge, however, that items from the banned list have been known to make a return. “The weird thing is that dust (powdered food) has reappeared and we’re like ‘actually that’s not that bad, it actually tastes like something’, so we’ve taken that off the banned list for a couple of weeks,” Matt said.
Ultimately, the judges told Confidential that simple is always best. “It’s a tasty food challenge, that’s always been at the basis of what we do,” Matt said.
"You can follow the trials and tribulations of a cook much better by making something simple than if you’re making a ‘maltosphere with a liquidised nitrogen crystal explosion'."
Personally, I'd be hopeless at following the trends in the MasterChef kitchen. I think edible flowers are fun and maltosphere with a liquidised nitrogen crystal explosion sounds very exciting.
This year's contestants, however, seem much more insightful.