Those who keep up with my blogs will remember that I wrote to the BBC to ask about becoming a MasterChef judge. Obviously, given my wide experience in eating they chose to take me up and we have been filming next year’s MasterChef during lockdown. I know, you won’t believe me, so you’ll just have to wait till the 2022 MasterChef: Nevin Goes Large. Then you will all know whether it’s true. You’ll see that they introduce me as, “Mike Nevin, blogger and food eating expert. He has travelled and eats daily.” I was quite proud of my preamble, “I’m looking for someone who can cook. I don’t mean out of a packet or tin.” Judging by Greg and John’s expressions, they liked it too.
Anyway, the reason I am writing this blog is that being on the panel of judges, gave me ideas. You see, if it wasn’t true where would these ideas come from? You can’t possibly imagine that I sit around at home making this stuff up?
I got to thinking about all those things in cooking that have fancy names but are really everyday items. In fact, I was speaking to the winner, who of course I cannot tell you anything about; I am sworn to secrecy. I am not allowed to tell you anything at all about the show, prior to broadcast; and I won’t. I’m not like Prue Leith.
Anyway, I was chatting to the winner and she was saying to me… wait, when I say she, I could of course mean he. Names like Alex are after all unisex. But as I have said she, I will continue with that, but remember I have not told you if Alex was male or female. Where was I? Alex, said she’s a teacher of English, and to her words are vital. I agree entirely and we had a very interesting chat about it between takes. I think the reason we got on is that Alex and I are both in our late 50’s, so we have similar childhood memories.
One of the words that Alex and I agreed was far too fancy was roux sauce. I was surprised at her comment on this as we had all been particularly impressed with her roux sauce in the quarter finals. It had been her duck with roux sauce and fondant potatoes that won it for her. But I suppose given her general skills, especially with sauces, she has a right to be critical though.
When the contestants were at CERN, feeding the scientists at the Hadron Accelerator, I got a few moments chatting with Alex between takes about other words. On the way back Jen was quite upset at being eliminated. I never really rated Jen’s chances anyway. I had been torn between her and Mark when we were deciding who to send home in the quarter finals anyway. Still, having Alex, Greg, Mark and Sarah in the semi-finals seemed the best outcome to me.
On the way back from filming the semi-finals in the restaurant in the Eifel Tower Alex and I agreed that cars should be re-named auto-voituriers. During the next days filming at Pinewood Studios on the set of the latest Bond movie, we discussed re-naming cameras. We came up with pellicoliamera.
Cooking for the US President on Air Force One at a social distance for the finals was a lot of fun to be part of. I was surprised how easily my wheelchair fitted on board. The President was very understanding when turbulence caused Mark to drop a salad in his lap. We had to eliminate him of course. Chatting to Alex later I was saying that the crème anglaise she made was an excellent custard. Greg and John had raved about it. All of which brought us around to thinking of more names for everyday items that are fancier. We did think of a few others, but I’m worried that if I tell you, I might let slip details about the show.
I’m so glad I got through this blog without giving anything away about MasterChef 2022. Greg and John seemed to think I couldn’t keep a secret; I showed them and the guest judges, Jamie Oliver and Thomas Keller.
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