I like the thing. they all obviously want to cook professionally, and they all feel this is the way to go about making it happen. As the majority are a bit... older... than the average culinary student, I say more power to them. I think they're WAY too hung up on the Chefs' criticisms, but I think as we get toward the "top ten" or whatever it'll be, we'll see that tendency wane a lot.
the show is good... I particularly dug seeing Gordon (my personal fave among "celebrity" chefs,) have to deal with a big, black Cajun style cook telling him, "Taste' so good it make yo' tongue slap yo' brain out yo' head!"
There is a survey of young adults of future jobs and what they want to achieve. The number one item is to be famous not skill or knowledge just to be famous. That's the true motive behind these show. Its now part of are kick in the head culture has descended to. How in the world people like Paris Hilton, Nicole Richy , Snooky and the rest became famous is beyond me. It these contestant wanted to become professional chef they could of gotten a job at a restaurant or gone to culinary school. I think those people are motivated by the fame bug.
Well, of course the "being on TV" thing is a big deal, and I'm sure it was a factor, but it seems just from watching that most of the people who've tried out for the show are "second chancers," people who, for whatever reason, either couldn't go to school or didn't know what they wanted to do until later in life. You could as easily say that the people who audition for American Idol or the like could have either worked their way through the entertainment industry or gotten a theater degree, but hey... if someone is offering an instant career and it's something you know you want and have the talent for, why not go for the brass ring?
Though I cooked in the Navy, I'd fallen out of love with it, and when I went into the Army afterward, I was first an armored vehicle crewman (tank driver) then a supply tech, then, of all things a medic before I'd seen enough combat and tried enough other stuff to know where I really wanted to be, and I went back into the kitchen. And I discovered that I loved it even more, and have been doing it for years and find I actually look forward to work (most days.)
I'd suspect, from what I heard, a lot of these folks are much the same... either life got in the way or whatever... and this is a chance to do what they really love being handed to them. I dunno... I sort of like the idea. I have some issues... I agree that "Master Chef" shouldn't necessarily be awarded as a title at the end, and a few other things, but hey- it ain't my show. As is it, for WHAT it is, sort of "American Idol" for cooks, I like it.
I would like to see some consistency with the attitude of the judges.
For instance, there's that one 22 year old college girl that they keep sitting on because of her age. Yet, there's an Asian girl, also 22, and they haven't called her down on it even once. What's with that?
I think there's a difference between this and American Idol, in that, once the auditions are over with Idol, what you're left with is a bunch of people who have talent. That was not the case with Master Chef. Most of the hundred semi-finalists had no cooking chops at all. Nor, for that matter, did many of the 30 finalists.
Let's face it, if you want to be a professional, but can't chop onions or cook an egg, is there really any hope for you?