MASTERCHEF USA, W, WEEK NIGHTS, 8PM

If you’re missing your fix of the various UK Masterchef derivatives, Original, Professional, Celebrity, Junior, Pensioner… oh no, made that last one up, it’s well worth giving this a whirl.

It bears precious little resemblance to our own original cookery show but oddly is none the worse for that. Bigger, brasher, noisier and more emotional (and that’s just the vegetables) it may just suck you into a summer of boasting and aggressively griddled meats.

The contestants are so different from our own humble, diffident ones that it’s hard to think they’re even of the same species. Roaring and bigging themselves up from the get go, they wheel a trolley before the three judges and attempt to impress with a signature dish. Filleted beaver tail anyone? No? Didn’t think so.

And then there’s the judges. Stage right is our very own Gordon Ramsay. The foul-mouthed one has always divided opinion but the reality is, he’s a TV genius. Flamboyant and opinionated he may be but he also always appears to genuinely care, be it about the food or the contestants. That’s a rare gift and not one shared by fellow judge Joe Bastianich. Non-American viewers will have no idea who he is other than a miserable git with a penchant for spitting things out. He’s a restaurateur apparently and fully embraces his role as bad cop. In the middle we have a chef called Graham Elliot who seems sweet and knowledgeable.

So the stage is set for a summer of explosive cooking, in-fighting and culinary bitching. All exacerbated by the fact that there’s a quarter million dollar prize ripe for the picking as well as a cookbook deal… Makes our little trophy look very modest indeed.

Share This