This week I have been

Reading

The 2011 Tour de France race guide.

Watching

An Idiot Abroad

Listening to

The xx

Discovering

(Or rediscovering) Hamlet - Nicki Greenberg's beautiful new version, thanks to the fabulous Snarkattack, who invited me along to see Nicki talk about the creative process behind the book.

Eating

  • An enormous serve of bangers'n'mash and a nourishing pint of Kilkenny at the Town Hall one dismal Tuesday evening.
  • A "Chachi" - chianina meatball sandwich - another brioche donut and some amazing chocolate tart at Beatrix, which Essjay has reviewed.
  • A lazy Sunday lunch at The Crimean. The Polish hunter's stew (bigos) was just the thing to revive me after a chilly bike ride.
  • Generous piles of fried food with oodles of chillies and sichuan peppercorns at Sichuan House
  • Succulent suckling pig at Liberteene.
  • An array of bright, zesty flavours at Chin Chin, where the only problem was having to choose only some of the items from what looks to be a menu that is all hits, no filler.

Links

Food TV – Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield

 

From the simplest of meals to more sophisticated recipes, MasterChef’s Justine Schofield will inspire you to get more from your home cooking experience.

As season three of Masterchef revs up, I have to wonder what direction its contestants will head in once it’s all over.  Maybe – just maybe? – some of them will actually go on to work in restaurants.  Season two’s lot seems to have been content with filling our supermarket shelves with packaged food, whilst season one’s ambitions appeared limited to churning out TV shows. “Look! Oi’m famous!”

Poh was the first to make the transition from contestant to TV cook, and has been the best by a country mile.  Her show is fun, she has a real TV presence, and she interacts with her guests in a really natural way.  She even brought Andre (of the famous risotto) along for the ride for a couple of episodes.  A (very) distant second was season one’s winner, Julie Goodwin, whose mediocre food makes Donna Hay look like Heston Blumenthal. In last place, Julia’s Delish showed that it is possible to make to make food TV dull.  She had assistance from another season one alumnus, Josh the fish boy, who was equally as charisma-free in his al fresco pieces.  Julia seems to have realised that her strengths do not come across on the screen, and has opened a restaurant with fellow season one contestant, Chris Badenoch, who I spotted in an advertisement for Peter Berner’s new show on the Comedy Channel1.

So, where does season one sweetheart, Justine, fit in to this hierarchy?  Let’s find out…

“This is my favourite part of the show where we get to meet different people who specialise in different things” is how Justine opens the episode I watch first. This suggests that the editing team is on crack, as that seems to be an after-the-second-ad-break link.  Anyway, this episode we have Sam Herde from The Vegetable Connection with a range of beetroot. That explains the somewhat unbalanced menu we are getting today, where two of the three dishes are beetroot-oriented.  The second guest is from Weight Watchers, so that “mexican bean pizza” that already sounded pretty uninspired is looking even less appealing now. And explains why Sam was the part of the show Justine liked best.

Is this show functional as a cooking show? There’s no listing of ingredients at the beginning, a la Hewy or the Nutter, and there’s no detailed explanation of them, either.  Justine tells us she’s sweating her eschalots down (doesn’t tell us how many to use), then refers to her “onions” caramelising, then goes back to reminding us that the eschalots cook much quicker than onions. Well, which are they? Suddenly some pastry appears for beetroot tarts – where did it come from, Justine? What kind is it? (She mentions puff pastry once, after she’s banged on at length about the cookie cutter size – it’s clearly frozen, ready rolled, too.)  At the end of each recipe there is a slide that tells us how long the dish takes, how many it serves, and the “cost” (which for the tarts is “budget”, whatever THAT means).  There is a link provided to the website for the recipes. I watched more than one episode and have concluded that “gourmet” means “has goats cheese” and that the Weight Watchers segment works only in that it will put you off food. FOR LIFE.

Other observations

 

  • When presenting a show with “gourmet” in the title, don’t say “REALLY?” with such surprise when told that beetroot leaves are edible.  You’re expected to know this.  We’re not, but you don’t have feign stupidity on our account.
  • Repetition, and over-pronunciation, of “beautiful” seems to be Masterchef’s greatest legacy.  As does describing EVERYTHING as “rustic”. Somebody buy the girl a Word-A-Day calendar.
  • Why specify “California walnuts”?  There are local walnuts, you know.  I guess all your recipes can be “budget” if you use cheap ingredients.
  • “I love my Sirena” is the message that greets you when you visit the website. Sirena scores very badly in the Greenpeace canned tuna guide.
  • While cooing over the Weight Watchers woman’s hideous food, Justine is quick to comment that it’s “beautiful” tasting food, to appeal to all those “people who think weight loss is all about brown rice”. People who think “weight loss is all about brown rice” are, quite frankly, too stupid to live.

Recipes are available on the show’s website.   For some reason, the Everyday Gourmet page on the Ten website hasn’t caught up with the fact that the show is screening, rather than COMING SOON.

Everyday Gourmet is not even, to use a fast food slogan, “a little bit schmancy”.

= = = = = = = = = =

1. I haven’t watched the show; I don’t even remember what it was called. It appeared to be a cross between the execrable Nine series, 20 to 1, and the quite wonderful The Soup. It wasn’t clear how – or even if – Chris fitted into the line-up.

 

28 comments to Food TV – Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield

  • Adrasteia

    I haven’t watched too much of Poh’s show, but I got definite Poh vibes from Everyday Gourmet. Isn’t the “cook with the guest chef” and then “show you a recipe by myself” from Poh’s show?

    Ten’s website isn’t the only website that’s behind. I saw them make something that looked interesting but when I went to everydaygourmet.tv they only had last week’s recipes.

  • Thanks for the comment, Adrasteia! Poh’s show does have a guest-chef-each-week, but it’s more thematic. For example, they might have an ingredient – mushrooms – which the guest will treat their way and she’ll do a Malaysian version. She also has the benefit of a decent casting agent, too, I think. Her guests have been really good, whilst in tonights episode of Justine’s show, the only guest was the Weight Watchers woman. Evaporated milk. Eugh! Having the show on every day must make a difference.

    Seriously, there is NO excuse for them not to have the website up-to-date! Was there anywhere you could provide feedback?

  • Adrasteia

    To be honest, I didn’t look for a place to give feedback. I wasn’t that interested and when I couldn’t find it I closed my browser.

    I’ll have to check out Poh’s show again.

    Have you seen Ready Steady Cook lately? Since when did they take calls like talkback radio?

  • They take CALLS on Ready Steady Cook now? I will have to tune in to check that out! How… bizarre.

  • A (very) distant second was season one’s winner, Julie Goodwin, whose mediocre food makes Donna Hay look like Heston Blumenthal.

    Oh ouch Injera, still laughing.
    Reality Raver´s last post ..Marty Simpson From Australian Idol Has An Album Coming Out

  • Ooo.. I wouldnt’ even bother watching.. she wasn’t very charismatic to begin with on Masterchef.. pretty and as a good cook, yes… but a cooking show? Nopessssssss

    When are we doing dainty?
    msihua´s last post ..Simon’s Peiking Duck @ Box Hill – Revisited Duck Fest continues…

  • Yes, definitely don’t bother. Marco Pierre White has a new show on the Food channel soon – I will most definitely be watching that one!

    Oooh, Dainty! We must do that soon. Mr Rufus is VERY keen to go. Let’s talk!

  • I think part of Poh’s magic is she doesn’t pretend to be an expert, very much the home cook who can whip up great food. She has guests on the show to learn from them. Plus she has a sense of humour, versus self-reverence. Her MC alumni could learn from that!
    another outspoken female´s last post ..works in progress 3- planting

  • That’s a really good point, AOF. We know the Masterchef contestants are just that – enthusiastic amateurs – but the J triumvirate seems to have forgotten that we know that and have adopted the “expert” presenting style. This comes across as horribly fake, because it is demonstrably so. Poh capitalises on her amateur status and her enthusiasm is infectious. Or is it contagious? Or do they mean the same thing…

  • [...] With Masterchef Australia kicking off on Sunday some of this years contestants will find their life changed forever, or they may find that it not quite the transformation they expected. However Justine Schofield, like Poh and Julie Goodwin has managed to sustain a successful Masterchef career with her new show Every Day Gourmet, Injera does an hilarious review of it on BlahBlogBlah. [...]

  • smauge

    ahhh…I had such high hopes for Justine! I thought out of all of them, she should have won. And Poh seemed so disliked when she was on MC (especially when she returned) I didn’t think she’d last. But the funny thing is my kids LOVE Poh! They have her app on their iPads and just sit and watch her for ages. It’s gotten to the point where my daughter refers to her namesake from the Teletubbies as “The other Poh.”
    I refuse to comment on Frumpy Housewife. I’m still steamed that she won.

  • It is a bit disappointing, isn’t it? I really liked Justine during the show – far more than I liked Poh! – but it’s time TV execs woke up to the fact that, actually, NO, not everyone can carry a TV show. And that’s okay.

    I can’t believe there’s a POH APP!!! Another reason to get an iPad. I’m collecting them. Awesome that your daughter has relegated the Teletubby to “the other Poh”.

  • sourkraut

    The ImPOHster certainly shouln’t pretend to be an expert cos she never was. I’m afraid I’m the only male that was not taken in by the stupid giggle and the even more stupid feigned surprise of clapping both hands to her cheeks.
    As to Justine as the best cook in MC1, you are joking!The number of stuffups she made that were covered up by the biassed judges defies belief. Still I suppose the rabbit in the spotlight look can make up for a lot of deficiencies. Injera, from your description I will be looking for a drove to stay away from the show in.

  • I would heartily recommend staying away from the show, Sourkraut! If you had pay TV, I’d really recommend Jimmy’s Food Factory. I’ve only seen one so far, but I have them on the recorder to watch when Mr Rufus is around, as he really enjoyed it, too. Kind of a cross between Mythbusters and Heston, if you can imagine that!

  • Jack

    I have never watched an episode of Masterchef; (I love cooking shows, not reality shows) so I never saw Justine in action. But I am loving her Everyday Gourmet series. The recipes are achievable for the home wannabe-chef, the guests give a really good insight into other areas of cooking, and apart from being very easy on the eye, Justine looks completely at ease in front of the camera. She looks like she has been doing this gig all her life. Maybe network 10 can get rid of that useless kitchen hazard Peter Everett and she could host Ready Steady Cook.

  • Caz

    I happened to turn on Everyday gourmet this afternoon and within 10 seconds, Justine had used the word “nice” to describe her ingredients 4 times then went on to alternate between nice and beautiful as her favourite adjectives for the rest of the show. For someone with a TV show and a French backgound, you’d think she’d work on her describing words a bit more and try to make that simple boring food seem a bit more exciting than “nice”.

  • noog

    I watched Everyday Gourmet and she attempted to make a Chilli Con Carne, what an insult to Mexican cuisine,
    Who will be the next fantastic “Master Chef” from the 2011 bunch to have a spin off info-mercial?
    I shudder to think what lack-luster cooking this bunch of muppets can produce.

  • axeman

    What is it with so called chiefs (cooks)that when are adding or using liquid they say “just use a bit” There is no such thing, as fuild is used as a drop, mls or fluid ozs perhaps these peope should learn the correct terminology.

  • noog

    “There is no such thing,as fuild is used as a drop,mls or fluid ozs perhaps these peope should learn the correct terminology.”

    Definition
    Drop: The smallest quantity of liquid heavy enough to fall in a spherical mass.

  • sherlee

    I think everyone is far to pedantic and picky and i think she is doing her best with some lovely recipes

  • sherlee

    Cooking shows are also reality shows as what they are showing you is real

  • gary

    has anyone noticed that the sound engineres have either deliberatly sabotaged poor justines show by not cutting out the echo of that awfull kitchen or just simply not done there job rite wake up channel 10 this show could be a winner,and why hasnt george noticed yet ???? perhaps he doesnt care whats the go boys never noticed that kind of thing before on tv ,fix it or im switching off.

  • margaret

    i love everyday gourmet and justine i watch everyday and enjoy her recipes i think she is great and explains what she is doing very well. well done justine

  • Bernie

    I love watching Everyday Gourmet and I think that Justine is great. She has made a lot of nice recipes and I made her salted caramel and chocolate slice and it was nice. Everyone that tried it loved it.

  • Laurie Kaldor-Bull

    RE: Justine Schofield. I like her and I like the show. HOWEVER, I really can’t bear to watch it any more due to her speech. She says, “now I’m gunna” nearly every other sentence. I am amazed no one has talked to her about it. Please Justine…you are a good cook and present well except for your habitual love affair with GUNNA. “Going to” is the correct English, but mostly you could just not say it at all. Not necessary and highly distracting.

  • Janis

    I enjoy watching Justine & like most of the recipes that herself & the hosts cook. Justine is doing a terrific job, I know I couldn’t get up in front of a camera knowing so many viewers would be watching. Too many people are quick to criticize others. Keep up the good work & I look forward to your next show.
    Regards Janis

  • Dawn Craig

    Would someone please tell Justine that every second word doesn’t have to be “Here”, which she pronounces “Heah”. One day I will watch this show with a calculator to count the number of times she uses the word.

  • Oh, I haven’t noticed “here”… maybe because I’m so focussed on everything being beautiful (lavishly over pronounced, as seems to be the norm for all Masterchef alumni). I’m going to have to watch again for heah!

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