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It's ShowBiz

Posted by dcarch (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 12, 11 at 23:02

A few times I have been asked by people to suggest ideas for their dishes for entering in the Master Chef TV show competition.

This was one contestant's dish: baked beans, coleslaw, and pulled pork sandwich. To me, IMHO, I don't know too much about this kind of TV show competition, but from the few shows I have watched I didn't think this dish stood a chance.

It is not that it was not delicious; I would think that every single entry wouls be delicious. All contestants would be entering with T&T recipes. It seems to me that the dish must be beyond delicious, it must be outstanding, unique and most importantly, camera ready, after all, it's show business.

I didn't want to undo this person's original ideas. So I just suggested some modifications:

Pulled pork - sous vided pulled pork instead of stewed pulled pork to get that juicy tenderness, and then quick BBQed to get that caramelized flavor.

Sandwich - puff pastry instead of bread.

Baked beans - used black beans instead of pinto/navy beans, added a touch of black garlic sweetness and a few drops of white truffle oil.

Coleslaw - basic recipe, except only the cabbage was presented, all the other ingredients were blended into "coleslaw dressing". Cabbage was first quick blenched in concentrated chicken soup, but still crispy, then pickled in the dressing.

Garnished with crispy coleslaw deep fried in bacon fat.

Has anyone tried to enter the Master Chef show?





Follow-Up Postings:

RE: It's ShowBiz

Second to last picture is scrumptious. I would love to be a guest at your table.

RE: It's ShowBiz

"---Second to last picture is scrumptious. I would love to be a guest at your table.

Thanks Jane.

My interest in cooking is because I enjoy sharing meals with friends.

Come on over! :-)


RE: It's ShowBiz

Never entered a Master Chef competition but think it sounds fun.

Your pictures are beautiful, as always. One critique though...

It looks dry. (But, remember I've got Sjogren's so everything looks dry!)

I would add a good-sized glob (my, that's an epicurian word, huh?) of a spicy sauce to the sandwich & make a fresh salsa to top the beans. I think it would add a lusciousness to the photo & also be a positive to the tasting experience.

I agree with Jane. The 2nd picture is my favorite.


RE: It's ShowBiz


Thank you.

You are 100 % correct. I totally agree with you that everything looks dry, especially the baked beans. I was going to add some EVOO in it, but decided not to because of the bacon in it.

I should have added back the bacon fat, heck, this was for a competition, not for good health. LOL!


RE: It's ShowBiz

I don't know how people get selected to compete... BUT if submitting pictures in involved... they need to just give YOU the prize right now!!

RE: It's ShowBiz

A friend who applied made it through the e-mail rounds to be invited to the auditions last weekend but he didn't make that cut. Now that he has a better idea of what they're looking for, he started a Facebook group where we'll be watching and critiquing his preparations for the next audition period.

One thing to remember about any of the TV cooking competitions is that they're timed. Could you cook and prepare a plate like that in an hour? That always eliminates many of the "home cooks". Also, the judges generally criticize a garnish that doesn't add anything to the flavor profile of the dish. "Appetizing" seems to be the operative word for presentation.

If my friend wanted to enter that platter, I'd tell him that the crispy coleslaw looks burned, the red cabbage looks like it either bled due to lack of acidity when it was being blanched or green cabbage colored with red food coloring and the beans look like rabbit poop. The idea of a perfect pulled pork, baked bean and coleslaw combination has winning possibilities. Try again.

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