What’s the buzz?
US television network FOX is just days away from launching MasterChef USA and building on the success and popularity of its forerunning hit in Australia and the UK. Yes, the markets and kitchens of America will dim into silence July 27 as wannabe chefs and home cooks cuddle up with Cabernet and couch, ready to plug in to the glow of a homegrown MasterChef series for the first time. The auditions now closed, we’ll soon be watching like-minded amateur cooks and passionate foodies from around the US race against time while preparing three-course menus for a panel of judges. The winners of regional cook-offs will move on to a semifinal slots and toward the final grand title of MasterChef USA.
This new addition to the televised MasterChef brand will be co-produced and hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay. He of the devil’s temper and venomous tongue has producers and audiences alike poised in anticipation to learn just how he’ll behave in this new arena.
According to The Guardian, “The US version will be closer to the Australian edition than the UK versions. The finale of the Australian version was the most watched programme in a decade.”
Why blog about this here?
Because, despite the appeal of celebrity chefs and real-life challengers with diverse personalities, some of us will be paying more attention to what might be found on the set’s kitchen counter. We may not even notice the artistic merit of precisely plated presentations. No… instead we will be craning our necks to see if there are any Thermomix machines in use on this first North American edition of MasterChef. Europe’s kitchen darling, the Thermomix (or Bimby) has already been spotted on numerous occasions by millions of fans in Australia watching that country’s well established MasterChef series. The Aussies are now accustomed to seeing this German-engineered super kitchen machine appear in the culinary toolbox of MasterChef judge and Melbourne restaurateur George Calombaris.
Chef Calombaris is one of several top level and celebrity master chefs who choose Thermomix for the versatile ways it saves time while allowing cooks to multitask more accurately and efficiently. And in Australia, where the Thermomix and MasterChef brands are fast friends, this translates to precious air time and the kind of exposure that makes North American Thermomix distributors green with envy.
Thermomix on American TV?
But Vorwerk, the European-based manufacturer of Thermomix does not have any distributors on American soil, so it is unlikely that we’ll be seeing Thermomix make any cameo appearances on MasterChef USA. It is unlikely, but is it impossible? Will the “world’s smallest, smartest kitchen robot” really be ostracized from this MasterChef playing field because it doesn’t ‘live’ in the neighbourhood, doesn’t have a passport visa or working papers? Will Thermomix and it’s North American fans be left out, waiting lonely in the wings?
Or will smart chefs reign, and welcome this worthy, modern kitchen assistant into the US MasterChef kitchen and the culinary consciousness of America?
I for one, will be watching to find out.
On FOX, July 27, 2010.