Back in 2010 came the first season of the Indian version of Masterchef, where contestants overcame the toughest of challenges to reach the bootcamps followed by the competitions to save oneself from difficult elimination challenges to reach the finale, where a bulk culinary task awaited them, excelling in which earned them the title. The next season, too, followed a similar journey, with NRI chefs, joining the jury.
But, then came India’s most tele-casted chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, in the jury during its third season and changed the show forever. Suddenly, emotional quotient replaced taste as the qualifying criteria, with more emphasis on the back story and life tales of contestants and low grade dishes in their plates.
If the third season of Masterchef was bad, the fourth was unwatchable and you should know why.
1. An illogical pure vegetarian format.
As a Masterchef, a person must know to cook everything edible under the Sun, even if he/she himself doesn’t believe in its consumption. A chef, who hasn’t ever cooked non-veg, will be clueless about various processes of preparing it such as how should it be boiled, what part of it should be served, to tell fresh ones from stale etc. A person not well versed in cooking non-veg cannot ever be a successful executive chef, as in absence of personal experience, relying on subordinates will be his/her only option, which is risky for an eatery.
In contemporary India, where beef ban triggered a strong protest, most Indians live by non-veg and thus it is very difficult to find any 5 star that serves pure veg. Thus, there are bound to be a 2-way frustration between capabilities and demands between chefs and employers.
2. Unimpressive dishes.
Most recipes in this season where too ordinary (and some had even been bizarre) in sharp contradiction to previous seasons, where menus were usually uniquely innovative. In this season, what you cooked barely matter, as long as you could cook up emotional stories and praises of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
3. Too much melodrama.
Was it necessary to have Chef Sanjeev Kapoor making a fuss about emotions and ingredients called ‘pyaar’ in every episode and enacting a drama session before every elimination?
4. Sanjeev Kapoor’s bossing.
What was the necessity of having 3 chefs in the jury when only one did all the talking, took each decision, and enacted them out? Right from the auditions to finale, all that mattered in the show was Sanjeev Kapoor’s opinion, even if the other chefs were visibly unhappy with the decision.
5. Not much footfalls from established chefs.
Perhaps the other successful chefs in the country were reluctant to sell off their backbones and abide by chef Sanjeev’s opinions.
6. Unjust mode of assessment.
How on earth, can the audience judge the winners of a cookery show through voting, without having a taste of their culinary skills?
7. And ultimately the grand finale.
While on any other Masterchef, finalists cook bulk meals which is served to general audience or anyone special, who judge its taste and ultimately vote for the winner, Masterchef India, aired dance performances and cheap antics by former contestants, finalists and other irrelevant people. No special challenge was given to finalists who were free to cook, whatever they wanted to and no decision was made on basis of food whatsoever.
Nevertheless, congratulations to Nikita Gandhi for her much deserved victory. She has proved, that age and capabilities are not interchangeable.