Tag Archives: MasterChef

Crispy Fish Tacos

Guest Post: Do Food Shows Have Ethical Obligations?

My supremely cool fan Josh O’Connor, who interacts often on my blog posts, got to thinking about the issues of food waste, and the treatment of reality TV contestants with dietary restrictions, after one of my recent MasterChef recaps where many dozens of eggs were thrown in the trash, as well as shattering the plates they were on.

Josh churned out a most thought-provoking blog about whether or not TV shows have an obligation to maintain any kind of ethical standard when it comes to food and the people who are on the shows.  And I wanted to share it with my audience, because you wonderful people are ALL about these kinds of subjects.

It begins:

One of my guilty pleasures in life is cooking shows… particularly highly dramatic, reality TV-style cooking competitions.  I’m talking shows like Chopped, Hell’s Kitchen, and Masterchef.  While I don’t have the luxury of cable, I must admit that Food network is a family favorite on vacations.  In watching these programs, one of the elements that seems to be remiss is the ethics of food (although I’ll let Chopped off the hook on this point for their very well-done “Lunch Lady” episode).  The question that these shows generate for me revolves around the entire concept of food morality and food ethics and the responsibility of high profile chefs to make people more food-aware.  Here are some examples that highlight my concerns.

Bri this season of Masterchef’s token vegetarian is the subject of a slew of vegetarian-related epithets throughout the individual interviews.  Moreover, the show’s “judges” question her ability to cook (and at times seem to question her ability to function as a human being) based on her dietary choices.  Perhaps most importantly, Bri is not given the opportunity to showcase her talents without having to engage the show’s many meat-based dishes.  Although Anthony Bourdain would certainly disagree, vegetarianism has become a pretty mainstream dietary concept for a variety of ethical positions (from environmentalism to animal rights).  Dealing with Bri’s choices in such a lackadaisical (and often cruel) manner sends the message that informed and conscious consumption of food is somehow inferior to eating anything that’s placed in front of you.  How would the format handle a contestant observing a Halal diet?   Would the producers feel as comfortable flagrantly mocking a contestant with food allergies or a health restricted diet?

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLOG POST!

Masterchef 4 Quick Recap: Finale (S4E25)

Hello! It’s Michael again. After talking to Ben, he told me that he would not be watching the last few episodes of MasterChef, so I took it upon my weary shoulders fingers to finish this season out for those of you that can’t live without the recaps. Expect a post from him in the near future about why he (and I most likely) will never watch MasterChef again.

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Michael Chen, and I was part of the top 18 during Season 3 of MasterChef. Please follow me on my FacebookTwitter, as well as my website at www.mc3michael.com! Let’s get the usual legal disclaimer out of the way: (PLEASE NOTE: This blog contains the crazed rants of a former MasterChef survivor who has practically no inside knowledge of how this season was produced.  It’s not fit to be read by anyone.)

Finally, after what seems like forever, I click on the last episode of MasterChef on Hulu. This may honestly have been one of the most difficult episodes for me to watch. I will try to keep this brief.

The finale starts off, and we notice some things that are different this time compared to last year. There are large, stadium style TV screens mounted high up. And there are two risers filled with audience members. The initial thought was that it was the top 18, but there are way too many of them and the top 18 is later revealed to be in the balcony. Then there was the thought that it was the top 100, but A) there isn’t enough of them, B) there are no familiar faces, and no quotes/lines/comments from all of those colorful personalities, and C) I remember reading a comment on Facebook saying that it wasn’t the top 100, and that they were brought in. Seeing as how it’s HIGHLY unlikely that they brought in legitimate fans from the street (and even if they did, how the heck would they know what to do without watching the previous episodes/following the storylines), I would probably guess that they hired seat fillers (commonplace in other TV shows where they want it to appear like there is a large and engaging audience) to play the role of background cheerleaders. IF that’s the case (and I have no proof), then all I can say is this: LAME.

Then comes the big family reveal. It was a very sweet moment, but marred in my mind for one reason. Take a look at this comment from Adriana Crnjac (Natasha’s Mom):

Continue reading the rest of the finale blog on my website at www.mc3michael.com!

And there we have it. The end. Stay tuned for some words from Ben himself in a few days. Thanks for coming along for the ride over the last couple of episodes! Y’all are the only reason I put myself through 4 hours of torture every single week to make these happen :).

♥ MC3Michael