Nigella Lawson has the market covered when it comes to soft-porn cooking, but Masterchef gives it a go occasionally, even if it’s unintentional.
It’s impossible to sit through an episode without hearing a few food-related innuendos. Whether it’s Gregg Wallace telling a female chef how much he admires her soft buns, or John Torode waxing lyrical about a particularly succulent parsnip, the show is choc full of them. Listen out – I promise you’ll enjoy the series so much more.
You could even try a game of Masterchef Innuendo Bingo, which I definitely did not invent, and which I most certainly do not play every time the show is on telly. Because that would be lame. Right?
Sorry Gregg, what was that? You’ve always loved a bit of breast? Check.
4. Gregg Wallace
The round-headed greengrocer pops up everywhere these days. If he’s not mouthing off on The One Show, or doing lookalike appearances as an overweight Harry Hill, he’s humiliating himself on Strictly Come Dancing – like an overworked pannacotta, he was way too stiff.
It seems we can’t get enough of Mr Wallace. Or perhaps he can’t get enough of himself? Either way, he’s pretty good at presenting Masterchef. I’ve never seen anyone get so excited about a rhubarb crumble. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone get excited about a rhubarb crumble full stop. So at the very least he has the tastebuds to judge food.
Anyway, get ready for more of Gregg’s famous catchphrase: “Cooking. Doesn’t get tougher. Than this.” And prepare to be on intimate terms with the inside of his mouth, as he gleefully spoons in pudding after pudding like a naughty toddler.
3. The buttery biscuit bass
Masterchef music has a bit of a cult following of its own. To ramp up the tension, producers like to use instrumental drum and bass in the background. At times, it feels like they’ve all broken into a culinary school for an impromptu rave. There would certainly be a few mushrooms to share out. To make a nice soup, obviously.
Then there’s the bits where they stop the music suddenly and mix the sounds of the kitchen – knives chopping, oven doors slamming – into the beat. Pan percussion at its finest.
As if that wasn’t enough, the show also spawned one of the greatest ever mash-ups, created by Swede Mason. Have a listen to his ingenious remix:
2. Food, glorious food
As a nation, there’s nothing we love more than watching people cook. We lap up a plethora of food programmes as we dribble enviously into our microwaved horse meat.
Most of the time, TV chefs show off recipes with exotic ingredients that are completely unobtainable for us muggles. Just nip down to your local supermarket and grab a shaving of unicorn’s horn to season your beef, which will ideally come from a cow bred in the foothills of the Himalayas on a diet of coca leaves and envy. It’s hard enough finding fresh basil.
The good thing with Masterchef, particularly the amateur version, is that you might actually pick up some useful tips. These are just normal folks with a knack for nourishment, so their recipes will at least be grounded in reality. You won’t need a round-the-world plane ticket to collect the necessities.
Of course, if you’re lazy like me, you can just imagine eating what’s on your screen from the comfort of your sofa, as you wait for the microwave to beep.
1. Kitchen nightmares
There’s only one thing better than watching someone lovingly craft a beautiful, tasty dish. And that’s watching someone have a complete culinary meltdown. Masterchef has seen its fair share over the years.
The worst I’ve ever witnessed was Carl’s sausage and beans on toast. It looked like something I’d rustle up after a heavy night out. Mind you, some of my drunken efforts are exquisite. If only John and Gregg could try my cold meat and tomato ketchup sandwich – or deconstructed kebab, as I like to call it – they’d be blown away.
That’s the joy of Masterchef. It always features a few awful contestants who make you think: ‘I can definitely do better than that.’ And what’s more delicious than a large helping of schadenfreude? It’s truly inspirational.
You can watch Masterchef on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings on BBC One.