Picture courtesy of the BBC Masterchef website
Now I will be the first to admit that my cooking skills are almost non-existent. Despite my advancing years, cooking has never been high up on my priorities – eating, yes, but cooking not so much. Which is why it amazes me sometimes that I love watching shows like Masterchef. This latest series that culminated with the final last Friday was great – and the final itself certainly lived up to it’s billing.
Masterchef takes amateur chefs and pits their skills against each other through a series of weeks, with the best going through and the not so good being told their time is up by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Over the weeks they get to cook for top chefs, food critics, past contestants, and also get to work in top restaurants. It’s here where they learn lots of skills from their heroes, despite the pressure of working in a top kitchen.
It’s a very popular show, and this year proved no exception. As we went into the final week, there were two women – Moonira and Alex – and three men – Kenny, David and Nawamin – left in the competition. First Moonira fell by the wayside, and then Alex failed to make the final three.
As the series progressed, David appeared to be the front runner. An airline pilot, he showed great technical ability, and seemed to ooze confidence. However young Nawamin, an Oxford graduate who is a doctor researching new medicines, showed his Thai upbringing with some weird and wonderful ideas of flavours and presentation. As teh weeks passed by he seemed to go from strength to strength.
The third finalist, Kenny Tutt, a bank manager from Brighton, seemed to be way behind, although getting stronger. But everyone I spoke to thought it was between David and Nawamin. And we were all proved wrong! So how did Kenny go on to win and lift the title of Masterchef 2018?
His menu consisted of a roast scallop and smoked cauliflower starter, squab pigeon breast and bon-bon main, and bitter chocolate and ale ice-cream dessert. Sounds nice, but then so did the other contestants menu’s. But what Kenny did, that the others failed to do, was to cook his best meal on the day of the final. Sounds simple, right?
David had said in his interview that the judges had seen all his technical ability already, and that they just wanted good food. True – but he made a couple of errors in cooking, and as such let himself down. Nawamin went the other way, and created the most amazingly over the top menu, which was let down by things not quite going to plan. But Kenny saved his best cooking till last, and deservedly was crowned champion.
During previous shows, Kenny had shown quite a lot of stress whilst cooking. He was constantly running around, and always seemed to be behind schedule. But on the day of the final he seemed relaxed, and he said he was just there to enjoy his cooking. It was the last chance to cook in the Masterchef kitchen, so he was going to enjoy it.
I’m not sure how much time they get between rounds, but obviously Kenny had done his homework. Preparation is key to achieving any great task – and with a meticulous list of instructions, you know that he had been cooking this meal many times, tweaking the ingredients and timings to get the best tastes. This continuous practice, so that when it comes to your “final” your performance is automatic, is key in achieving whatever you want to in that sort of scenario.
So for youngsters sitting their exams soon, plenty of revision and writing test essays will mean they can cope under exam conditions. If you are looking to get a new job, asking a friend to sit and pretend to interview you, coming up with different questions that you may be asked, will train you to be able to answer them easily. Sportsmen and women train for hours each and every day before they get to perform their chosen sport. In the case of 100 metre runners, all those hours boil down to 10 seconds of action! In order to be at your peak for your performance, you need to be able to practice until that performance is ingrained.
Kenny Tutt proved that hard work and dedication, along with a belief in yourself, can mean you accomplish your dreams. So why can’t you? If there is something that you truly want to achieve, then follow his example and set yourself on the road to success with dedication and perseverance. And don’t forget to peak at the right time!