Book Review - Masterchef Goes Large

By Mark Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cooking

Book review of MasterChef Goes Large

MasterChef Goes Large: Become An Expert Chef In Your Own Kitchen (Ebury Press, £14.99 hardback)

MasterChef has certainly moved up a gear since the days when presenter Loyd Grossman and his fellow judges "deliberated, cogitated and digested" in the safety of a cosy BBC studio.

The popular cookery show was first broadcast in 1990 and ran for 10 years before it quietly disappeared from our screens.

It made a brief comeback with Gary Rhodes as its anchorman, but for the past few years, MasterChef was left on the back-burner.

With new presenters John Torode (of London restaurant Smiths of Smithfield) and Greg Wallace (of the BBC's Saturday Kitchen fame) at the helm, MasterChef is back with a new, hardhitting concept.

Gone are the days when the nervous home cooks had to create a three-course meal under the hot studio lights. The newly renamed MasterChef Goes Large series was filmed in a specially created cooking academy and on location in restaurants and pubs, to give the contestants a chance to prove that they have what it takes to work in a professional kitchen environment.

The accompanying book features 100 recipes from the series. It is divided into five main chapters sandwiched between an introduction from Torode and a list of suppliers introduced by Wallace.

As well as recipes from the contestants, there are a series of "masterclass" recipes from Torode, including for basics such as pasta, pastry, fish cookery and risottos.

The book features several new takes on classic dishes, and some of the recipes from contestants come across a bit like the culinary equivalent of trying to reinvent the wheel. Do we really need any more books with recipes for gazpacho, coq au vin, Caesar salad, Thai green chicken curry or chocolate fondant?

Recipes that would sit happily on most pub menus, however, include sea bass with anchovy sauce, spinach and cannelloni beans; spiced lamb with champ and onions; goat's cheese and red onion tarts and panettone bread and butter pudding with whisky sauce.

But, ultimately, there are so many cookery books on the market containing original recipes from big-name chefs and restaurateurs that it's hard to imagine quite who will be tempted to invest in MasterChef Goes Large except for families and relatives of the show's 100 contestants.

Related topics: Chefs

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