The Idiot’s Guide to Applying to Masterchef

TV3 have just announced their casting call for MasterChef NZ, so Alex Casey talked to her brother about his shockingly successful drunken application many moons ago. //

In a press release today, TV3 announced that casting is now open for MasterChef NZ 2015. They are looking for the “unsung heroes of the kitchen – Kiwis who love great food and great flavours. We want them to bring the food of their families to the nation.”

If this sounds like you, and you’ve got a spare 16 weeks, MediaWorks is encouraging you to get involved here.

Thinking about ways to encourage bright-eyed applicants, I decided to consult my brother, who applied several years ago. Successfully making it past (one) Masterchef application stage, he has decided to share his tale of spicy meatball woe. Here is a small novella to get you budding Masterchefs inspired:

“Well I was drunk, stoned and home alone. I was watching people fuck up on Masterchef Australia and thought ‘pffft, I can do that’. (never mind that everything I cook is actually from a packet). I filled out an online application. It didn’t take long – just asked for favourite foods, restaurants and your “cooking dreams” (I made some shit up there). Finally they asked you to upload a picture (I’ll get to this later).

As with my other TV experience [assuredly coming in later posts], I totally forgot about the drunken application until they got in touch with me saying “you have been selected to audition”. Fuck! We had recently been having BBQs at which I had been making some pretty mean wasabi pork burgers. Since you have to make up your own shit, I thought I’d fancy it up. It became wasabi pork meatballs in an asian broth with asian vegetables (aka Bok Choy) – sounded pretty Masterchef to me.

Then the day came. We had to go out in Petone pretty early in the morning with all the ingredients and wait in line. This was after McDonald’s for breakfast, of course. We lined up and the cameras came out. They blocked the street and made us (probably 30 people) walk down the middle of the road towards the camera. Kind of like we were storming the place. After this they asked a few more questions, mainly inspired by the online application answers.

At this point an error I made in my (drunken) application came back to bite me. The conversation was something like, “interesting picture you uploaded…” “Oh?” They turned over a piece of paper and there in A4 is not the one nice photo of me I had at the time but one of me – again drunk – in a hoodie rolling my eyes behind a pair of old 3D glasses.

I proceeded to wait for a good few hours before it was my time to cook. The judges asked us what we were going to cook (“wasabi… hmm interesting”) and then did some quickfire questions which I was nailing – until they asked how long to boil a fish broth. Fucked if I know, I guessed 90 minutes. “It’s 20 minutes,”- they laugh. The kitchen is a breeze – all went smoothly there (somewhat surprisingly).

The three judges tasted it and asked me how I came up with it. They get a bit of truth mixed in with a good cup of bullshit. Two of them didn’t like the spicy heat, so I didn’t get through. They thought about sending me to Auckland just to make Simon Gault eat it – apparently he’s not a fan of spicy heat either. Pussies.”

 You can watch the pussies on Masterchef Australia on TVNZ Ondemand here

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