Masterchef Is Racist and Elitist


I am very frustrated with the Australian MasterChef. The judges have a very western and elitist mindset about what is ``good” food.

For instance, non-white people are forced to cook foods outside of their culture when they are uncomfortable about doing so. For example, making Samira cook fried chicken and corn when neither of these foods are common in Azerbaijanian cuisine.

By contrast, white people are given loads of praise for poaching the cuisines of non-white cultures. For instance Chloe has been cooking with the cuisines of South East asian people, and she is rewarded much more praise than, say, Sachi, who is actually from Singapore and has to moderate how exotic his cooking is.

One thing that really upset me was when Jess’s sambal sauce last week was too spicy for the judges. This is one of the clear no-nos of the Australian competition. Non-white levels of casparin will send you into elimination, whereas supposed ``exotic” dishes must have low levels of spice in order to win competition rounds. Sachi paid attention to Jess’s punishment last week, and this week he prepared a blander sambal, and was rewarded.

Judges will criticise or quibble with you for preparing beans, like Sachi did, which are crispy, a feature of Singaporean cuisine - and not according to the white way of making them mushy.

I also find it irritating how steak must always be cooked medium-rare. What makes that better than well done or rare? Working class people in England very frequently have their steak well done. Perhaps this is not such a damning criticism, but I do think it is very elitist to select one particular level of cooking of steak as best.