A wholesome addiction: Masterchef Australia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 21, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 21, 2017

A wholesome addiction: Masterchef Australia

In the year 2010, my simple life as a ninth grader consisted of me going to school, getting back home and watching TV, and then talking to my friends about the stuff I watched on TV. There was Supernatural, number one fan favourite among our pubescent selves. There was 90210, an incredibly realistic portrayal of American high school teens living their lives on expensive “sandwiches”. But out of all the blissfully dumb shows that defined our generation, there was one really good show on Star World that truly changed my life. That show was Masterchef Australia.

I remember the evening it happened to me. I'd just returned from coaching classes and turned on the TV. My mom was ranting about how I should really participate in Math Olympiads because her colleague's son had recently won a medal in one. I bickered with her while staring at the TV but soon that mindless staring turned into utmost concentration. Matt Preston's poetic descriptions of Tuna Tataki with Garlic Chips, Katsura Daikon Salad and White Dressing completely drowned out my mother's yelling. I was glued to the screen, I was taking in every word Matt, Gary and George were saying like it was my dish that they were giving feedback on. I was watching and judging the contestant's cooking like I could taste and smell their dishes.

Ever since then, Masterchef Australia has remained my most favourite show on earth. There is no one thing that makes this show special, it's a combination of the judges' wisdom, the contestants' struggles and the overall wholesomeness that just warms my heart. Matt, Gary and George each have such distinct personalities. Name a more iconic trio, I'll wait. 

Matt's command over words never fails to impress me. Someday, I too hope to review a BreakTout burger with the same finesse and eloquence that he possesses. George and Gary's expertise on the science behind cooking is what got me interested in food in the first place. These three judges put a lot of effort into making the contestants feel at home, unlike Masterchef America. USA's rendition of Masterchef turned out to be as hostile and dumb as the early seasons of MTV India's Roadies, despite the presence of arguably my favourite TV person, Gordon Ramsay. I have been watching Masterchef Australia for the last seven years, and it has remained consistently uplifting. There is absolutely no focus on the contestants' personal relations, there's no hostility among them. This show is only and only about the food.

I had never even heard the names of half the dishes cooked there until I watched the show and I know there's very little chance of me getting to taste Spiced Kangaroo Fillet with Babaganoush and Tabouli, but just watching these elaborate dishes coming to life fills me with hope. This show makes me appreciate the one true joy of life more and more everyday, which is food. 

I watch Masterchef Australia the same way most people watch Game of Thrones. I wait for each episode to come out, I root for my favourite contestant with more enthusiasm than most people rooted for Amit Sana in Indian Idol. I talk about this show to whoever is willing to listen. I was not interested in cooking as much as I was interested in Jensen Ackles' jaw line back in ninth grade. I did not plan for this to happen, you know, this condition that I have. But I am glad it happened to me. I enjoy and appreciate food, and cooking so much more because of this show.

My name is Aanila. I am addicted to Masterchef Australia, and I am not ashamed.

If you'd like to join Masterchef Australia Addicts Anonymous, send the writer an email to aanila.tarannum@gmail.com

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