How many of you have been watching the Professional Masterchef competition in which Professionals from all over the country have competed in regions and then the finalists nationally? Last night was the final, where the final three young men (there were young women 'lower' down the competition but they had all been eliminated by the time it got to the final three) had to cook a three-course meal of their own devising for the resident judges. To say it was tense was an understatement. It was so tense that I kept wanting to switch off as I could not bear to see the young men - all so earnest and all trying so hard- suffering so.
In the end the young Chinese man won. Earlier one of the three had left some piece of Langoustine which should have been removed from inside. The horror on the poor lad's face when it was revealed was so awful to see because he and all the viewers knew from that moment that although his meal was superb, unless one of the other two made an even greater error, he would not be in the running. The young lad who won - just before the judges ate the food - said quietly to his friend (yes they were by this stage all good friends) - 'I just want to go and sit in a corner and cry' - that is how tense it was.
Good television I suppose - at least it wasn't another Game Show where people compete for great sums of money. Here at least the contestants were seriously trying to jump start their careers which were already on their way. Yes, most of us probably do not go in for this kind of 'fine dining' (although I must say I do love Langoustine) - what was so fascinating was the young mens' dedication, their enthusiasm, that extra something which made them so earnest as they made their elaborate dishes.