Let’s not split any hairs here: There is absolutely nothing wrong with going on MasterChef with one club in your bag. It’s worked for scores of people in the past. You come on the show able to do one specific thing really, really well. You dance that same tango for as long as the competition will allow you. You get spat back out into the world with a legion of new followers all insanely keen to eat that one thing you can do. Hell, Sashi Cheliah managed to ride a one-note song all the way to the promised land in season ten, winning the entire thing on a simple bed of turmeric. But if I were a MasterChef judge keen on pointing out anyone’s lone kitchen note, my instinct would be to point that out for EVERYONE doing it in the series. Not just looking down my nose at one person while another, who I previously worked with very closely, does practically the same thing.
It’s a curious one, the case of Jock Zonfrillo aka Judge Daddy aka Yiewin McGregor.
Throughout last night’s elimination episode, and several others prior to that, Jock’s spent a not-insignificant amount of time cornering Brendan Pang for only cooking dumplings. Which, to be fair, he most certainly is.
During judging deliberations last night, Jock stated of Brendan’s attempt at that fucked up charcoal cube dessert thing, “[You’ve] g
Which, I stress again, is objectively true.
But the real rub comes from the idea that Jock repeatedly says this about Brendan – that’s a “dumpling guy” and that’s his one and only trick – despite former protege Laura Sharrad also entering the competition with a lone note: Pasta.
Time and time again we’ve seen Jock – whose own pasta background probably makes him quite blind to it – heap praise on Laura for essentially doing the same thing repeatedly. And yet Brendan is the one copping flack for the culinary copy paste.
Social media is getting wise to the growing trend as well, with a few venting their frustrations in a little more unreserved a fashion than I am here and now.
So… Laura. Not creative as a cook (yet Jock doesn't call her the "pasta girl" but calls Brendan the "dumpling guy" even though he's a diverse cook & plates up other things) & doesn't understand empathy. Give Sarah a minute! So smug. So arrogant. So bratty. ???? #MasterChefAU— ???? ???????????????????? ????✎ (@earthtojenni) May 19, 2020
Jock says Brendan is a dumpling guy but umm excuse me he's at least ventured out his comfort zone. You know who hasn't? Jock's favourite Laura! Yes, tonight's black box wasn't a pasta dish but not once has he questioned her sticking to her safe zone by choice! #MasterChefAU— Brooklyn (@BookishBooklyn) May 19, 2020
cant believe jock just called brendan dumpling guy when he has not once commented on laura’s pasta. SICK AND TIRED #MasterChefAU— ???????????????????????? ???? (@goldenwildfIwr) May 19, 2020
So Brendan’s a dumpling guy but Laura’s not a pasta girl? #MasterchefAU— Lauren (@lozzaloulilei) May 19, 2020
Please stop calling versatile and well-rounded Brendan a dumpling guy, thanks. #MasterChefAU— Noelle Perera (@noellemartine) May 19, 2020
In Jock’s defence here, specifically regarding last night, he mentioned that the Pressure Test dish was “no pasta dish” in judging Laura’s efforts. But mostly, the brow wrinkling here comes from questioning whether one person, who is doing the same thing repeatedly, isn’t extending themselves beyond their comfort zone, while another, who is also doing the same thing repeatedly, is praised for it.
Anyway, it’s only a TV show. The new judges are all still pretty great tbh. This is just a little food for thought.