It is one of most successful programs on Italian television, and not only. Exported to seventy different countries around the world, with over five hundred editions and 300 million spectators, MasterChef was crowned by Guinness World Records as the “most successful culinary TV format in the world”. Now, like every end of the year for thirteen years now, Masterchef is about to return to Italy, where he is preparing to celebrate the historic milestone of three hundred episodes.
We left the Sky Original cooking show produced by Endemol Shine Italy only a few months ago, with the victory of Edward Franco, the original and exuberant former rider from Varese. And we are already here ready to start again from a new Masterclasswhich we will get to know, competitor after competitor, starting from Thursday 14 December at 9.15pm. On stage the now consolidated trio of judges, made up of Bruno Barbieri (veteran of the program), Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatelli: they are the real secret of a success that continues to repeat itself from year to year. The good, the bad and the ugly: the three friends and colleagues were able to divide up the roles with a naturalness and spontaneity that benefited the fate of Masterchef, and they demonstrated a harmony that makes everything incredibly more fun and enjoyable for the public. «We don’t just work together», explained Giorgio Locatelli. «We talk, we eat together, we are a real team, and this is probably also because we grew up in kitchens, places where we work in teams, and the team must function. It’s a nice way to work.”
The new season of Masterchef already begins with something new: the judges will not be alone in making the evaluations during the Live Cookingbut they will be joined by a mysterious “shadow judge”: a fourth hidden element – whose identity will remain secret for a while – who will closely observe the work of the aspiring chefs and will help Barbieri, Locatelli and Cannavacciuolo to make the final decisions to form the Masterclass. In particular, aspiring chefs who have received two yeses during the Live Cooking will have to wear a gray apron with which to face the «Stress Test», a new time trial to win the white apron.
«We are three professionals, even before three friends: only in this way can we achieve a great result». He has clear ideas about the secret of the success of Masterchef Italia Antonino Cannavacciuolo, the chef with whom – according to his colleagues – most of the former contestants of the program end up working. «Over the years we have seen a growth in the culinary audience. Fifteen years ago when we talked about a starred restaurant, few people really knew what it was. Today, also thanks to Masterchef, great chefs from all over the world have been brought in front of a screenshowing their ideas, their paths, but also the supply chain behind them, the small producers, those who get their hands dirty with the land: this is why Masterchef creates culture, a culture that is fundamental for us Italians, that of food.”
«Masterchef has really changed people’s gastronomic thinking», Barbieri echoes. «He started to make people understand that this profession is important, not only for us chefs, but also for everything behind it. People started going to restaurants not only to fill their bellies but also to listen to a story».
Not just the kitchen, it is the role of the chef itself that has changed over the years, also thanks to the small revolution brought about by Masterchef. «The media exposure that cooking has had in recent years has changed this profession», confirms Locatelli. «Today I have a surgeon’s son in the kitchen, but where have you ever seen a surgeon’s son end up as a chef? Finally our profession has been recognized, and this makes me very happy.” «The kitchens, finally and fortunately, have changed: they are more open, freer, more inclusive», intervenes Barbieri. «Places where we cook more with feeling than with malice». Kitchens where we innovate, move forward, look to the future («and in fact I was very disappointed by our Government which did not approve in vitro meat testing“, he takes advantage of this to point out Locatelli, “because one day we will have to import it, while perhaps with Italian genius we could have produced something of superior quality”). Cuisines like that of Masterchef, which has grown over these thirteen editions to what it is today.
This year too there are many guests on the show, both national and international. Meanwhile, two guests who are at home on MasterChef Italia return: the first is no from the historic judges, Joe Bastianich, on the jury for eight editions. The second is the most feared by the competitors: the inevitable Master of Italian Master Pastry Chefs, Iginio Massari. They will be there then Alex Ataladirectly from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where his company is based Suntwo Michelin stars; Chiara Pavanat the helm of Venissa of Mazzorbo Venezia, supporter of a new idea of cooking called “environmental”; Riccardo Gasparioriginally from Cortina d’Ampezzo and a great mountain and nature enthusiast, who works on “agricucina” in his San Brite (from the union of Sanwhich stands for “healthy”, e Brite, like the mountain hut where the milk is processed). And then Assaf Granita Michelin star chef originally from Jerusalem, who will bring his passion for Middle Eastern cuisine; Mory Sackorising star of French cuisine, born in Senegal to Malian and Senegalese parents and Andreas Caminadaa true genius of world cuisine, who based his entire business in Switzerland, in the village of Fürstenau, one of the smallest cities in the world.
A lot of attention to the future of cooking, but also to the future in general: choices and characters who work in an increasingly sustainable way, close to nature and the environment. Because, in the end, the purpose of MasterChef is also to continue to create culture.
Source: Vanity Fair
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