The World According to Jack: Food shouldn’t be so fanciful
MATT Preston doesn't make me happy at the best of times.
With a chin larger than the plates he usually has presented to him, a cravat collection even larger than said chin and a sense of superiority larger still, I'd be surprised if he's the type of guy I'd enjoy having a beer with.
But this week Australia's favourite food critic (save us) dropped an atomic bomb on not just his coveted Masterchef kitchen, but indeed everyday kitchens across the nation.
Specifically, he attacked the great Thermomix.
"I tend to use it as little more than a fancy blender. I'd question whether it's worth the huge price tag."
"I need to get over myself and just be grateful that I am getting (more than) enough food to live life."
Okay, okay, he didn't actually say the last one, but still he hasn't exactly gone up in my books.
Food is food. It either tastes good or it doesn't.
Surely we can just leave it at that.
When you go out for dinner with a friend, the focus should not be on the lack of salt in the marinade or whether the mushrooms needed an extra four seconds on the grill.
The focus should be on the company you had the pleasure of enjoying that night.
Because that's what enjoying good food is really about ... unless, of course, the food is so bad that you're up to the early hours asking your toilet bowl why you were silly enough to trust the dodgy Chinese restaurant's prawn dish once again.
If the food is a pass-mark, can't we just be satisfied?
So it goes without saying that when the ultimate offender in food snobbery came out with his latest "I only eat the best" remarks, I was more than a little baffled.
Now, when it comes to the Thermomix itself, I couldn't really give two hoots.
I've never used one, and I probably never will.
But if nothing else, all of this just goes to show the sickening attitudes to food we Australians have adopted over the past few years.
Are we aware that people in other countries would quite literally kill to have but a nibble of our mediocre meals?
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say how humorous I find people's changes in attitudes to food since Masterchef first hit our screens.
It's as though whenever the clock strikes 7.30 every weeknight, the average two-minute-noodle-loving Australian turns into some culinary connoisseur for an hour.
Well ... an hour and fifteen, more like, as it invariably runs over while we all wait for a good show to start.
Seriously, if I hear my mother talk to me about ragout, souffle or any other pretentiously fancy French word one more time, I'm never calling her again.
There was a time when a generously-sized chicken parma at the local was a good dining-out experience ... even if it was a little undercooked.
There was a time when aad's tuna casserole was a highlight of the week ... even if that was only because we genuinely never knew how it would turn out.
And there was a time when grandma's homemade coleslaw was the perfect weekend treat ... even if it was made with mayonnaise that went out of date in the mid-70s.
The point is, food used to have personality.
Now, with Masterchef and the food snobbery that has come along with it, that personality is becoming as sterile as the three judges' senses of humour.