The many faces of Monica Galetti.

Since when has MasterChef: The Professionals been back on telly?  Anyone?  The hidden horrors of working in London; I’m never back home in time to notice these things.

This programme is the last stand of a great franchise – the rebooted MasterChef format which replaced the apparent King of Sauce Loyd Grossman with John Torode and Gregg Wallace.  All incarnations of the show were top-drawer; glued together with Wallace’s semi-sexual love of pudding (parodied brilliantly in the Daily Mash, and even via a cut-up remix), a mixture of shitheads messing up crêpes and an absolutely stonking soundtrack which led to the BBC posting it online.

Alas, the standard ‘amateur’ MasterChef series has taken a turn for the worse in recent years, as it has Gonzoed itself up, a la X Factor.  The Professionals refuses to comply and to this day, still remains fully focussed on the food (and the cloying stress of cocked-up creations), compered and judged by Wallace and Michel Roux Jr., of Le Gavroche in Mayfair.  I’ve been there; it’s a little bit awesome.

Despite being – in my eyes at least – one of the best shows on television, MasterChef: The Professionals still has an ace up its sleeve, adding even more to the mix.  That ace is the talented Monica Galetti, Senior Sous Chef at Le Gavroche and ‘co-judge’ on The Professionals.  Galetti gives me renewed faith in culinary talent around the city; such talent is hard to come by and does not exactly go hand-in-hand with loyalty; when I was recruiting for chefs, I was always forever thinking;

How long is this guy gonna last?

If I tell her to take out her nose stud she’s not going to take the job…

Or thinking about the dodgy things some culinary professionals say in the interview; my personal favourite being;

My long term plans?  Well, spend a couple of months here then try to make it in Dubai

Galetti is clearly committed, loyal (to the Roux empire at least), exceptionally talented and has a natural, likable personality; a culinary combination that is rarer than Kryptonite.  However, if the cooking gig falls through, I am sure she can find a job interrogating criminals at New Scotland Yard – the faces she pulls at wayward contestants on The Professionals… well… if you watch the show for one reason, that’s the one.

I’m sure one of her steely gazes directed at Gregg would convince even him to put down that apparently orgasmic éclair and stop talking with his mouth full… but we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

. . .

Originally posted 29th November 2012.

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