Last night I ended up watching one of the semi-final episodes of Masterchef: the Professionals. I’m not sure how global this TV show is so for those unfamiliar it is basically a cooking contest where the contestants (in this particular case professional chefs) are given challenges in order to find a winner – think x factor for chefs?. Well anyway so I was watching one of the semi-final episode because it is the week before Christmas and so there is nothing much on TV. A couple of the extra-special semi-final challenges involved going off to a very fancy michelin star restaurant. The first involved the head chef of the restaurant giving each of the contestants a dish that they would be in charge of during the next service. Then it was a case of let the chaos commence! Well that’s what I thought would happen after you show someone once (and very quickly) how to prepare a dish and then expect them to make like 20 of them and make them perfect and on time. Or maybe because they are already chefs this is a reasonable expectation?
Ok so the 2nd challenge the head chef set them was for each of them to re-create the same dish of his choosing. He would then sit and eat it in front of them while critiquing it. Granted this guy was actually pretty nice about – maybe he should give Paul Holloway some lessons? It was the actual dish that confused me though. He wanted them to make a Risotto. OK fine, I’m not really a fan of risottos but OK. Wait, what? where’s the rice? Am I missing something, I though a major key ingredient in a risotto was rice right?
This was still bugging me this morning so I took to google and thankfully Wikipedia saved the day,
It Is a north Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetable. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.
Ok so my limited knowledge of cooking hadn’t deserted me then (haha you see what I did there, yeah not that funny I know). Then twitter reminded me that it was in fact a potato risotto – does explain why there was no rice? OK google…
Thank you to this lovely little site for educating me about risotto;
Potato Risotto hails from Restaurant 301 in the Hotel Carter in Eureka, California when chef Mark Carter made an interesting herb-scented “risotto” out of diced potatoes instead of rice.
To be fair it did look quite nice. Maybe I will have to try this fancy new risotto and yes by that I mean persuade wither my mum (pretty please?) or our Paul to cook it for me as I don’t do cooking if I can get away with it!