The Big Issue MasterChef Fans Have With Some Contestants

"MasterChef" recently returned for a new season after taking some time away as the world waited out the pandemic (via Gold Derby). Now in its 11th season, the show has a new group of contestants that have laid it all on the line to prove their talents and bring home the grand prize. The contestant group contains a myriad of chefs with different skills and levels of experience. Due to this disparity, some folks online have taken offense at the contestant casting choices.

Over on Reddit's r/Masterchef, a user noticed some of the chefs already had kitchen experience, while others even had gone through culinary schools in major cities throughout the United States. Others agreed with the complaints; one state, "I could see it being okay that somebody who worked at [a] summer job at McDonald's as a teen can be a contestant (not a manager or someone that worked for years in fast food though). But I agree, these people that have worked extensively in a restaurant environment or studied in a degree program in Culinary Arts are not simply "home cooks", and should not qualify." Others concurred, agreeing with another redditor: "It should truly be an amateur cooking show where anyone paid to have cooked, or professionally trained to cook, is excluded (with the exception of things like fast food cook). That would exclude people with experience cooking in a professional kitchen and culinary school grads but not FOH managers, that doesn't seem like a huge advantage to me."

A divided audience over experience levels

Some respondents to the post on r/Masterchef defended the choice of participants. One user said, "The rules are no professional cooks, just because you work in a restaurant, doesn't mean you automatically know how to cook. Just because you manage a restaurant, doesn't mean you're a great cook. Case in point, one season of Hell Kitchen featured a restaurant owner and he was eliminated the first round because he had no clue what the **** he was doing." Another user chimed in with "I dont mind it. Its not like Top Chef where they ONLY ask professional chefs to compete. Even if contestants have some experience, they're not professional chefs. I mean winners of Masterchef have had a wide variety of professions, from students, to factory workers, to teachers and even a nightclub dancer. So I dont think it gives people an unfair advantage to have some experience."

With so much on the line, a bit of experience can make a huge difference when you need to make it to the end of the competition. Each chef's individual skills have easily divided fans and created plenty of heated debate. While this level of drama may cause rifts in viewers, it definitely has the potential to make the competition that much juicer and tense this year. Season 11 should guarantee to end up like no other past season. You don't want to miss a moment of the action.