Leading cookery show Masterchef has embraced vegetarianism with a new logo featuring a carrot, it has recently emerged.
Presenter John Torode announced his decision after listening to a copy of The Smiths ‘Meat is Murder’ album and finding himself agreeing with most of the lyrics, especially the bits about murder. He then lent the copy to co-host Greg Wallace, already a greengrocer by trade, who didn’t need much convincing.
Although the overall format of the show hasn’t changed, notable differences include the ‘knowledge test’, where contestants must identify up to eight different cheeses and the ‘passion test’ where they are asked to explain why eating meat makes you a bastard.
‘Whoever wins it will change their life. But not just their life, it will also change the lives of countless animals out there who would otherwise have been murdered in the name of fine dining,’ beamed a pale-looking Torode, at the studio in Kensington, which is next door to the clinic where he was recently treated for rickets.
The new contestants are handpicked based on their ethics with the judges keen to weed out meat-eating scum. One contestant who fell foul of the new ruling was Nigel of Streatham, who inexplicably jacked in his high-powered career as a lawyer and hoped to impress the judges with his Sustainable Sea Bass on a Bed of Linguini with a Parmesan Jus. Greg had mixed feelings:
‘The linguini was beautifully al dente and that magnificent jus brought the whole thing to life. But - correct me if I’m wrong John - a fish has a central nervous system and therefore feels pain, anxiety and can suffer just like the rest of us.’
‘That’s right Greg, I’m afraid Nigel missed the little trap we set for him - fell for it hook, line and sinker if you’ll forgive the pun,’ John replied. ‘But risible wordplay aside, who can imagine that fish’s torment as it thrashed around the quayside gasping for breath? That Sea Bass would have had a family, possibly brothers and sisters and little fish kids, probably numbering several thousand. That makes Nigel a grade A1 bastard in my eyes.’
Nigel, however, has every right to feel hard done by as it seems that, for exceptionally talented chefs, Greg and John may occasionally be willing to bend the rules. As evinced by candidate, Jules of Brighton, who wowed the judges with his Chargrilled Chicken on a Bed of Spinach with a Sauce of Rank Hypocrisy. Greg was clearly bowled over.
‘The crispiness of the chicken melting into that spinach and then - boom – you get hit by that sauce. Cor ! That boy can cook!’
‘But it’s death for no reason and death for no reason is murder’ John hesitated.
‘That said I’ve eaten chicken since I was knee high to a kangaroo and I’m fucked if I’m giving it up for anyone.’