Anthony Bantoft : Chef's dismissal a storm in an egg cup
FORMER Cairns chef and MasterChef: The Professionals contestant Anthony Bantoft hit back at criticism after he was the second hopeful to be eliminated from the show last Tuesday night (Jan 22).
The private chef, who has worked around the world on super yachts, and consequently for the rich and famous, was the focus of a barrage of criticism on the MasterChef: The Professionals Facebook page and in the media for talking about what he does on the show, and for saying that soup, which one of the other contestants had made for the challenge of cooking from the heart, was an easier task.
"They edited a lot of what I said out,'' Anthony said from Florida, where he is back at his day job. We had to put down what specialised equipment we needed about a week beforehand and I didn't get what I wanted."
''They gave me the egg cups to use as a substitute on the day (instead of 100ml ramekins), and then they bagged me for doing it. I was stitched up for the equipment and frustrated to get kicked off.''
After he was eliminated by Matt Preston, who said Bantoft bamboozled the judges by using an egg cup to make a crab souffle, Bantoft looked visibly upset.
" I have a lot more to give, anyway. I'm a professional, I try to be a professional,'' Bantoft said on the show. "I thought my dish had a lot going on, compared to two hours to make a soup I think."
"It's your decision. I know I'm good at what I do so I can leave with my head held high. I'll remember to cook like an amateur next time.''
Bantoft said he wasn't directing comments about soup to Akuc Isaac Chol, whose lentil soup with beetroot puree was given the title of dish of the day, but rather he was referring to how much effort he had put into his seafood five ways dish.
"I put a lot of effort in and pushed myself for a whole two hours and made five dishes,'' he said.
"If I had done something wrong and received constructive criticism, I would have copped it, but I was given the equipment and then they shut me down.''
Bantoft said he was also embarrassed that he was perceived as arrogant by viewers.
"I'm really a nice guy - easy-going and level-headed,'' he said. "They picked me for the show for who I work for and what I do and continually asked me about that from behind the camera."
"The next day after the elimination I had an interview and they asked questions, and they played it as a background voice when I was eliminated. It made me out to be a real egomaniac; real cocky and a bad sport."
"At the end of the day, it's what makes ratings - not everything you see is real.''
>>MasterChef: The Professionals continues on Channel 10 at 7.30pm tonight (Monday Jan 28)
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Culinary skill : Anthony Bantoft has to smile at the workings of television