Masterchef: The Professionals – Interview With Michael
It was no surprise that Michael Demagistris was disappointed at being eliminated just before the finale on Masterchef: The Professionals. He was also upset that he was eliminated for not leading the team rather than a bad dish. He did console himself that Marco told him that out of the eighteen chefs in the competition if he had to pick one he had to work beside Michael would be the one he would choose. Unfortunately for Michael it was disappointed this comment was not shown in last night’s episode.
We talked reality TV, tensions between the chefs, last night’s episode and who he thinks will win the title.
Reality Ravings (RR): Why did you decide to go on Masterchef: The Professionals?
Michael Demagistris (MD): I got my name put forward and then I was contacted by one of the producers asking me if I would like to do it. I was a little bit hesistant at the start but decided to give it a go and give it 110 per cent.
RR: Was going on a reality show what you expected? What were the surprises for you?
MD: There was a lot of waiting around which gave you a lot more time to think about things which was sometimes not the best. It means you could be freaking out wondering what was going to happen that day. Apart from that obviously once the challenges started and you know what was involved and some of the time constraints it was all go. It was a TV program and you just had to give it your all. I was ready to do that. I was lucky to get where I was in the show, I was happy to come number four, but disappointed at the same time because I believe I was good enough to be in the top three, and that is just the way the show goes.
RR: Speaking of last night, there has been a fair bit of chat on the blog about whether it should have been Rhett to go home. What are your thoughts on that?
MD: I don’t think anyone should have gone home. I think Rhett and I put out some pretty good food, we worked together really really well. We had worked together in a lot of prior challenges, we both decided who was going to do what. Rhett said from the get go that he did not mind taking charge today and that was fine at the end of the day you can only have one person taking charge. For me it was more about being there making sure the food was going to be 100% and to make sure we made the final. We pushed it as hard as we could to make that quail dish I had to bone out all those quails. I thought I was going to be safe. I knew the flavours on that dish and I knew what I was after. I tried my best and if I had to wait an hour and a half for the other team for a meal I would not have been to happy, but it is just the way it goes unfortunately obviously i was chosen to go home. I was disappointed as it was not like I had made a bad dish it was because I did not lead the team. I don’t agree with it but it is something I have to live with I guess.
RR: Why didn’t you go out with a bang like Anthony did?
MD: I’m quite a humble guy if that was the decision made. I know I put 110% into that last challenge. It is good to see the support from people saying why did Michael go. You have to remember there is a lot edited out and they are only going to show what they want. I loved doing the program and I loved being involved. It is really hard as I thought it was a cooking competition but it wasn’t the case in the end. I am not going to be bitter about it and to go out like Anthony did it is not my style. I want to people to like me and want to come to my restaurant one day when I get it set up and enjoy the food that I am doing. Hopefully now I can go on and do what I want to do and show people that maybe I should have been in the top three.
RR: Speaking of the editing, we kept on hearing snippets of background tension between some of the chefs but we never really shown it. For example Rhett and Luke, and also there did not seem to be a lot of love between Sarah and Rhett from some of the comments she was making last night. So was Rhett not like by a lot of people or did he rub people the wrong way. Were there tensions between some of the contestants and if so who?
MD: There was definitely tension between Luke and Rhett. Rhett would try and stir Luke up a bit and have a bit of a laugh and Luke seemed to take the bait quite a bit sometimes. Towards the end I got along with Rhett quite well and we did a lot of challenges together. Maybe what it was about was psyching out the other contestants. I think the true sign of a great chef is someone who will keeps their mouth closed and just get the job done. Sarah started making a few comments but on TV she was shown as the golden child, obviously Marco liked her quite a bit and fair enough Sarah’s a good chef. It is the way the show goes. I got along with everybody. I was good friends with everyone. People who watch the shows and make their own decisions on who they think are the good chefs.
RR: We nicknamed you the energiser bunny where did you get your energy from? When you started service you just seemed to go at turbo. How do you sustain that?
MD: I’ve done a lot of sport as a kid so I have always been really high on energy. A lot of people say to me you can be fast you have to get the job done. I think there were a couple of comments, like in the fine dining challenge and Marco would say “it’s good to go fast but they have to be perfect”. People don’t understand that time constraint is so tight and sometimes you have to cut a little corner to get to where you had to get to. I am all about perfection but I was never going to slow down. I work with a small team in a kitchen and we have to be quick otherwise the food is not going to get up. I think they showed that on tv I never stopped I kept going especially in the last challenge. I was just exhausted after that last challenge for me I knew I had to put everything I had into that challenge. Obviously I thought I had done it. I think nowadays speed is a factor if you are not quick you are not going to get the job done. In the last mystery box I had an hour to put all the components and elements I wanted to make. I look at the dish now and I don’t know how I got it up.
RR: You want to open your own restaurant, what type and where abouts?
MD: I would love to own my own restaurant. With all these opportunities hopefully they will come forward. What I have wanted to do for a long time is run on the Mornington Peninsula using the local and seasonal produce. I would like to have chickens running around and some beehives and a lot of green houses where you can grow your own fruit and vegetables. Maximising flavour and also using science as well. Putting a bit to theatre in it. I want to create a dining experience like that [Noma]. I would like people to come from all over the world.
RR: Who do you want to win on Sunday? Who do you think should win?
MD: It is going to be a tough one to be honest, Obviously I will be saying Rhett as I worked with him. It is hard to pick. I have said Rhett, I have said Sarah and I have said Rhys as he is a bit of a dark horse coming through. I can’t pick it. It is anyones game.
RR: Would you go on another reality show and if so what would it be regardless of talent?
MD: I always watch Dancing With The Stars, I am a terrible dancer, I would love the opportunity to do that. Though my wife shut me down as there is so many beautiful women on that show.
RR: I agree with your wife as you are rehearsing eight hours a day groin to groin with a sprite, hot young woman.
MD: I would need my wife’s permission… there is a lot of good reality TV like Celebrity Apprentice and others if given the opportunity I would be happy to do another show. I have always loved being in the spotlight. If there were any opportunities I would jump on them and say yes.
RR: Since leaving Masterchef have you created a better work/life balance or is it just back to normal?
MD: To be honest it has even gotten worse now with a few opportunities I am tyring to do a lot of foraging along the Peninsula. Hopefully once I get my restaurant up I will make sure my days off are for my family. It has been a little bit crazy with what has been happening she has been so supportive. Without her I don’t think I would be where I am today.