MasterChef: a Master class in fight, flight, or flambé?

Oskis, Andrea ORCID logoORCID: (2021) MasterChef: a Master class in fight, flight, or flambé? Gastronomica, 21 (1) . pp. 58-64. ISSN 1529-3262 [Article] (doi:10.1525/gfc.2021.21.1.58)

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We are the only species that cooks, yet we spend more time watching others cooking on television than actually cooking in our own kitchens. I argue that the popular competitive cooking show MasterChef provides a window on how cooking is underpinned by some of our most primitive feelings, including the desire to belong and the fear of negative judgment by others – it is more kitchen judgmental than kitchen confidential. These feelings are linked to our body’s primitive stress responses of “fight-or-flight”. MasterChef is a master class in what makes us human, and how good television is really underpinned by good science, particularly laboratory-based experiments designed to assess stress. This essay brings together personal and scientific narratives, including academic research in the fields of social psychology, anthropology, and gastronomical science, to consider what is really on the plate when we serve food to others.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 32965
Notes on copyright: © 2021 by the Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.
The published article is reprinted in this repository ( with permission of the University of California Press. The place of first publication is in Gastronomica: the journal for food studies, vol.21, number 1, pp. 58–64, ISSN 1529-3262, electronic ISSN 1533-8622
Requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article should be addressed to the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions
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Depositing User: Andrea Oskis
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 13:49
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 13:49

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