Almost 30,000 people signed up for the casting of the eighth edition of ‘MasterChef’, which starts tonight at 10:05 p.m. on TVE’s La 1. And as always, Pepe Rodríguez (Illescas, 1968) works as a judge in the culinary ‘talent’, which arrives in quarantine to entertain on Mondays.
-How do the days go by?
-I imagine that like everyone else. Here, confined, after twenty-something days without going out or seeing the street, and worried, because the move is fat.
-And with the restaurant (El Bohío, Illescas) closed.
-Yes of course. The hoteliers were among the first to stop the activity, and we will be one of the last to integrate into daily life, if we are to be able to return to it, which I already doubt. It’s hunchbacked, and I’m mulling over how we’ll get out of this, but I don’t know.
-Are you working more at home?
-I’m in survival mode, because I think that’s what you have to do. I don’t like doing things at home that I don’t normally do. I do very homemade things, and I always cook at home, also before this move. On my day off, in my time, or in my afternoon, I love to cook and make dinner for my children and my wife, although now I make food, snacks and dinner, and I am delighted, within this chaos and this situation so bad that we are living. But I can do what I like, which is to cook.
-And today ‘MasterChef’ starts, with a ‘casting’ of almost 30,000 people.
– She’s a fool. People keep watching it and wanting to get into the show. I am amazed. When they start doing the screens in the castings I always ask how they are going. and how silly. But that’s fine for the show to come alive.
-How was the edition?
-I’m very happy. The truth is that it has been very beautiful and very good. The edition is better the better the contestants are, because they are the ones who give us the program, and this year’s are wonderful. And also very different, that there is the grace, in that each one of each father and each mother, with totally different feelings and ways of being. If you add to that that there are some very nice exteriors and tests for which the people who do TV have racked their brains … We have been left with a great edition.
-Are there teams this year too?
-No, not this year. We follow the natural way.
-Did you already have too much trouble with Jordi (Cruz)?
-Of course, of course. They favored him a lot last year, and if I beat him this year, that boy has a trauma from which he never recovers in his life. So, of course, you had to help him out (laughs).
-How do you usually choose him as your favorite?
-There is everything, there is everything, but, of course, we get stung. It’s cool that they tell you that they choose you, but not everyone has to choose you. In addition, each has its audience, and this is also the magic of television, that each has its favorites.
– I have chosen you, but I do not know if it is good or bad.
– (laughs) I agree. I couldn’t give an answer to that. I think that is the magic of television, that everyone sees one thing. You are seeing a presenter, which is not that I want to put myself in that status, and he transmits some stories with which you can empathize and say: ‘I like what he says, I see myself reflected in him, he says things that I would say. ‘, although then it does not come close to reality.
– Being so of Madrid, are you holding up well without football?
-I’m watching more soccer than ever! Since I have so much time and I’m at home playing my pear, I play Real Madrid TV a lot and I’m almost up to my nerves already. I have seen the Eighth, the Ninth, the Tenth, the Eleventh, the Twelfth, and the Thirteenth. It’s not like I’m watching it all day, but it entertains me.
-And an easy recipe for these days?
-In this complicated time, when you have to go out a little to buy, that we do not have the products like the rest of the year. It is not that there is a shortage, but I at least try to be more austere than at other times, I cook what we have cooked all our lives. For example, a potato boiled in bay leaf, with an onion that you start to sauté with a little chorizo, and when the potatoes are there, you put it together, and all the red potato stays with the chorizo flavor. I love it and it excites me because my mother made them all my life. Today I made them as a garnish, with some pieces of meat that I had there, of leftovers. I think they are moments to sharpen the wit and make the kitchen of a lifetime. There will be times to go for red shrimp at the fish shop, with tranquility, or for some cocochas or a sea bass.