MasterChef highlights toxic kitchen culture

30 July 2020

The MasterChef episode in which competitor Laura Sharrad worked through the pain of a serious injury encourages chefs to make the "ultimate sacrifice" over seeking treatment, a University of Queensland expert warns The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ms Sharrad burnt her hand on a tray and continued to compete through what she described as "excruciating" pain. She was treated with cream and seen with a glove over her injured hand.

UQ Business School Associate Professor Richard Robinson feared what was seen as her "bravery" could do more harm in a country he said had a toxic commercial kitchen culture.

"We have lots of evidence that shows the scars, welts and calluses on chefs are like badges of honour and are seen as visible evidence of the dedication to their craft," he said.

For his research, Professor Robinson studied the attitudes of people in the field in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

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