By Dan Perlman

[Master Chef Argentina]

[Master Chef Argentina]

Masterchef is often viewed, particularly by those of us in the restaurant world, as a sort of ugly stepchild of the Top Chef franchise. But it really isn’t – first off, the original Masterchef, the UK version, was around years before the first episode of Top Chef was ever dreamt of, having first been broadcast in 1990. But there’s no question that the MC franchise has engendered more national spinoffs than any television cooking competition in history – actually, probably than any television competition of any sort. And it doesn’t have a set format – each national version takes their own approach, from the matter of fact, stiff upper lip British version, to the fun and games and demonstration classes of the Australian, to the American Idol-esque US approach.