During the last season one of the participants on Master Chief was eliminated. As the contestants are vying for the MC title it’s a necessary part of the program, eventually there can be ‘only one’. As always it is the ability to concoct a certain dish that the judges base their decision on when it comes to who goes on to the next round and who must return home. In the world of Master Chief cooking it’s all about skill, presentation, following rules and that vital of all elements, taste. As someone who doesn’t normally watch Master Chief – a black spot in my area means all commercial channels are out and Austar is in; I was interested to see one of the episodes when visiting Sydney. What a surprise then to find that one of the contestants, much lauded for her culinary skills, was eliminated for the very female skill of multi-tasking.

            “What? You were half way through the chocolate ganache` and you were still making toffee?” Personally I reckon anyone who can make both of those things is pretty clever in my book and ten points to the contestant who used a blow torch to melt her sugar, that’s more my style.

            Rule books aside, it got me wondering how we would ever manage our days were it not for multi-tasking. Consider the women you know and you will soon be counting off the multi-faceted roles we embrace: Mothers, daughters, wives, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, partners, friends. Within these defining roles are home makers, a step sideways the back bone of all communities, city or country, the volunteers. These standard bearers of society run the gamut from car poolers and tuck shop attendees to carers and meals on wheels devotees. Another step away from such core duties may lead others to be working in or running their own business, or perhaps supporting their partner in his. Regardless of whether you are pushing sheep up a race or handling sales inventory in a commercial environment many women will be at the forefront of decision making and fiscal management. Throw in a hobby; sport, painting, sculpture, gardening or writing for example and the odd local club meeting or fund-raising event and many of us could be giving time management seminars in capital cities.

When I think about it, I’m not really surprised a female contestant was eliminated for multi-tasking. It’s in our bones. And I guess to be fair to everybody in the Master Chief competition it is a trait (which although yet to be scientifically proven as gender specific) does appear at times to be more prevalent on the female side. Maybe it’s simply a matter of women having to adjust to the varied roles thrown at them in the course of one day or perhaps our coping methods are genetically wired from ages past when keeping the home fires burning meant fighting off the odd Stegosaurus when gathering wood or making sure the reptilian bird didn’t nab the children while sewing the latest in Neolithic fashion. Either way you can be assured that if we are doing three things at once, the tasks will be completed regardless of whether we use a blow torch or a sauce pan to make the toffee.