My Kitchen RulesMon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7

Shut up banshees

Shut up banshees

Last night on MKR… a lot of stuff was said by people that hurt people’s feelings, and that was just by the narrator. Kerrie & Craig dragged us into their retirement home to show off prunes & wallaby, but Jessie & Biswa stole the show (not the tomatoes though). Tonight we’re off to “Dad & Dave of the foodie set” Mick & Matt’s place in Tasmania to see how they roll, and to see what Jake will bitch about tonight.

An hour south of Hobart is Deep Bay, so named because the bay is deep. This is Mick & Matt territory and their plan is to do their best and not be last like so many other competitions they’ve entered before. Like that sack race, and that kissing competition. Mick may be old and he may have suffered from the bends before, but seeing as how he and son Matt have been cooking together for Matt’s entire life they’ve got an advantage. They’re just not sure what it is, but it has something to do with two heads (and they intentionally mean above the shoulders).

The boys are off to the shops, but they’ve 9 hours to get ready (including the 2 hour round trip to Hobart just so they can go to the sponsor’s supermarket). Matt figures they’ll be able to win with their “good, honest cooking” which throws Mick’s plans into a tailspin from the get go.

“Jessie & Biswa talk a lot, don’t they?” says Matt.
“Yeah, they talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, eh?” offers Mick.

Manu casts a critical eye across their dessert offering of Berry Coconut Crumble with Custard. He thinks it’ll need to be very good to be a top notch dish but then what would he know. He’s just a professional chef that once made Gordon Ramsay cry.

APPLEGATE!, and Christina is nowhere to be found. An argument almost breaks out over the choice of apples for the dessert – it’s not golden delicious apples Matt, it’s granny smith apples just like Mick said. Josh expects a big hearty meal with very little finesse, followed by an awkward proposition on him by Mick to stay the night. Just don’t ask about the apples.

Pete thinks that cooking 12 serves of salmon perfectly in their instant restaurant for their main will be tough – it’s not easy like activating almonds. Mick wants to show off they’re more than just meat & vegie boys so he drops his pants and tosses them away casually and walks around naked from the waist down for the rest of the shopping trip. Women gasp at the sight; children flee for their lives, in fear of being eaten by the tripod man.

The boys need to stop by the seafood place on the way home to pick up their abalone (he couldn’t get a couple when he was out last?) and it reveals their menu in full:

Entree – Abalone Patty with zesty herb yoghurt.
Main – Salmon with smoked eel potato brandade and lemon burre blanc.
Dessert – Berry Cocounut Crumble with custard.

Arriving home with only 30 minutes left before their food prep starts, Mick & Matt get onto the business of dressing their instant restaurant, starting by picking up the fish heads and abalone shells from last night’s seafood orgy. Elle isn’t expecting much and Jake is expecting to be a cow every change he gets. With Mick & Matt’s instant restaurant titled “Anchors Away” it doesn’t make much sense that their theme is My Little Pony, but each to their own.

Blu-Tack - the latest addition to your evening meal.

Blu-Tak – the latest addition to your evening meal.

Nautical everything adorns the room – nets, cork, nets, life buoys, nets, a framed picture of Ricky Ponting with his stats with the bat for the 2011/2012 season – a veritable treasure trove of deep sea-themed memorabilia. They strap on their MKR aprons, embrace, share a moment and they’re into prepping their entree. The abalone dish is one close to Mick’s heart as there’s a drop of his blood in the zesty dressing. They are mincing it by hand though due to power rationing in the neighbourhood.

For blokes critical of Jessie & Biswa talking too much neither of the boys has stopped talking for the last 15 minutes. “This is gonna be a good day, it’s already starting to feel good,” says Mick, adjusting his swelling package.

There’s concern over the mounting of the abalone shells on the plates for the entree but that’s quickly overcome by the patty mixture’s inability to hold it’s own shape. HARDEN UP ABALONE MIX, YOU’RE LETTING THE SIDE DOWN! THIS IS THE BOY’S TIME TO SHINE! As Matt starts on the salmon prep he notices the fillets need to be deboned – he can’t get them out. Drama, drama, drama!

Mick suggest pliers to solve the pin boning issue, before rifling through the drawer to find tweezers to do the job. While nobody’s looking the producers speed up their clock, just to put the pressure on. The other contestants start walking down the drive confirming the budget for this season didn’t extend to transport for the plebs.

Expectation mixed with walking and talking almost trips up Jessie & Biswa, but in no time the doorbell rings and it’s “game face on” for the father/son combo.

Elle is amazed that the boys have managed to sweep the floors for their instant restaurant. Everyone has underestimated what Mick & Matt will do – NOW it’s a competition.

Mick has eight salmon portions still to go so Mick gets onto the SALsa. Everybody loves salsa – it’s such a fun word to say. Salsa. SALSA! The guests have realised that the expectations are now big given the efforts of the Tassie Boys. Jessie & Biswa talk and talk and Stefano is concerned he’s going to go deaf again. Lisa attempts to explain you can only go deaf once but Biswa talks over the top her so Stefano can’t hear Lisa.

Pete & Manu arrive and there’s no fuss. They’re seated and the menus are revealed – it’s seafood, just like everyone expected. Craig’s worried that Mick & Matt are seafood experts and he’s only an expert at screwing things up. Jessie moans about how the Tassie boys have an unfair advantage until Stefano shoves a large cowrie shell in her mouth.

Talk in the kitchen turns to abalone as they boys cook their entree; talk at the table is Craig hoping they screw up the cooking of the entree as he wants to be at the top of the leaderboard at the end of this round. The second round. Meathead.

“If they don’t like it they can go to buggery,” says Mick. “I’m so proud of this entree.” He’s also proud of his son the way he plated it and proud of the abalone the way it got it’s act together and formed up. “I just hope it doesn’t taste like shit.” If only they’d tasted one before serving it.

Mick just wants positive. Feedback, that is. He’s nervous. Manu was excited after reading the menu and everyone’s happy that he said “patty” a lot. Manu’s disappointed that the abalone is lost in the patty – too much potato and flour. Pete disagrees and thinks it’s a special dish. He could taste it and knows what the abalone is (he found it very personable for a start). In the kitchen Mick’s torn – Manu didn’t like it, but Pete loved it. What’s a Tasmanian to do?!

At the table Stefano can’t find the abalone, and neither can Jake. Jessie complains to Biswa that hers is too tough and she can taste the egg and nothing else. Josh thought it was pretty nice in an ironic kind of way, while Jessie can’t do enough to rag on it. Andi’s worried they can actually cook, but all doubt will be removed when they serve up their food next week.

A crumble by any other name would taste as sweet.

A crumble by any other name would taste as sweet.

Matt’s moved onto dessert while Mick preps the main. It’s gonna be eely, eely good. The boys remain ever positive as they feel the clock ticking – the salmon’s ready to cook but the burre blanc sauce is yet to start. Mick’s sweating into the brandade and the tension builds. Will they serve a dish?!

All tension subsides after the ads as we can clearly see the mains will go out fine, though there’s skin to crisp up while the salmon cooks in the oven. Mick uses his x-ray vision to watch the salmon cook in the oven until it’s perfectly pink in the middle. Their presentation in plating makes it look pretty special. Here’s to a resounding success from the Tasmanian father and son.

Everyone realises they’ve had poorly judged Mick & Matt, especially once Manu cuts his salmon in half to reveal a perfectly pink centre. Manu is amazed, waffling in French about how top notch everything was – “We can share recipes any day.” Mick misinterprets this and goes the grope early.

Pete thinks the main is faultless. Two big wins for Mick & Matt, as tears of pride roll down his cheeks on hearing the praise for the dish. In the kitchen the team embrace and share a longing look, knowing they can celebrate together alone later. The perfect Tasmanian family moment.

Jessie’s upset because her salmon is perfectly cooked. Craig thinks it’s spot on. Andi loved the crispy skin and Stefano doesn’t get to speak much again, other than noting that the “Spice Girls” are “bombing” on everything in front of them.

As the dessert comes together Mick casts aspersions on anyone that doesn’t like crumble. “They’re worse than that German guy that harmed all those people,” he says.
“Hitler, Dad?” asks Matt.
“No, the other guy,” says Mick, busily working on dessert.
“David Hasselhoff?”
“Yeah, him.”

Everyone’s expectations on the crumble is big – especially Mick & Matt’s. As Matt gets the custard base ready Mick jumps on him to ensure the heat is turned down, revealing a crack in their rock solid relationship. It’s all patched soon enough as they get the crumbles in the oven and things settle to the simmer.

The table talk reveals Andi is nervous given the high standards that have now been revealed. All the elements come together at the right time to ensure it plates well and the boys are ready to present to their intimidated peers. Jake notes his complete inability to be bitchy in the face of good cooking and excellent presentation (“It’s the ramekan-fam.”).

A hushed tone falls across the table as Pete & Manu tuck into their dessert. Mick’s worried about his custard. Matt’s worried about the dessert entirely. Craig’s worried if the cops will chase him down over the lollies he stole in last night’s ep. Manu thinks it’s a perfect dessert and there was nothing to worry about with the custard. Pete thoroughly enjoyed the tartness of the crumble as that’s what he usually gets from the press.

"I'm just so proud. And happy. And proud of being happy..."

“I’m just so proud. And happy. And proud of being happy…”

It’s been a great success for the family team from Tasmania. “We nailed it,” says Matt, in complete breach of Jake’s copyright of the phrase. Elle complains about the desserts tartness, forgetting to look in the mirror. Lisa’s concerned she got too much crumble. Kerrie notes it’s different to her crumble – “it’s different to mine,” she says. Biswa notes “different means bad”. Everyone has put their game faces on and the claws are out around the table. So now: judgement!

Kerrie & Craig – 7.
Jake & Elle – 7.
Josh & Andi – 7.
Jessie & Biswa – 6. (“Low, then high, then low”).
Lisa & Stefano – 5. (“Dessert was average”).

Guest total = 31/50. Mick & Matt enter the restaurant hoping to get a score reflective of their effort. Their guests scores show they’re sadly mistaken. Mick think the scoring is pissweak, and so do I. Let’s hope Manu & Pete reflect a better class of scoring given their earlier gushing…

P Entree – 8; M Entree – 4. (M- “The abalone was missing.”)
P Main – 10; M Main – 9.
P Dessert – 9; M Dessert – 9.

Grand Total = 80/110. It’s certainly game on now – Mick & Matt are in the number one spot (sorry Craig – it was never gonna happen). A 10 from Pete and a 9 from Manu for the main made Mick tear up again and very clearly set the boys apart. Jessie & Biswa continue to complain. At least it’ll be their chance to show what they’re made of soon enough.

Tomorrow night it’s WA hipsters Josh & Andi’s turn, though there’s still a chances for Pete to gush about what he tasted of Mick & Matt on the plate. Ew. In Perth Andi doesn’t like recipes and Josh needs a plan, while Jake has brought all his venom across the Nullabor – easy given he shared so little in Tasmania. Delicious!