My Kitchen Rules – Mon-Thu 7:30pm, Ch7
It’s early morning when the teams are called into Kitchen HQ and Pete and Manu are far too perky. “Welcome to the next phase of the competition.” “I don’t know what we’re in for,” bleats SA’s Leigh. Every episode needs someone who can tell us everything we already know. Simon & Meg are safe in this round and so aren’t competing after winning the elimination round. “Today you’ll be cooking in commercial kitchens,” says Pete. Kitchens that are small in size, but large on customer service, integrity, and Women’s Weekly cookbooks.” Gary should fit right in. Everyone gets to take over the kitchen of a Bed & Breakfast in the Blue Mountains (though that’s not how Many pronounces it), and they are cooking for the B&B owners and their families. They have 90 minutes to cook one dish for 50 people, and at the end every guest gets a vote to decide the winner (joining Team NZ in the immunity circle of life) – but Pete and Manu decide the loser who goes into this week’s cook-off for elimination.
Thomas is physically sick at the thought of going into the elimination round. That explains the puddle at his feet.
Cut to Coles and the teams have 15 minutes to get all their ingredients for their dish. Why are they all running around in croc rip-offs? People cutting in front of people; people running into people; Peter wishing he had run into people. There’s so much love in this competition. But a cut-scene later we’re all in the Blue Mountains seeing the car sponsor deliver the teams to their Bed & Breakfasts. Everyone piles out of their cars and then starts to walk down the street looking for their respective B&B, like some sort of weird middle class boat people have just arrived in the country, sponsored by Coles. Also, why shop at a Coles in Sydney and then drag all the food up the mountain? No supermarkets up there? How positively backward.Proving you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, everyone gets into their temporary new home after reading a short note that is miraculously the same at each house! Then it’s into the kitchen as some face little ones and big ones, black ones and white ones. It’s like mardi gras but for chefs. Thomas seems to have been infected with Carla’s state the bloody obvious disease. David & Scott start by looking through cupboards & drawers to find the things they need (“It’s like looking through someone’s bedroom” – weirdest bedroom ever); Gary starts the spatula chant that is shared by at least three other contestants; while Thomas is looking for chopping boards. “Strategically”. A likely story.
Helen & Steve (NSW) are cooking Mediterranean Pancakes, using egg rings to “make them all the same size”. Megan & Andy (Tas) are making Bacon, Leek & Gruyere Tart and their pretty confident their jazzed up version of a quiche is gonna be a winner – though their conversation on “what’s technical about pastry” leads them to look lovingly at each other in a way that reminds you they’re blood relatives. Thomas & Carla (Vic) are making a Honey Chicken and Roast Almond Filo, going out of their comfort zones to open people’s eyes and palates with their whim of not playing it safe. Manu is sceptical as “all of those flavours sound like they do not belong on the same plate”.
Leigh & Jennifer (SA) – “yeah”, the Princess is Back – are offering Slow Cooked Eggs with Green Sauce. It sounds as complicated as Leigh’s relationship with Princess Jen. The girls agree they’re not making the right decision in making this dish… unless it works, of course. Carly & Emily (Vic) are making a Blueberry Brioche Cup, but they’re nervous about using the silicone cookware so they make one as a test. 5 minutes later there’s smoke puffing from the oven and smoke detectors going off everywhere. The Brioche Cup is a bust. They have no idea why it failed but luckily track down an old school metal one to save their day. Or Cup, as it were. One of the sister’s mentions the Cup is their key “allament” and a small, bald, Greek man is seen running away through the kitchen window.
Peter & Gary (Qld) are stressed about cooking in someone else’s kitchen – they’re well outside their comfort zone, mainly because they always go to a cafe to eat breakfast before they compete in anything. They’re delivering a Breakfast Crepe – yes, more French food from the Manu-wanna-be’s – with a Chive Veloute. “Maybe it’s a bit old fashioned, but we love it,” smiles Gary. David & Scott have rallied the troops and are cooking Field Mushrooms with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Poached Eggs & Chutney. “What’s the time check?” Scott asks David. “Dunno,” David replies. “That should do us,” says Scott, and they’re away.Angela & Justine (WA) are cooking Baked Pancetta Eggs with Beans and a Corn Muffin, and it’s a mutual admiration society there. “I love Angela’s muffins,” smirks Justine. I bet she does. Justine admits as a truck driver she’s hardly delicate. Nic & Rocco (SA) get a surprise visit from Pete (no BONG BONG though), who reminds them that everyone is watching because they had the highest instant restaurant score of any team. They’re making a Breakfast Parcel (bacon, egg & spinach) and feeling the pressure. Sam & Jillian (NSW) are cooking French Toast with Banana Cream & Strawberry Syrup. Remembering their trauma with gelatine last time Jillian is gently coaxing the headstrong Sam to measure the gelatine carefully, but Sam says she usually just wings in and it works out anyway. The camera cuts to Jillian for a reaction but her face has already delivered the five expressions she can offer today and frozen in a half smile/grimace.
Megan & Andy pull the pastry out from a blind bake to reveal Megan forgot to prick the pastry beforehand so the base hasn’t cooked properly. Oh God. Manu appears with Leigh & Princess Jen and asks about their technique – there’s a concern it’ll be too hard. After he leaves the girls check the water and it hasn’t warmed beyond 50 degrees, so Jen takes the thermometer out and it’s broken. Leigh’s stressed. Princess Jen predicts they’re going straight to elimination.
After another break, now Steve & Helen are infected with IRS (idiot recap syndrome) too. Leigh & Princess Jen are hurriedly looking through drawers for a thermometer – SURPRISE! They found one. All is not lost and the girls are back in the game. Pete pops in on Thomas & Carla to hear about their Chicken Tonight breakfast dish. They’re confident in “Carla’s dish” (nice pre-blamestorming pass there, Thomas) and are keen for everyone to like it. Meanwhile Peter tells Gary he’d like to see Sam & Jillian at the bottom because “let’s face it, they stabbed us at the instant restaurant, they’ve gotta go”. Gary would like them to go because their cooking isn’t very good. So this is who P&G have been saving their venom for!
For Sam & Jillian, the concern was the banana cream wasn’t gonna set but they’ve had success. Many drops in on Megan & Andy and questions them about time – will they be ready? Megan’s trying to get the tarts in the oven but Manu’s standing in the way and almost shoves him out of the way to do it while he pontificates that they may not have enough time. Steve & Helen are busy tasting their pancakes and sauce and each other. “Oh my God, that is spot on,” says Steve. Nic & Rocco are well behind, not even getting their first tray in. Peter & Gary, Sam & Jillian, and Carly & Emily suffering time management issues as well. It’s panic stations everywhere. Thomas & Carla are stressed: “I’ve got to make each filo in under a minute,” says Thomas. “Less than a minute, you’ve got 50 to do, Baby,” says Carla. IS CARLA NOW DATING THOMAS?!?! The Lion is laying with the Lamb; Carla is dating Thomas; the world is ending.Leigh & Jennifer’s slow cooked eggs look like they’ve come off; Carly & Emily’s muffins need a little longer; Peter is breaking crepes as quickly as Gary can make them; Jillian is dusting icing on their French Toast and Sam is dusting the “dandruff” off again. There’s at least six potential disasters amidst the ten teams, and they’ll all be spectacular if they fail. Nothing like losing big.
Generic celebrations as the time runs out, and the teams descend on another guest house to serve their hosts. The teams are plating up and the jealous eyes are fluttering at everyone else’s food. There’s some spectacular looking food. The guests arrive and the food is handed out for judgement.
Pete & Manu like Megan & Andy’s tart; not so happy with Angela & Justine’s muffin; Steve & Helen’s pancakes are a hit but different; Nic & Rocco’s parcel is nowhere near the quality of their instant restaurant; Carly & Emily’s Cups are a treat, as is the sauce – “a great dish”; the field mushroom stack of David & Scott is “a great breakfast”; the possible disaster of the slow-cooked egg is anything but for Leigh & Princess Jen; “old-school” crepes from Peter & Gary deliver a flavour that “isn’t too bad”. Pete & Manu struggle to come up with words to describe Thomas & Carla’s debacle – “I like the jam” is about as good as it gets; while Sam & Jillian are spruiking their French Toast like they’re at a local market (“She’d probably flash a bit of leg if she had to,” says Peter). In judgement Pete & Manu don’t like the French Toast (“Too dry”) or the banana creme (“It tastes like unripe bananas”). Who delivers judgement on 10 dishes in 3 minutes?! Pickle me grandmother! Time for the guests to pass judgement as to who they think had the dish of the morning.
Pete & Manu deliver their judgements to each team on their dishes, and generally the feedback is received well from most teams. As expected Steve & Helen and Leigh & Princess Jen receive the highest plaudits, while Nic & Rocco are singled out for the least attractive dish of the morning. The boys respond with every football cliche a losing team could offer as they come off the field. Peter & Gary are told by Many he loves their food but it’s a little bit dated – “So are we,” responds Gary.Jillian’s really worried after hearing their banana creme was too gelatinous. David & Scott get the first “you boys on a plate” from Pete for their mushroom stack as it was a “good, solid, honest, frontline, serving in the gulf, Victoria Cross dish”. Corn muffins were very hard to eat, which was a shame as everything else was great – possibly the yummiest dish of today without the muffin. Manu felt Carly & Emily’s Brioche Cup was too sweet, but he loved it as the labna evened it out.
Everyone’s far too concerned about winning – but the people’s choice can only be one team, and that’s Carly & Emily. “I don’t know if we deserved it, but we’ll accept it,” says Emily. Peter isn’t very impressed with their win: “One team winning a breakfast challenge with a dessert dish? It’s like cheating,” he says. Gary gives him a special back rub and it soothes that savage beastie for now. As for who Pete & Manu thought was the worst dish of the day, well it’s no surprises that Thomas & Carla took that out. SUCKED IN, YOU CHEATING MORNINGTON PENNINSULA TWO-FACED CHEATERS. “The combination of flavours was really out of whack,” says Manu. Carla tries to share the blame by saying, “We tried to be creative but it’s not paying off. We need a new game plan.” Pete asks them to show the true Thomas & Carla in the sudden death cook-off, so the Lizards that they are they eat a rat, shed their skin and head out to their spaceship.
Tomorrow everyone’s cooking for the first time in Kitchen HQ and there’s tantrums aplenty. Just what we’ve been waiting for.