My Kitchen Rules: Jessica vs Manu
Jessica and Marcos fail to impress Manu with a vegetarian take on a Stained Glass Lasagna. MKR airs Sundays 7pm and Mon-Wed 7:30pm on Channel Seven.
February 22, 2016
If My Kitchen Rules is about anything, it is about extending the length of the series far beyond what would seem reasonable, and so tonight we begin Group Three’s instant restaurant round, the round which will, once and for all, make us completely forget who is in Group One. I think one of them was called Brett?
The first instant restaurant of Group Three is prepared by Eve, a woman who feels a deep connection with dirt, and her husband Jason, who is a werewolf. Eve says their food is “full of flavour”, which really sets them apart from the usual MKR contestant, who generally kicks things off by describing how bland and unsatisfying their cooking is.
Group Three is made up of inferior, unworthy humans, and so they have to be judged by Colin Fassnidge instead of Pete and Manu. For Pete and Manu it’s a chance to spend some time eating edible meals, and for Colin it’s the only time of year that anyone will let him into their homes. Colin peruses the menu and sees Eve and Jason will be serving trout. “I really want to taste good trout,” says Colin. That’s the kind of expert insight Seven is paying the big bucks for.
Unless you’ve seen the many commercials saying the mystery judge was Rachel Khoo, or watched a previous episode in which it was stated that it would be Rachel Khoo, the suspense is almost unbearable. Photo: Twitter: @mykitchenrules
Eve and Jason get to work on their prep, and you can’t shake the feeling that it is incredibly unsanitary to prepare a meal with sideburns as long as Jason’s. That’s the reason Elvis could never get a job in a commercial kitchen. Eve wants their broth to be “nice and clean and clear” which will be difficult with all the mutton-chop strands floating around in it.
Here come the rest of Group Three, walking up a country road to the strains of John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom, signalling that we’re about to get the blues real bad. Lauren is scared of snakes, but we’ve only just met Lauren so we’re not really emotionally invested and don’t care whether she’s bitten or not. Hazel is extremely excited that she gets to ring the doorbell: “It’s on my bucket list!” she exclaims, in this season’s most depressing moment so far.
Eve and Jason answer the door and reveal that in a stunning twist, dinner will be served in a shed rather than in a house like you might expect from civilised people. The shed is full of home brew, which the guests find impressive rather than a fairly strong indication that they have stumbled into a den of cannibals.
The entree is herb-crusted rainbow trout in fish broth, which I’m sure is nicer than it sounds. The thing about trout is that you have to remove about a million tiny bones from it before you cook it. And the thing about MKR contestants is that when they’re forced to remove bones from fish, at least one diner ends up with a bone in their mouth. I do not like Eve’s chances of bucking the trend.
In the kitchen there is some confusion about Hazel and Lisa, who have turned up wearing matching outfits: are they best friends, or sisters, or just a couple of random idiots? The truth is much more disturbing: they are stepmother and stepdaughter. Stepmother and stepdaughter who wear matching outfits. They hang out together, cook together, and wear matching outfits. The other couples are incredibly brave for staying in this enclosed space with Hazel and Lisa. Even worse, they are the kind of people who constantly tell you how “crazy” and “out there” they are: they’re either going to bore everyone to tears, or stab everyone to death.
Other teams include Lauren and her kept man Carmine; Chris and Cookie, the latter of whom is a real person despite his name; Tim and Dee, who smiles often and in a threatening way; and a father and son who play golf and whose names are therefore unimportant.
Suddenly, the big moment arrives: Colin arrives, alongside the mystery new judge. Who could it be? Unless you’ve seen the many commercials saying that it’s Rachel Khoo, or watched a previous episode of MKR in which it was stated that it would be Rachel Khoo, the suspense is almost unbearable. Just as we have bitten our nails right down to the bone, Colin reveals that the mystery new judge is … Rachel Khoo!
The contestants are flabbergasted. They can’t believe that Rachel Khoo is right there at the same table as them, and they all do reasonably enthusiastic impressions of people who know who Rachel Khoo is. Eve is so shocked at Khoo’s arrival that she starts wildly bashing vegetables with a knife handle, losing all her motor skills. But the entree is ready to go, and as pieces of crusted fish sitting in puddles go, it definitely looks like that.
The judges taste the trout. Rachel gives Eve and Jason a look which might be most closely equated to that of a headmistress about to apply the cane. She disapproves of the trout’s crumb, but who is she to come to OUR country and judge OUR herb crusts? It’s the height of rudeness. Colin also disparages the crumb, but he would, wouldn’t he. The table is underwhelmed by the trout, but Cookie lightens the mood with a bad joke, causing Lauren to laugh far too loudly and too long, to the point where medication seems advisable.
But if you thought the entree was disappointing, wait till you get a load of the mangled slab of F-grade dog food Eve and Jason have served up for the main. The lamb has gone wrong. Horribly wrong. In the dining room Cookie is crying about missing his kids, but he’ll put his homesickness into perspective once he sees the lamb. Eve carves the lamb in a courageous display of what can only be called carpentry.
The main is served, and Eve and Jason brace themselves. “The meat was brown. I couldn’t see any pink anywhere,” says Lisa, which is weird because all she had to do was look at her dress. Meanwhile Dee can’t see what is Mediterranean about the “Mediterranean rolled lamb”, but if she’d done her homework she’d know that lots of Mediterranean people are terrible at cooking.
Rachel likes the heaping of the dish, but dislikes what it was a heap of. Colin is furious about Eve and Jason’s time management: “you’d need a time machine to go back and change that,” he says, seemingly genuinely scolding them for failing to invent a time machine. Dee hated the main because all she could taste was parsnip, and it’s hard to fault her for not liking that.
In the kitchen, Jason is obeying the number one rule of cooking: when in doubt, fill your dessert with alcohol so nobody can even remember the first two courses. His only concern is overcooking the chocolate pudding, even though most people in his position would also be very concerned about sideburn lice.
Dessert is served. Golf dad makes a joke about it being a “stout serve” because it’s made with stout you see and yes that is your will to live draining rapidly from your body.
Colin likes the dessert because it was dark. Rachel likes it because it filled her mouth with chocolate. These are two VERY easily-pleased people. Some find it a little too rich – in fact Dee finds it so rich she seems to be having a stroke. Or maybe I’m just not used to her speech patterns yet.
Scoring time. The guests mostly agree on the absence of wow factor, the dearth of oomph, and the presence of huge clumps of sideburn in every course. The judges have similar opinions, particularly on the horrific industrial chemical accident that was the main course: Colin gives the main a three, causing Dee to break out a smile that could not be more smug if she was watching her mother-in-law fall off a horse. Dessert is the saving grace, though, and overall Eve and Jason record a score of 59, which is a score indicative of a team that has little idea what they’re doing but will be just good enough to scrape past whichever team completely melts down. That’ll probably be Tim and Dee, I reckon. Can’t wait to find out.