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My Kitchen Rules – Gen and Tanja Are Ambitious With Their Menu

There is a definite flaw in the game of My Kitchen Rules, and that is the teams knowing what there score is. This resulted in Clint and Noah giving a very ordinary five out of ten to the girls, whose meal was worth more than that.

They know to avoid elimination they need another team to get below 60, so expect the scores they dish out to get lower and lower.

I also never thought Manu Feidel would make me feel like an inadequate mother, but when he said of Gen and Tanja’s lemon myrtle lamb backstrap wiht rice pilaf looked like something she would cook and serve to kids. What? He would probably think the spag bol I dish up should be pigs swill.

Anyway tonight it was the Queensland girls Gen and Tanja turn to cook for the crew, and their menu choice can either be described as bold or freaking crazy. It was too complex to complete in the three hour  prep time allowed, and you have to set the table in that time as well.

Did any of the teams actually practice their menu with in the My Kitchen Rules restrictions.

Their menu was:

  • A seafood tasting plate – prawn wonton, scallop on mango salsa, crab salad, and oyster and ginger and lime juice;
  • Lemon Mytle lamb with rice pilaf, roast tomatoes, mint pea salad;
  • Pannacotta with strawberies, and summer berries sabayon.

Regarding the prep what actually did Gen and Tanja actually do in their three hours. Yes they made the pannacotta, but I did not see a lot else done, considering it took an hour and 20 minutes once the guests arrived to serve the entree. Now if that had been Come Dine With Me the house would have been drunk dry, and a game of Truth, Dare or Promise started.

The entree did look trully delicious, and Pete Evans said it was a dish that would bring him back to their restaurant. For the first time I noticed how the MKR contestants have to wait until the judges have tried and given their feedback on the food.

So the dishes must be quite cool by the time they get to taste them.

The South Australian couple were fulfilling their role as the couple that never has anything positive to say when they claimed they did not like frangapani’s or sand. Now I can understand people not liking sand, but frangapanis?

Again the wait between courses was long and Gabe from NSW looked really tired.

The main was a disaster with Tanja overcooking the lamb, so it was a bit dry considering there was no sauce with it.

Marc from Perth started smirking at the plate. Of course now we know from previews that his turn in the kitchen with partner Natalie takes a bit of a Hell’s Kitchen turn.

“Presentation a bit of a let down,” said Manu which was a bit of an understatement.

Pete did like the pea salad.

After their food hitting both ends of the spectrum their dessert sat somewhere in between. The  pannacotta had split, however the presentaton of the fruit on it was excellent.

Manu said the split dd not matter, but Pete said it did for him.

Gen said “We cracked under pressure, how do you guys do it?”

“It is a hard job,” Manu concurred, forgetting to mention he has sous chefs and kitchen hands.

Time for the score:

  • Clint and Noah gave them  5
  • Gabe and Mossy gave them 6
  • Mel and Paul gave them 6
  • Marc and Natalie gave a generous  7

This gave a combined total score is 24.

Manu scored the entree 8, the lamb 4 and dessert 7, whereas Pete scored 9 for the entree, 3 for the  lamb and seven for the dessert.

They go a total score of 62, making them safe from elimination in this round.

Am I loving the show? No, but it has it’s interesting points, the food, and the personalities are starting to emerge.  Oh and of course Manu, however I just wish it had a bit more pace. But I will definitely be sticking with it, as the next two episodes could show the Western Australian and South Australian teams get their come uppance.


1 Wurstsemmel { 02.08.10 at 10:51 pm }

I’ll tell you one thing that’s unpalatable about this show and that’s the woman from SA. Her partner called her a bitch, guess he’d know and seems like he’s loving it. I’ll keep watching with the hope that smirk of hers gets well and truly wiped off her face. Another quip from the partner? Queensland will hate you. Nope, make that Australia.

I think just were too ambitious and while it paid off for the starter, it cost them elsewhere. Shame but they live to fight again.

I’m not getting the open vote either. Makes no sense and may make Manu and Pete mark higher than they would otherwise.

Seems like the whole of Australia has a crush on Manu. Came across an ‘I love Manu’ facebook page today. Bet those numbers are climbing.

2 Reality Raver { 02.08.10 at 11:07 pm }

Did you join Manu’s Facebook page? I am going to hop over there to check it out.

I wonder if Manu had a broad aussie accent if he would be feeling the love of so many female fans.

3 Wurstsemmel { 02.09.10 at 6:57 am }

No, RR. I didn’t sign up. Im not THAT serious in my infatuation. The accent certainly helps but love his humour too

4 Vic { 02.09.10 at 8:39 am }

Watched this for the first time last night – the SAs didn’t bother me. Tastes differ and the frangapani theme suited the girls but didn’t really reflect the confused menu.

What was done in the prep time? A sit down dinner should have all prep so that only cooking is required when guests have arrived.

The game was a great idea. How uncomfortable must that dinner table be.

In the end the repetitiveness got to me. Do other people find Oz reality shows are worse with looping the footage than the US?

5 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 9:22 am }

I was on the short list for Queensland for this show. We were required to have our full menu submitted before we were told if we were in or not and at that stage we were not told about the 3 hour prep time. This is probably why everyone is struggling with timing. There was also no time to practice especially for the first few dinners. We were told yes or no on a Monday in mid October last year and they started shooting 2 days later and as you can see there was a lot of travel involved.
I’m watching this show with curiosity and amusement especially since the producers were at pains to say this would not be a bitchy show but one of camaraderie and good will like in Masterchef.

6 Paul { 02.09.10 at 9:34 am }

Rated 1.1m last night so its basically found its spot around this mark. Not gaining any viewers but not dropping any off either.

Whilst Seven would probably have been hoping for a show around the 1.4m mark the good news is it is absoloutly destroying The Biggest Loser which was a distant 3rd with 670k viewers.

As for the show itself, watched the first night and that was enough for me.

7 Culinary Boner { 02.09.10 at 9:41 am }

“Now I can understand people not liking sand, but frangapanis?” Good point, Raver.

Unlike sand, frangapanis don’t get in your crack. The SA pair need to lighten up. Though the smug-as WA pair look they are about to get their come-uppance in the next episode. May even be worth watching.

8 Injera { 02.09.10 at 10:22 am }

Fleur – thanks for the insight into the process! That puts a lot of the “action” into context. Now that you’ve had the chance to watch how it has turned out, are you relieved or disappointed not to be part of it?

Great recap – I’ve got last night’s ep on IQ but now I’m not sure if I can be arsed watching it. Will try to watch tonight’s “live”.

Frangipanis. Really? What’s not to love!

9 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 10:49 am }

Injera – I was seriously gutted not to be chosen. We had even signed contracts, had police checks and been visited twice by the producers and lighting and sound guys. We went to great length to submit the perfect menu even consulting with 2 well know Brisbane chefs to tweek things and work out timings. That said, It’s not the show I was lead to believe it would be. There is not the emphasis on reagonality and seasonality and there no talk about wine matching. These were all things we were asked to consider when submitting our menu. Channel 7 did ask me to apply for season 2 but I’ll have to think long and hard before I do. On the other hand I would love the chance to prove myself. What do you think? If there is second season, should I apply?

10 Reality Raver { 02.09.10 at 10:54 am }

Fleur – you should definitely apply why not it would be an experience you would never forget.

Also you would have the advantage of knowing how the show runs, and you would get to be in the same room as Manu Feidel. But then that maynot be a positive thing for you.

What about Masterchef Australia? would you consider applying for that?

Thanks for the insight into the audition process.

11 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 11:01 am }

I must admit Manu and Pete are both lovely but it would be just my luck to get Ian Hewitson! I’d love to Apply for masterchef but my understanding is that contestants must aspire to be working chefs or own a restaurnat which I don’t. Maybe I should look at the the criteria more closely.

12 Paul { 02.09.10 at 11:01 am }

I can’t see MKR having a long shelf life personally. Maybe one more season. It also seems to be driven by 90% personality and 10% cooking.

Masterchef is more about cooking and there are greater numbers involved giving you more of a chance to get chosen.

The downside is you have to live in a compound for weeks or even months.

Also, Seven tend to have a capacity of chewing up their reality TV contestants and spitting them out.

Ten have always shown a bit more compassion to me.

13 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 11:05 am }

Paul you are spot on! Googling Masterchef now.

14 CG { 02.09.10 at 1:05 pm }

Fleur, great insights, so interesting. So were you told about the voting system…as many others have commented, revealing scores seems to be ruining the show. The VIC boys are just bitter and will do anything they can – thru scores and comments during dinner – to try and stay in the game. Also, what is the next round all about? Thanks and good luck with MC.

15 Bee { 02.09.10 at 3:08 pm }

God I cannot wait for SA to crash and burn (please, I hope they do!). But, I can understand the fangipani hate, they have kind of been made a bit of a tacky-bogan symbol lately. Look for all lthe fangipani car sticker hate groups on facebook to get what I’m saying.

16 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 3:29 pm }

CG – all we were told was that the public will not get a vote and contestants and the judges would score but we were not told in what format or even what the specific judging criteria would be. I suspect this was because the producers did not know themselves at the time. I ask to see the pilot but was refused but I did find out that in the pilot the host team sat down to eat with their guests. I’m pleased they changed this. Could you imaging how much longer each course would take to get out. When Channel 7 first called me there were to be 5 couples from each state then there would be a state winner who would go on to a final with all the other state winner and ultimately an overall winner. They changed it to 2 couples per state during our audition process. When they started to promo the show I was surprised to see only one per state. Was it just another format change or will they introduce ‘intruders’ into the competition? Don’t forget this show is running till Easter @ 2 x 1 hour shows per week. That’s a lot of TV to fill. So I guess we just wait and see.

17 Wurstsemmel { 02.09.10 at 5:37 pm }

Fleur, I’d go the Masterchef route. We’ll cheer you on!

I can’t see this going to series 2. It’s the culinary equivalent of Home Made. Although I’m still watching….I must see kharma get Mel. Please.

18 Injera { 02.09.10 at 6:53 pm }

Fleur – thanks for all that behind the scenes info. The odd setup with scoring and ambitious menus are making a lot more sense. I think next season would have a lot of changes (or, at least, I’d hope). It would be great if you had a crack at MKR again or MChef!

Have just watched last night’s ep and can’t get over how flawed the scoring system is (although perhaps the chefs are taking opponent strategy into consideration with their scores).

Also can’t get over how much Gen reminds me of Frances McDormand. If you pretend it’s a Coen brothers farce, it’s a lot more fun!

As for the frangipani, we don’t get them down here (Melbs) and I don’t drive, so maybe have missed the bumper sticker trend. What do they signify?

19 Fleur { 02.09.10 at 7:00 pm }

Fresh Frangipani are beautiful and fragrant but they have been overused in their synthetic form and are now sadly clichéd and much maligned. Having faded frangipani stickers on every second clapped out hatchback doesn’t help the poor flowers reputation any.