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Posts from — July 2015

Guest Post: The Bachelor Australia – Eliminations Have Started

Amanda is back with a cracker recap of episode of The Bachelor Australia and the first girls are gone! Over to Amanda:

Well the first episode of The Bachelor has certainly promised us an interesting season – with some of the bachelorettes not making the cover of “Sanity Fair” anytime soon. I suppose they have to do something to counteract just how bland Sam is. I hate to be mean, but there is no denying that he is just…beige. A nice pale beige with beige border and beige letting. I think the producers have decided to play it “safe” since they copped a LOT of negative publicity from last year. But have they done the right thing? I note the US Bachelor, and the one when Pablo (or whatever his name was) was it. He was an absolute b’stard who used it as ongoing booty call, but he was *interesting*.

The news sites seem to be reporting rumours that Sandra was drunk during the first cocktail party – which she denied (while loving the publicity I can bet). I wouldn’t blame her really, if I was there I would want to have a vodka martini IV attached to keep me drunk the entire time. But anyway, on to episode 2!

We start at the house and the commentary is about there is a “weird” environment from the shenanigans of the previous cocktail party (We are looking at you Sandra). Osher saunters in to pass on a message from Bach – that he had a great time (ookay) and with all the panache of a Las Vegas magician flicks out a single date card. Never to miss a cameras moment, Sandra declares that she hopes to get this date or she will go crazy. Yeah – I think that ship has sailed.

The speculation is that Sarah will get the first date, and she does. The date is on the Ragamuffin (which if I remember correctly was in the Sydney to Hobart). Majestically the yacht with Bach sails towards the house and the women all hang out of the balcony to gawk as Sarah sashays to the yacht for her date.

So I understand that this Is a first date – and they can be a little awkward – but this one is awkward x 1000. Sarah is scared shitless as the yacht rises up on its keel – but whenever she turns around to San she puts on the “this is so much fun!” face. Meanwhile back at the mansion, a group date card appears for Rescheal, Madeline, Heather, Snezana, Bec, Crystal, Tessa, Jasmin, Emily, Jacinda and predictably – Sandra.

Back at the yacht they settle on a beanbag on deck to get sozzled on champagne – and we are treated with more of their repartee. And she reminds us of her crazy dream about the bachelor – at this point we do see a range of emotion from him, because while his words say “that is cool”, his face is saying “That is batsh*t cray” Eventually the date ends and she comes back to boast about it and her rose to the others – cue stares of jealousy.

Next up is the group date – a photoshoot for one of the sponsors. And suddenly this recapper makes a realisation.

Are they just copying the challenges from last year? If I remember they had a wedding photo shoot and a boat trip – but I could just be so doped up on flu medications that I am imagining things.

So it is time for Woody (giggle) to make his appearance ad in Bachelor move #3 he rolls up in a supercar. Two points – 1) I bet you two body parts he doesn’t own this and 2) I hope they make sure he has a licence this time.

The roles are

Snezana and Madeline – bond girls (Funnily Madeline is clueless as she apparently has never seen any bond movies or even know about it), Heather, Crystal and Bec – Great Gatsby, Jasmin, Jacinda, Tessa, Sandra and Rescheal – dirty dancing – at that announcement Sandra goes into hysterics. If anyone can explain to me why please feel free. And lastly Emily and Sam feature in the pottery wheel scene from ghost. If you all don’t mind I am going to go and throw up just a bit.

First up is the bond shoot, Snezana looks like a drag queen – in one scene the girls had to drape over the car – which confused Madeline who didn’t know what “drape” means. Next is the Great Gatsby show, and I have to say I LOVE the dress that Heather is wearing, and some bitching is already happening towards Heather. I think there is some jealousy going on.

Next up is the dirty dancing shoot – and Sandra is once again doing an assault on everyone’s eardrums. As they start the shoot, Sandra completely overtakes the scene – while wearing what I think is a racoon on her head. One of the women is holding a watermelon and I am hoping she throws it at Sandra’s head – but no dice. Oh well, lets go and see what is happening at the Ghost scene (Otherwise known as the most awkward thing to watch ever). Emily and Sam take up position at the clay wheel with a voiceover reminding us how old fashioned she is, how she thinks a man should approach a woman, etc.

You know what – I call bulldust. You can’t say all that while you have entered yourself on a dating show/competition. But they do the shoot, more talk about the connection, etc etc. I must have slipped in a awkward induced stupor, because it is suddenly cocktail party time! Right away Sam gets dragged away to talk to Sarah – and for some weird reason, Jacinda goes into emotional meltdown.

Was she watching Georgia in MasterChef also? Meranwhile, Sam gets the jealousy flowing by taking Heather off for a chat – and in a act pof desperation, the others say that Heather is just going to be his friend. That is some spectacular cognitive dissonance right there.

Back at planet Jacinda, the meltdown continues – and manages to get Sam’s attention. She then worries that he will be scared off because she cried. We are about to find out because it is time to hand out the roses – and tonight three will be going home.

Some look worried, others look confident – some look like they are figuring out the maths.

After a faux moment of contemplation, roses are handed out and Tessa, Reshael and Krystal are booted out to search for their connection on Tinder just the way nature intended.


July 31, 2015   261 Comments

Guest Post: The Hot Plate – Is There Strategic Scoring Going On?

Rosie is knocking out these recaps on The Hot Plate and they are sensational. Now have a restful weekend Rosie:

So since we are still in Sydney, it’s Aron and Vanessa’s turn tonight. In case you don’t know, and on the offchance you care, their restaurant is called Rocksalt. After Liam’s constant carping about the other teams, it will be very interesting to see if he performs better under pressure than anyone or indeed, everyone, else.

Hmm, it seems I was wrong with last night’s total. It’s 54, not 55. Sorry to give you bad intel. That’s what comes from adding numbers up in my dopey old head instead of using a calculator, or just plain not listening as well as watching the machine with sound and pictures in front of me. Deep sigh. I promise to (try to) do better tonight.

Aron, in an incredibly bossy way, tells Vanessa she needs to listen and not be bossy. He says they have to prep the whole menu. He asks her to get him some beetroot. Bloody beetroot again. Vanessa says is this a beetroot, holding up a beetroot? I know she’s not a chef, but how can any Australian woman not know what a bloody beetroot looks like? She starts chopping sweet potato and immediately cuts her finger. I actually feel sorry for Aron for a quarter of a second. Tom and Scott discuss the roast vegie tarte tartin. Tom will be impressed if they pull it off.

Aron has been working on the balsamic toffee reduction for the tarte tartin. He pompously tells Vanessa that he needs to watch it closely. She points out that it seems to be, ah, “well done”. He agrees it’s almost burnt but adds the vinegar anyway. The main course of barramundi has lots of stuff added. Aron portions up the fish. The dish has harissa, lemon butter, cherry tomato salsa and potato rostis. Vanessa will kill him if anyone finds a bone. Unlike MKR or Masterchef, this does not appear to be a hint that someone will find a bone.

Liam tells us his expectations are higher than a drag queen’s stilettos. (I guess in case we’d forgotten he’s gay.) Vanessa is making the dessert pavlovas. Aron is nervous handing that responsibility to Vanessa. She’s halfway through setting tables as he changes his mind about the food. There is general panic. She says she’s trying to go a million miles an hour as she wanders along rather slowly. Aron gives Vanessa a heap more instructions.

Tom says the menu seems more modern than last night’s, but the question is can he deliver? The judges are here. They tell Aron and Vanessa they look relaxed. They disapprove of the light seating, some of which are animal prints. Scott, or it may have been Tom, comments that they’ll match Tania and Christina’s outfits. I chuckle. And now the guests appear, and oh look, Tania is wearing yet another low cut animal print dress. Black and white tonight. Not a zebra though. Tania thinks if the food reflects the decor, she and her mum are in trouble.

Conrad disapproves of the prints on the wall, the cutlery, oh and the glassware. What a surprise. Please don’t roll, eyes, please don’t… sigh, I give up, roll all you like, fellas. Conrad says the menu reads like a cafeteria menu at the United Nations.

Christina portentously announces that she doesn’t eat kangaroo, because she doesn’t eat any animal that’s on our coat of arms. And she’s just not eating Skippy. There’s more chat from the younger, single women about the sexiness of Pascal. His shirt is unbuttoned so far it’s barely on.

The women all seem to enjoy that. Time for the judges to order. Scott orders the tiger prawn stack, while Tom orders the roast vegetable tarte tartin. For mains, Scott will have the barra and Tom who is not afraid to eat our coat of arms, will have the kangaroo. Liam notes that there is no water on the table but, looking pointedly at Tania, there are two jugs. For dessert, Tom orders the banoffee pie and Scott says he will have pavlova.

Aron is happy with his entreés, and I must say they look good. Roasted veg tarte tartin and prawns with potato rostis. Emi, or Marie, says the flavours are not so great. Christina (to camera) says really, do you want to insult us any further? Aron and Vanessa come back for the judges’ critique. Scott says there were only four ingredients in his dish. He had reservations about the sauces: would they zing? They didn’t. The prawns were cooked well, but the dish was a bit beige. Tom says his pastry was good and he hadn’t seen the balsamic glaze for a few years. It was good, but he wanted more of it. Scott says he got nice but he wanted awesome.

Lozz says the mood in the room is awkward. Liam didn’t want them to smash it out of the park so wipes the sweat from his brow. Aron is very upset. Vanessa tries to buoy him up. Aron is still furious to the point he can’t concentrate on the mains. For the barra they work on the harissa and lemon butter. Also the beetroot jam and red wine jus which will be served with Skippy.

Christina won’t eat the kangaroo. Nor will Nols if it’s rare. And Aron won’t cook it rare. Pascal says he’ll undo one more button on his shirt if she’ll try it. She laughs but she still won’t eat it. He slices the roo and it’s perfect. The kangaroo is served with sweet potato mash, beetroot jam and a red wine jus. The barramundi comes with harissa, cherry tomato salsa and lemon butter. Tania is eating the kangaroo and Christina the barra because she can’t eat skippy. She gives us the Skippy noise to make the point. I think we’ve all heard of Skippy, love. Oh, and she mentions her fucking palate again. She loves to mention that palate of hers. Out they come for the critique again.

Tom says the barramundi had so much potential to go really wrong, but he nailed it. There’s a whisper of North African wind coming through the dish. Aron is overwhelmed. Scott says the kangaroo is just iconic and that dish was absolutely spectacular. The sauce was absolutely perfect. It was the dish of the competition so far. Tom says if you keep cooking like this, this will be the team to beat. Conrad hopes he flunks the dessert, without being too vicious. Liam says too vicious? No such thing. Lozz comments no one has picked them as being a threat. She says it with a laugh, which I take to mean she thinks they’ll be a threat, and maybe they will.

In the kitchen, Aron breaks open one of the pavs. He relaxes because it is good. They plate up the desserts. The cream is sliding off the banoffees. Eek! IMO, there’s a hell of a lot of caramel on the banoffee. I mean, I love caramel, but… Liam notes Nols inhales her dessert. She had to be hungry because she ate none of her main course. He thinks he needs insulin because the dessert was just so sweet. Scott says the pavlova is iconic, so they need to get it right with the crust crispy. He enjoyed it. It was a bit too big but he was happy. Tom had the banoffee pie. He says it was decent although it needed a touch more salt. He says the gastronomic gods won’t be jumping with joy but neither will they be weeping. It was decent.

Score time! Lozz and Nols – 8/10

Philippe and Pascal – 6/10

Christina – 3/10 Whadda bitch. You wanna tell me that’s not strategic?

Conrad and Liam – 6/10

Emi and Marie – 7/10 Total 30/50

Vanessa thinks they deserved more, and that the scoring was strategic. You mean like your 4 last night?

Scott: Food – 8/10 Restaurant experience – 7/10 Total – 15/20

Tom: Food – 8/10 Restaurant experience – 8/10 Total – 16/20 Grand total 61

They are now guaranteed into the next round. The next dinner will be Conrad and Liam. Conrad says to Liam pass me the Valium and I’ll be ready. The previews are showing major meltdowns from our precious pair, so Monday should make for fascinating viewing.

July 31, 2015   39 Comments

Guest Post: The Bachelor Is Back

Amanda after doing Masterchef is stumping up for The Bachelor and it is going to be a great season by the looks of it. Now over to Amanda:

Welcome one and all for the much anticipated start of – The Bachelor!

Yes it has been a long 12 months since that whole train wreck of last season. Now we can get those burning questions answered – will Bach find true love? If he does, will he decide on another one in about 3 days? Will Laurina in a fit of dirty street pie induced psychosis descend upon the dates and demand a recount?

In a bit of an awkward but amusing moment, they do a quick montage of the last two seasons. I find it kind of interesting that they fit in both Samantha and Louise with Blake – because let’s all forget just how ridiculous the situation was and think of the romance! But anyway on to the new one!

We get the usual sappy “will he meet his destiny”, blah blah, and what is I think the most stupid use of air time – pretty much summarising the entire season (oops sorry – Summarising the “Journey”) in 15 minutes.

Ok we get to “meet” the new Bach, cue the numerous camera shots of his naked torso. He is the founder of Gecko sports and runs sports and fitness programs for kids and is looking at international expansion – if I was the cynical type I would suggest he is doing this for publicity for his business, rather than any actual desire to find “true lurve”.

Anyhow, that is for discussion later – right now we have to talk about a serious issue.

What the hell is he wearing? Can someone please send a memo to Channel 10 wardrobe and tell them there is no way, no chance, no how does any guy look macho in a scoop neck top. It just doesn’t happen.

Ok, with the Bachelor worldwide there is a bit of a tick off list that seems to always be covered –

  • Hot
  • Wealthy
  • Sensitive
  • Loves kids
  • Close family

Most of these are ticked off within 2 ½ minutes of his introduction package. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of personality – ok I will come right out and say it – he seems like one of those people that if you were out with him you would need a “do not operate heavy machinery after talking to” warning.

He is a Tassie boy at heart, but lives in Melbourne – and of course has a close family.

Is it done yet? C’mon people, we don’t care about his intro – you all know we just want to see how bitchy the women will be.

Oh look it is Oshkerooni! (or whatever name he chooses to call himself this year), nice to see that he has decided to skip the hair care aisle of the local shops and let it look like hair, rather than a dead possum on his head. And finally – we get started on introductions

Nina (27) from Brisbane who is a wedding planner and who has clearly seen the movie one too many times – because her “I spend my life with love and what

Sarah (25) from Melbourne – event manager. Who apparently had a crazy dream about a connection with the bachelor (alright people, getting a bit of a nutbar vibe). She is apparently career focussed but genuinely wants to find love

And just as the last intro package ends we get a strange sense of foreboding. That prickling on the skin to herald the arrival of…

Sandra (27) PE teacher and already pegged to be a level 3 nutbar. Apparently females find her intimidating because she is extremely loud (um no sweet cheeks, maybe it is because you are a nitwit. She states that she is hoping to be noticed by the Bach (Ok, she is going to be – interesting)

Heather (29) from NSW, she is working in the film industry (aka she is doing this for publicity). Love is apparently awkward, uncomfortable, etc. And while she is talking for some odd reason we get multiple shots of her in various yoga poses.

And cut to Oshkammadeon who promises that we are in for an extraordinary night..and introduces the bachelor. Dear lord, can that hype this up anymore? They all but have him carried in a little by four buff guys and a bard singing his arrival. And time is for the witty repartee between the two and we are reminded yet again that he is successful and ready for love

He just said his nickname is “woody” – And my brain explodes from all the comments in my head just wanting to come out. After some discussion, which frankly has me wanting to fire a nerf round at the TV in desperation, we finally get to the good part – the introductions! As he waits he says he has a million thoughts running through his brain (I find that difficult to believe)

And the first limo pulls up and we meet Snezana in a gown that I can only describe as being something that evil-barbie would wear. She helps Bachie with her name by using a cheese analogy. Yeah it is going to be one of *those* seasons. And then – shock horror, she forgets to ask his name!

Just call him Bachie – all the cool kids are. Next up is event manager Sarah who seems intent on reminding bach-guy that she can do yoga. Because – flexibility!

Anyhoo next is English lass Laura – a veterinarian. We get to some semi awkward small talk and in desperation bachie asks for her funniest pet story – and we get..

Anal glands.

Already this season wins – because if anything is going to wipe #dirtystreetpie off the discussion boards, this will do it.

Next up is Rachel who decides to set herself apart by making him a balloon rose – and in an act that really requires no comment by myself, he smells it.

Heather seems pretty cool and is into superheroes, which straight away gets my geek vote. She is clearly the one that is the “cool chick that is one of the guys but nothing more” and has a personality and wit – which means she will need to go, because I don’t think they will allow anyone to out-personality bachie-dude.

Jacinda (33 from Sydney) who is talking to herself while in the limo. Probably the last decent conversation she has. Eventually she tiptoes to her spot and decides to take a selfie with Sam. While they seem to have some things on common, she seems to like to dominate a conversation – and took a photo of his patoosh.

Way to keep it classy, Jacinda – I peg her to be the one to give the commentary during the season.

We flit through the women that producers don’t want us to notice as yet, although points to Crystal for bringing him a beer. And then we meet Zilda – who thinks he may worry because she is wearing a white dress and it may give wedding associations.

Umm..I think he may be more concerned that she looks like she is waiting for her Ralph magazine cover. And we have Sandra.

Sandra prances down like a possessed oompa loompa – big on the hand gestures. Note to Sandra – please give the improv acting classes a miss. Just trust me on this. As she interacts with the others, you already know she is going to be the stirring stick of the big overdone cocktail that is this show.

Emily – 31 advertising executive is last and clearly the producers favourite. She doesn’t walk in, as much as sashays – and I note during all the ads leading up to this it was hinted that she would be making a “connection”. But who cares – time to go to the cocktail party – otherwise known as desperation in a champagne glass. And already Sandra is making her presence known.

Oh look, it is Oshkan to officially announce this is the start of the journayyy towards love (or magazine covers). And if that wasn’t enough to get bitch fight 2015 going – he reminds them that someone is going home. And as if the drama is already sky high, we see the return of the white rose – the lady who makes the best impression on him, but whoever receives it gets to ask La Bach on a date at any time they like.

Yeah bitches – its game on!

The Bach sashays in and that all do the obligatory fawning over him – I wonder if that is contracted? After a little while and with Bachie still trying to make a decision, Jacinda with all the precision of a tiger stalking an impala grabs him for a private conversation.

And this begins the start of the festivities (otherwise known as Catfight 2015). Sandra starts bitching about the other girls and tries to get everyone else to do it – they clearly are not taking to her and I get the impression that Sandra is really overacting in order to gain air time. But she will stay around for a while as she clearly is the one to get the viewers.

Eventually Sam decides to make a decision and takes Heather aside to chat. Meanwhile the women are eyeing him off, some intent on approaching him, others waiting for him to come to her. Their discussion is – odd. OK is that what happens on a date? It has been a while, and now I know why. Ok I adore Heather already, she has some flavour to her – and she loves wonder woman.

I LOVE WONDER WOMAN! I am not even kidding – I have always wanted my own invisible jet – but this isn’t about me, is it? So they get into a discussion about super heroes, bach likes He-Man.

Meanwhile Sandra is badmouthing someone else to the others – one of those she is bitching to is incidentally one of those she was bitching about. Sandra seems more intent on causing drama, then getting to know the guy. In one of the more weird moments, Sandra decides to address a non-existent issue and call out Rescheal to everyone else – but rather than discuss it individually, she makes it to a soap opera. We have the entertaining commentary of Joni – she of the inflated helmet hair. Funnily enough as soon as Resheal was about to out Sandra’s bitching about others, she decided to “be a bigger person and walk away”

Meanwhile Snezana and Sam got to have a conversation and it gets on to the subject of children – giving Bach the chance to once again go on about how he loves kids – giving her the chance to let out that she has a daughter. The look on his face says it all really.

I have to say, I kind of like her – she seems like a nice person, but we shall see. Meanwhile Tessa is freaking out about not getting any attention and decides it is because she isn’t comfortable in what she is wearing. Lets address that after we see –

Yoga on the lawn! Sam has been dragged on the grass to do yoga with Sarah – while wearing a super tight gown. Seems a bit weird, but apparently it worked because he seems to like women who don’t take themselves too seriously – and girlfriend gets a rose.

Anyhow, back to Tessa, who in one of the stranger actions of the evening decides to change into a singlet, jeans, with the added awesome of a flannie around the waist. What a beautifully bogan moment – and to up the ante even more, she cuts in on one of his private conversations. We all may be amused, but not so much the woman who he was talking to as she stalks off for a pout.

Meanwhile – Sam pulls Sandra aside for a chat and she decides to bring her personality down to a normalish zone – which completely pisses some off as it is viewed as her being a bit fake – but I will suggest her medication is kicking in. As the night goes on, he realises he needs to give someone the white rose.

Who can it be???

Drumroll please – it is Laurina!

Ok no it isn’t, but got you going didn’t I? He pulls Heather aside to give her the white rose – and the other women don’t understand why (which is a real insight to their intellectual capacity, even my cat knew why she got the rose).

She comes back to the others and some fake congratulate her, and others just eye her. And somehow Sandra manages to turn this on to herself to say it is good for her because Sam likes his girls loud. Wow that rationalising has not been witnessed since the time when Louise was trying to justify why she took on the last bach even though he proposed to another girl 10 minutes prior.

We move on to the rose ceremony – and in no surprise Sandra is one of those given the rose. I suspect she will be around for a while – and it is adieu to Zilda and Jessica.

Should make for an interesting season, looking forward to sharing the journey with you all!



July 30, 2015   27 Comments

Guest Post: The Hot Plate – Chez Pasquale’s Turn To Cook

You have to wonder what Manu would have thought of the French cooking on The Hot Plate. But he is not a judge but read Rosie’s recap to find out:

So what will happen tonight, girls and boys? How many viewers’ eyeballs will be lured away by the Bachelor’s alleged good looks? (He doesn’t do anything for me, but I must be too picky) And how many (I’m looking at you, Dave, of Adelaide) might be lured away by the pull of leather on willow? And how many will continue to watch Restaurant Revolution so won’t even bother reading this? Am I going crazy, gentle reader? Of course, dears, but as regular readers, you should all know that, she said, gently remonstrating with her beloved audience. (Yep, this one’s tipped her right over the edge.)

So we’d better get on with tonight’s show before those men in white coats turn up.

We are at Chez Pascal tonight, home restaurant of father and son team, Philippe and Pascal. Pascal says tonight we are only cooking for 12 guests, but they are the most important guests we have ever had. Philippe tells us the restaurant is named after his son because Pascal has been the apple of his eye since he was born.

They have 3 hours to get as much prep done as possible before the judges and guests arrive. Dad thinks it’s funny, but Dad thinks everything is funny.

They are preparing onion soup, brains to be poached and rack of lamb. Of course they don’t know what the judges will order, so let’s see if any of those dishes will be ordered, shall we, hmm? Dad says by the time tonight is over Pascal will almost know how to cook. Ha ha ha.

Tom says a stereotypically French man will be in a striped apron with onions around his neck. Scott wonders will it be old school claggy or something more modern that pops like smoked salmon. Scott sees things that jump off the menu that will polarise others such as snails and brains. We go straight to a shot of lots of the lamb’s brains.

Lozz or Nols says she has never had French food before. Are you kidding me?

There’s an hour and half left and if they are not ready, they will have to cook to order, Philippe tells us ominously. Or maybe it was Pascale. I only wrote down P. So sue me. The salmon roulade has been poaching, but there is water in the bag! Ooh la la! Philippe said that, not me, I swear. He puts it into the freezer, hoping…it will freeze? He also hopes the judges won’t order it. Fat chance of that, mate.

Conrad and Liam tell us they are OCD about restaurants if there is anything missing. They will notice if there’s so much as a fork in the wrong place. Well of course they will. And there go my eyes again…

Tom wonders if dinner at Chez Pascal will be old school French or simply old fashioned.

Vanessa says Philippe will be the one to beat, but Aron reckons he can outcook him.

Scott and Tom are here. They note it is a little slice of Paris in the sixties. Not too kitsch.

The contestants follow shortly after. Oh look, Tania is wearing another low cut leopard skin dress. Does she only have the one? Or do wardrobe think it displays her girls to maximum effect? *shudder*

Christina notes that there’s a funeral parlour next door, saying, “Location, location, location,” with raised eyebrows.

Nols or Lozz says if it’s wriggling or moving it ain’t going in here, as she points to her mouth.

Vanessa is underwhelmed by the decor, finding it rather dated.

Lozz or Nols says Pascal is a real showman. Oh my goodness, will you say I’m one too, when I open a bottle of champers? Sigh. Yes, I rolled my eyes again.

Christina says she always thought their restaurant was outdated (you’re right, love, it is) but this one is more so.

Conrad hates carpets in restaurants. The camera finds something yucky clinging to the carpet. Liam hates skirting boards. Again, the camera finds something a bit wrong clinging to the skirting board. Christina asks him what he thought of her skirting boards. He diplomatically says he can’t remember. Privately he says eww.

Scott chooses roulade of salmon (uh oh) for his entreé, while Tom orders the brains. Poor Lozz or Nols. 😆 How can you even enter this kind of competition if you are this precious about food? I must admit I’m a bit precious about some foods myself, but hey, do you see me up there on your television sets? No, you do not.

Tom orders rack of lamb for mains, and Scott Duck l’Orange. Pudding time. Tom orders the chocolate pudding, and Scott asks for Crepe Normande. With ice cream. Philippe laughs as he heads back to the kitchen. Philippe doesn’t like. But he will find some ice cream anyway, I’m guessing.

Okay Nols is the fair haired older lady. Got it.

The kitchen folk are really concerned about the salmon roulade. Is it set? I hold my breath for them. Oh mon Dieu. Magnifique! It’s set!

The brains are served. Nols says it looks disgusting and she’s about to throw up. Nice.

Liam says he’d have hoped for a little more kapow. Well of course he would.

Nols says the brains were wooshy and you could see the little white bits in them. She really needed an airline sick bag.

Tania says she wanted to spit it back out. Christina didn’t like it (I presume the salmon), saying it didn’t suit her palate.

The chefs come in. Philippe is shocked so few people ate the brains.

Scott says brains needs great skill to cook. Tonight it was great, well cooked with beautiful presentation if a bit old school. Tom says his horseradish sauce was strong, but he’d have liked it even stronger He found the technique to be wonderful.

Philippe is cooking the lamb all medium rare. He says in response to a Dorothy Dixer from Pascal that if they don’t like it, bad luck.

Nols wants hers cooked through, ie, dead.  Emi or Marie says she’d better bring a packed lunch to their place, then. I chuckle. Hey, I’ve figured out Nols and Lozz, I’ll get the other two soon.

Pascal asks his dad is he doing the vegies in butter? Philippe, with his jolly laugh, says he cooks his vegies in butter plus butter and butter.

The lamb sauce is boiling over. Philippe has added something – the port? to it and gets awfully excited when he tastes the final sauce.

Aron says the look of the meat and 3 veg with sauce was over top. Nols asks Philippe was it well done and he bursts out laughing. He tells her if she wants her meat well done, she needs to go somewhere else. Conrad says it’s cooked perfectly. Lozz loves the duck. Nols won’t try her brains. Poor liddle Liam is upset because he counted how many beans everyone got, and he didn’t get as many as others.

Tom’s Duck a l’Orange has no orange but has perfect balance and acidity. It wakes up the tastebuds and is truly wonderful. (Why not give it another name then?) The presentation is average, but the sauces are brilliant. His talent and art as a saucier are magnificent. Scott says seeing the same garnish for both dishes is a no no. Sauce is a balancing act. He understands the difficulty, but he agrees the lamb was divine and the sauce perfect.

Philippe has no ice cream. He will not serve it to Scott. He is very set in his ways.

Tania says if a customer asks for ice cream they get it. Emi and Marie disagree, saying they would not serve ice cream if this were their restaurant. Conrad and Liam agree with Philippe there should no ice cream and that they need to educate their customers.

Pascal is not confident about the chocolate fondants after they come out of the steamer. Philippe thinks they will be okay, but Pascal is saying it’s gonna be a disaster. The first one is kinda floppy. The next pudding is fine. Whew.

The crepes come out, but Christina notes there’s no cream or ice cream.

Philippe explains to Scott that when he first came to Australia, he was determined to continue cooking as he was taught in France. Set in his ways, much?

Conrad says he gives them points for consistency every meal they’ve put up looks boring. Christina says the fondant is way too strong. Aron says his was a bit too strong as well.

Conrad says he enjoyed his crepe. Liam says his choc fondant was a bit strong. They criticize the cutlery as being suitable for children.

Scott has been to Normandy and had crepes Normande WITH ice cream. He was disappointed tonight that there was no ice cream to cut through the bitterness.

Tom says the chocolate pudding was quite intense, but chocolate fans would really enjoy it.

Scott tells them it is now time for scoring.

Liam didn’t love anything – 5/10

Nols says 5, Lozz 7, so they agree on – 6/10

Emi and Marie – 6/10

Christina wants 4, but big tits, ahem, Tania talks her into – 5/10

Aron and Vanessa – 4/10

All sounds rather bitchy and competitive to me.

Total 26/50


Food (He points out he’d have given an extra point had there been ice cream) – 7/10

Restaurant experience – 8/10

Total – 15/20


Food – 7/10

It could be considered a relic of the past, but it filled him with joy.

Restaurant experience – 6/10

Total – 13/20

Grand total 55

Philippe is happy to be at the top of the leaderboard.

Christina is devastated. My eyes spin like crazy things.

Aron and Vanessa are up tomorrow.



July 30, 2015   27 Comments

Guest Post: The Hot Plate – Or Was It Kitchen Nightmares

Rosie has barely taken a break from Masterchef and she is back recapping The Hot Plate. A cracker show with some great aka polarising casting. And now over to Rosie:

And here we go with The Hotplate! It promises to be very much like MKR, only with professional restaurateurs, so we should at least never see under or overcooked food. One hopes.

There are 6 teams, but from only 4 different states, which I find distinctly odd. I guess they don’t have restaurants in SA, Tassie or the territories. 😉 Each restaurant couple will compete “to realise their food dream” and win $100 000. I would have thought running their own restaurant meant they were already living their food dream, but what do I know? Maybe you need that hundred grand to live your food dream.

There are two judges, one of whom is Scott Pickett, a Melbourne restaurateur and the other of whom is Tom Parker-Bowles, step-uncle to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. I think that would be the relationship?

They make a huge deal out of their winning the 100 grand, but well, that’s not really all that much in this day and age. I suspect the television appearance may be more of a deal than the money. Just my private opinion.

Tonight’s restaurant will be Christina’s Restaurant, run by Italian origin mother and daughter pair, Christina and Tania from Perth.

All of the contestants have fronted up at Fremantle. The judges tell us that these restaurateurs are all local food heroes, and they will be mentored by the two judges Scott has three restaurants and he knows what makes a good one. Yes, by golly gosh he does.

Tom is an international food critic and has written 5 cookbooks, so he knows what he is talking about too, just in case anybody dared to think otherwise.

It will be restaurant versus restaurant, and cuisine versus cuisine. sayeth the announcer, following up with: this IS The Hotplate. I wish I could tell you I had a shiver running up and down my spine, but I was too busy typing.

We meet each couple. There is Lauren and Nola, distressingly (to me, at least) known as Lozz and Nols. They cook seafood in a restaurant called Wings and Fins in Victoria.

Christina and Tania are a mother and daughter team from WA. They cook Italian food. Allegedly.

Aron and Vanessa are a husband and wife team who cook modern Australian food at their NSW restaurant which is called Rocksalt.

Marie and Emi are best friends and cook Japanese food at the Bird’s Nest restaurant in Qld.

Conrad and Liam are a couple who cook Asian fusion food at their restaurant, Duck, Duck, Moose in WA.

In this round, each team will cook for the judges. Just the two of them in the kitchen, not their usual team. At the end of Round 1, the two with the lowest score will compete in one of Scott’s restaurants to not be the one eliminated.

The judges can order anything from the usual menu.

Christina will start with the minestrone. Tania doesn’t usually work in the kitchen. Christina can’t rush the minestrone because it’s her love going into it. I try really hard not to poke my fingers down my throat and manage not to, mainly because I don’t want to lose my dinner. However I do not succeed in preventing the eyes from rolling.

Scott says minestrone is the ultimate Italian soup.

Conrad and Liam say they’ll get an Italian feast. Liam says he can’t eat that much.

Tom says it needs to have passion, but Scott says it also has to be accurate.

They note that none of the desserts are Italian, for example: sticky date pudding and apple crumble.

Mum seems to just want to be passionate and dramatic. It’s annoying. Tania says everything is taking a lot longer than she thought. Christina says Tania, who is displaying her substantial bazooms in a rather low cut dress by the way, has won maitre’D of the year, so should have no trouble setting the table, and with the preparation of the restaurant.

The judges are there before the guests, maybe pointing out to us how very different the show is from MKR. My eyes have another roll again, this time with triple twist and double somersault.

Scott says they look nervous. No, not my eyes, although they have good reason to be.

The restaurant has been going for 21 years.

Scott says they are obviously a highly successful local restaurant. He comments that it looks more like a local Mexican place than an Italian restaurant.

Naming it after yourself shows pride, says either Lozz or Nols. (the younger of the two. I’ll soon have ‘em figured out.)

Christina says her head is on the chopping block and she is terrified.

As the contestants enter, they see lots of Awards for Excellence hanging on the wall and find them intimidating , or at least Nols does. Or Lozz.

Conrad (the older of the gay couple) doesn’t like fake flowers. And says so. Loudly. He has no trouble saying he disagrees with many things. He has been with Liam for 15 years, which in gay years is about 150. Okay, that made me smile.

Aron and Vanessa are confused to see Tex Mex stuff  around.

Liam likes to criticize… just about anything and everything really. I guess Conrad’s attitude has rubbed off, or maybe the attitude was part of what brought them together. He criticizes either Lozz or Nols, rather drily (but not to her face), “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi.” I admit I chuckled at that. Although he’d probably say the same of me.

It appears the judges order a dish each and one of each order goes to one of each pair of contestants. So they can taste from each other’s dish if they wish, I guess.

Scott selects minestrone for his first course, while Tom goes for the grilled mushrooms with special sauce.

For mains, Tom has orders a rare steak, and Scott chooses pasta con pollo.

Scott orders the sticky date pudding and Tom the apple crumble for dessert.

They discuss at the table what they think the special sauce might be. They guess it might be a cream sauce. It’s not.

Chez Pascal is very provincial and French. Lozz (sigh, or Nols) tells Pascal he’s a hottie.

Conrad has a bitch about the napkins being paper. Marie and Emi, from the Brisbane Japanese restaurant note that their napkins are paper as well.

The food is served.

Liam describes his minestrone as an Olympic swimming pool of mush. It did look like Georgia’s mushroom soup from Sunday night… And they are all HUGE serves.

Tom asks Tania did she make the mushroom dish herself. She says yes, from scratch. Including the barbecue sauce? Ah, no. He doesn’t comment further on the lack of homemade barbecue sauce. Scott says it is good. The minestrone soup, she didn’t get there with that one. Tom says it was woefully underseasoned.

Lozz or Nols says it must be hard being criticized like that. She seems really nice. I think they both are, whatever their names are. I hope I get their identities figured by the time we reach their restaurant.

Christine and her weeping daughter return to the kitchen. We got a bad review, all we have to do is pick ourselves up and keep going, she tells her.

The first main involves porcini mushrooms cooked with port then reduced to become a sauce for the steak. Tania, who has been making pasta, realises it is terrible so she throws it out. With a flourish, of course. She wants her mother to start cooking the steaks. So Mum puts on the steaks. Eventually.

Tania has cooked the parmesan mashed potatoes for the steak. Tania has put too much sauce, against Mum’s instructions, over the steak. Why would she listen to her mother who is the actual chef?

They serve the mains. Once again, the portion sizes are gigantic. Two steaks are served, not one. Vanessa notes the pasta is good.

Tom says his steak is delivered as ordered and his was bloody lovely rare and generous although perhaps underseasoned. And a bit too generous. Scott says his fettuccine con pollo was a simple dish, but he was pleasantly surprised. It was packed full of flavour. He asks was it fresh pasts, and they admit it was bought in, but because it was good, and cooked perfectly, he is happy.

Christina takes the sticky date puddings out of the oven and they look great. But alas, the apple is overcooked. She gets Tania cooking more while she makes the butterscotch sauce.

Aron comments that Conrad and Liam seem very opinionated, so is going to be really interested to taste their food.

Nols or Lozz comments that there is strong competition around the table.

Christina and Tania serve the desserts.

Conrad is not happy that the ramekin holding his ice cream is sitting in his sauce. Liam says he has too much crumble for the apple. A couple of them comment that the sticky date puddings are dry.

Tom tells the girls there is not enough apple compared with the crumble in his apple crumble. Scott says his sticky date was heavy maybe because it was baked? Christina admits that yes, they were baked. He says they are always better steamed. Christina is embarrassed.

The contestants score. I was interested to see they just do it at the table, writing their numbers into a folder without the need to run away for privacy a la MKR.

Philippe and Pascale – 4/10

Conrad and Liam – 4/10

Aron and Vanessa – 4/10

Lozz and Nols – 5/10

Marie and Emi – 6/10

Total – 23/50


Scott scores the food – 5/10

And then the restaurant experience – 7/10

Total – 12/20

Tom scores his food – 5/10

Restaurant experience – 8/10

Total – 13/20

Grand total: 48

Christina says the guest teams maybe feel threatened to have given them such low scores. Or maybe your food was pretty bad?

Philippe and Pascale will be cooking tomorrow night. Pascal thinks they will do better. I sincerely hope so.

July 28, 2015   27 Comments