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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.




1 Pandy { 07.30.15 at 10:38 am }

I don’t mind this so far, Liam has to be the biggest snob out, I can’t wait to see him cook.
None of that French food appeals to me, far too rich and heavy, I’ve never tried brains and never will, and I like the meat well cooked too.
Ice cream should be served if that’s what the customer wants in my opinion.
I like the judges , they are much easier to please than Pete and Manu, it will be interesting to see what happens next after the restaurant rounds.
I watched this after The Bachelor, its enough cooking shows for me.
Rosie, thanks for the recaps, I will be reading them for sure.

2 Rosie { 07.30.15 at 10:47 am }

Yes, I like the judges too. I was greatly amused by Scott pointing out to Philippe that he had eaten Crepes Normande inNormande IN Normandy, and that they were served with ice cream! Also amused that he told him straight up he’d have given him another point if he’d have received ice cream as ordered! 😀

3 Jason { 07.30.15 at 11:10 am }

To all those thinking Phillipe should have served icecream with his crepe, would you still feel the same if someone had asked for tomato sauce with their duck instead of the brilliant sauce?

4 Windsong { 07.30.15 at 11:27 am }

The judges seem to be nice guys, but I still find them both quite bland. Aside from the fact that one’s British, I have trouble telling them apart. They’re nicer (and far less irritating) than Pete and Manu, but that’s because they seem barely there.

I think the costuming department has a lot to answer for. I look forward to seeing what Tania and Christina are wearing tonight.

Awkward moment of the evening was when Philippe was waxing lyrical to Pascal about the cooked duck, and how Pascal’s mother really loved the duck too. “If it wasn’t for this duck, you may not have been born.” Wow … thanks for that, dad.

I still think Pascal is absurdly handsome, and there aren’t enough absurdly handsome Frenchmen on TV these days.

I gave “Restaurant Revolution” another try, last night (seriously, watching three programs all at once? Not fun), and found it unfathomably dull. I hope Dom (and the other contestants) succeed, but I won’t be following that one (the most interesting part of the program was how the solo woman judge thought the two female restaurateurs were flirting their way to success with the three male judges).

As for the Bachelor … wow, Sandra. OMG.

5 all happening { 07.30.15 at 11:27 am }

I just watched the recording and liked Phillipe and Pascal. No nastiness there. They worked well together and had fun in the process. The ones that annoy me most are Aaron and Vanessa. There shite don’t smell according to her. As for the the blonde woman (forgotten her name) she is such a fussy bitch.

6 Smythe { 07.30.15 at 11:47 am }

Annoying to me are Aron, Vanessa and Liam. Annoying clothing…tight and low cut animal print outfits worn by Tania.

As for ice cream on the Normande, it did state on the menu that there would be no ice cream or cream with the crepe. I wonder if there was even ice cream available in the kitchen. If not, was Pascal supposed to go looking for some elsewhere and then bring it back in a timely manner? I looked up Crepe Normande on the net and most of the recipes do not have cream or ice cream being served with it.

7 brain dead dave { 07.30.15 at 11:48 am }

Gary Mehigan’s show is being “encored” right now. Ha ha. That was shot a few kilos ago. Where’s the remote? Hotplate is much better.

I watched bits of this, cricket and The Bachelor. Bravo,Rosie.

8 Carole { 07.30.15 at 11:54 am }

Thanks for another great recap Rosie.

Well if I ever go to his restaurant I know not to order the lamb, since I like mine COOKED. Why didn’t Nols swap with her partner & have the duck when hers wasn’t cooked enough for her? That’s what I would have done.

That gay guy sniped that they own restaurants but didn’t want to eat the brains. I wasn’t aware that if you own a restaurant you have to like every food on the planet. Most people don’t like offal. The judges were foolish to choose that. Surely there were plenty more options to choose from?

That crepe looked really yummy.

That Phillip is definitely set in his ways, I’m surprised his restaurant is still going. I guess his customers don’t mind & are used to it.

Rosie I thought the duck was called duck with mandarin liqueur not duck l’orange.

9 Carole { 07.30.15 at 11:59 am }

Smythe, I’m pretty sure Phillip said he didn’t have any ice cream. So yeah, he can’t be expected to run to the shop to buy some.

10 Pandy { 07.30.15 at 12:01 pm }

I like how they don’t have to rush all over town first to Coles etc to buy all the ingredients, that part is a waste of time.

11 Carole { 07.30.15 at 12:08 pm }

And we didn’t have to wait till after the ad break to see if the roulade was set a la MasterChef.

12 brain dead dave { 07.30.15 at 12:09 pm }

I switched over to The Bachelor when the brains were featured~and got anal glands of dogs being discussed instead.

13 Bolders { 07.30.15 at 12:26 pm }

A grown man that loves his papa and kisses him heartily.

Warmed me heart that did. Loved it.

14 Rosie { 07.30.15 at 1:00 pm }

Dave, I watched enough of the cricket to go to bed weeping.

Carole, Nols wouldn’t have liked the duck either, since that was (and normally is) served medium rare. She is apparently the owner, and Lozz the chef of their restaurant. I still find it odd that you woukd go on this sort of show if you are this fussy about food. Better to just buy lots of lottery tickets.
And I guess I’m wrong about the duck. But I could have sworn I heard Duck a l’Orange. No matter. Your humble recapper will try to pay more attention tonight. 5/10. 😆
I guess there were too many elements on the plate.

15 Ed { 07.30.15 at 2:04 pm }

I ate at Chez Pascal a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I did not have any offal then, but being of Chinese descent I grew up on it, and enjoy it. If anything I think the French are wimps when it comes to offal. I watched this episode purely for Chez Pascal. As for the show in general it looks too much like a MKR copycat. When a show copycats so blatantly the producers are setting themselves up to be called second best.

16 Lyn { 07.30.15 at 4:28 pm }

I don’t get if you are judging an existing restaurant why don’t you have the regular team working. This isn’t a true representation of what they normally do. It rules out any place that has owners running the show and a hired chef in the kitchen. The idea is good going into existing restaurants, but do it on a regular night with other paying diners in and make it a true(ish!) representation of them.

17 Veronica { 07.30.15 at 4:32 pm }

Thanks Rosie for the recap, great as always. Here’s hoping for better news out of Edgbaston tonight!

I’ve watched both episodes of HP and, just as the producers ordered, am amazed mother and daughter can breathe after having been melted and poured into their frocks, think the owners of Rocksalt are up themselves and, can’t wait to see Liam get his comeuppance.

I’m such a good little viewer!

18 Veronica { 07.30.15 at 4:38 pm }

Good idea Lyn @16. Imagine if the judges and other contestants turned up unannounced on a regular night. Oh the drama that would create!

19 Ed { 07.30.15 at 4:39 pm }

Lyn, having original ideas won’t get you a job on this show.

20 machook { 07.30.15 at 5:39 pm }

God luv yer Rosie for hanging on in there with your recaps. You and Amanda do a wonderful job. We appreciate your efforts. I have decided to go with Hotplate at this stage. I’m find it refreshing that we haven’t seen any fennell, beetroot, rhubarb as yet!!!

21 all happening { 07.30.15 at 5:50 pm }

The show that Gordon Ramsay is on, where he try’s to help ailing restaurants increase no customers etc, has the judges coming in on a regular night etc. I am always suspicious of having special nights for judges. I don’t trust judges, contestants or producers.

22 Windsong { 07.30.15 at 6:29 pm }

Machook … at least nobody’s attempted to sous vide anything.


I swear to goodness, if Drasko shows up with his sous vide machine, I AM COMING FOR YOU.

23 Bel { 07.30.15 at 6:35 pm }

Rosie you are made of awesome, another great recap :)

I’ll admit this here and nowhere else. I’ve got a ‘thing’ for Phillipe/Philippe from Chez Pascale. No, not the hot son, the old fat chef. He’s freaking adorable & cooks amazing sauces, laughs constantly and drinks lots of red wine. What’s not to like? Like Manu’s long-lost Daddy. Mmm.

Ed@15- I’m pleased to here your review! If it’s true they’ve been going for 29 years or whatever they said, they must be reasonably consistent you’d think. I reckon you’re right about the French being offal-wimps compared to the Chinese. Not that I can talk- I like pressed tongue & black pudding and that’s it. Although Phillipe did make those brains look tasty.. I’d be tempted :)

24 Carole { 07.30.15 at 9:23 pm }

Ha ha Machook, you spoke too soon. There was beetroot on tonight’s show.

25 Izobel2 { 07.30.15 at 10:46 pm }

Thanks for the recaps! I’ve had a hot plate marathon whilst doing office work from home today, all 3 eps, and I find it entertaining, but as with MKR I’m sure I’ll be annoyed when they start dishing out 1’s to stay in the comp.
Pascale seems nice. It’s soooo MKRish isn’t it!
I hope you enjoyed Tania’s outfit tonight Windsong!!

What I’d like to know is why the head of house people haven’t worked in the kitchen to practice? They know what they’ll be cooking, so why hadn’t Tania ever cooked anything before?
I heard the Asian restaurant girls say they’ve practiced and have notes for when it’s their turn didn’t they?

And how can you prep EVERYTHING on the menu when they only choose a handful of dishes? They must have small menus.
I wonder if in later rounds they get the teams to alter their menus to get better scores and therefore it will make their restaurant better, and change the decor etc.

Well off to watch 2 eps of The Bachelor now. Thanks for the comments, gice.

26 Zaz the exotic { 07.31.15 at 12:18 am }

Izobel2 I am impressed that you ave watched 3 eps during your work from home day and are now up for 2 eps of Bach. You obviously take your rtv watching very seriously! And your work too of course!

27 Izobel2 { 07.31.15 at 1:16 pm }

Hey Zazzy! Luckily I work for my husband and it was totally boring paperwork so it fit in with my reality tv schedule!!
And yes I watch A LOT of reality tv! Mostly while I walk around the house cleaning up after my kids!