MKR – Tues, Feb 23

Tonight it’s New Zanna and The Plus One Who’s Allowed to Speak … Hopefully some yummy Italian dishes in store.
Wish I could tell you their real names but Channel 7 hasn’t bothered putting bios up on the website for any of Fass’s teams. So, guessing none of them win, then?

Let's just call them New Zanna and New Plus One.

Ah, so that’s their names … but let’s just call them New Zanna and New Plus One until we know they are sticking around.

We start in a quite dated kitchen that doesn’t match the outside of the house, so I’m thinking this is not their place as they don’t strike me as brown tile people. Perhaps it belongs to their parents.
New Zanna (aka Lauren) is talking herself up in between footage of them working out and he’s not far behind. Do they have actual jobs or like Jess and Marcos do they purely go to the gym and cook?
Looks like they live somewhere north-east of the city (did any TTV readers recognise the Coles?).
The menu is:
Entree: Zucchini Involtini with Homemade Ricotta
Main: Seafood Spaghetti in a Bag (that’s a new one on me)
Dessert: Rum Baba with Lemon Custard
Lauren is running round Coles in an electric blue play suit and is looking forward to showing off her ricotta-making skills, apparently a first for MKR. Really?
Back home they are happy with their time management and, setting up the decor, reveal they met in a pub. What an unusual story. So they are setting up their restaurant with a pub theme.
In the kitchen, on time, Carmine gets on to the past making, having learnt at the elbow of his Nonna. He’s happy with the dough but it looks pretty dry. He then moves on to the fiddly task of cleaning the seafood.
Lauren is making the ricotta and it’s not working, so she starts again but before she gets too far in she realises her first batch worked after all. D’oh!
The timer is at 1:09. I hope she achieved a lot more in the past two hours than we were shown – surely she was not standing over a pot, waiting for it to boil.
Carmine moved on to pasta making, with the obligatory bag of Coles plain flour positioned in shot – and there is no way they actually used that to make the dough.
Here come the guests and Chops is wearing a hideous purple shirt and orange pants. Did he get the same stylist as Jessica?
Chops and Mrs Chops finally are able to meet the other guests and there are a lot of woeful dad jokes flying around.
In the kitchen Lauren is not initially happy with hubby’s zucchini charring technique, but once that’s sorted they seem on track.
The Fass and Rachel arrive – both looking fabulous. Do we even need Pete and Manu next year? Can’t we just have this pairing?
Carmine does the formal greeting and he’s been to the Jeff Fenech School of Elocution: “Lovely to have youse guys here.”
In the kitchen they are having trouble rolling their zukes ( Lauren earlier mentioned she sliced them by hand – embrace the mandolin, Lauren!). Eventually the plates look quite good but I expected more char on the veg.

Cue the chew … Colin thought the ricotta was “nice” but they should have charred the zukes more. Rachel is more enthusiastic about the ricotta and agrees about the lack of char. Colin says it’s a simple dish so they needed to get it perfect: “I’ll put it this way: it’s like going on a date and not getting a kiss at the end of the night.”
The guests quite enjoy it but New Villain Dee is predictably unimpressed: “it’s not a competition dish.”
Back in the kitchen they are cleaning the goo out of the squid and hopefully the guests can’t hear her making retching noises as she does it. They should have prepped their squid earlier, and now look to be running a little behind (although at least we know whoever owns the house barracks for the Crows as there’s a team mug in the cupbaord above the squid-skinning station.
While the pasta sauce simmers Lauren gets on to the babas (anyone else got Kate Bush’s Baboushka stuck in their head? No? How about now?).
Carmine is slicing calamari and it’s all differently sized. He’s cooking it but seems to be asking her a lot of questions about the timing of adding the seafood – why doesn’t she just do this bit?
And then we hear the phrase that is usually the MKR death knell: “Usually when I make X I don’t …” Yep, she’s putting par-boiled pasta into the hot sauce instead of the usual cold, so I’m guessing it will be overcooked. They are panicking too much about time.
At the table Dee is being a drama queen about her ravenous hunger and Mr and Mrs Chops look bemused to be encountering her attitude for the first time. The others are all fairly chilled and good ole Stepmum Hazel has been sticking up for everyone in the two episodes we’ve seen her.
In the kitchen the couple is putting the dishes in the oven for much less than usual, so perhaps the pasta won’t be overcooked after all. However, if they are leaving them in for only two minutes, what’s the point of the paper bag?
We don’t see them tasting, but that footage could have fallen on the editing room floor.


Chew o’clock …or actually, sniff o’clock as the judges unfold their bags and inhale. Looks like The Fass got a bracelet-sized ring of squid in his, much like the unwanted toy in a Christmas cracker. Colin has done this dish many times in his restaurant and is a big fan of the method. And we’re waiting for the “but” … Ad break … “What we’ve got here is closer to sushi than it was to being cooked.” Yikes. The seafood was all under and the pasta was over. “I’m not here to drop the axe but it’s just a very bad dish.” Rachel:”It’s a bit of a disaster.” Then she tells them to put it behind them and move on.
So, the couple definitely didn’t do a taste teaster then, gooses.
The guests don’t look keen to tuck in. Villian Dee’s hubby immediately gets a mouthful of beard (insert your own joke here), which is not pleasant, and reveals his mussel is uncooked. Icky! This makes last night’s overcooked lamb look Michelin star worthy.
Dee tells the table: “I hate this dish. This is just murder.” The editors then have fun with a montage oof the guests pulling faces as they try the dishto the strains of Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat it”.
Stepdaughter suggests the calamari could be used as a scrunchie.
In the kitchen the couple tries to stay positive and moves on to dessert. Lauren is happy with how things are looking, but then they realise a Baba Blob is threatening to burst from their oven and eat them. The babas were overfilled, so she has to pick bits off half-cooked ones to stop them going all Elephant Man – and only then does she put an extra one in “for insurance”. Why not make a double batch to start with so you can pick the best ones?
At the table starving Dee, whose accent is slipping all over the place, has never heard of baba, and Hazel is amusing everyone with her Kath and Kim impersonation.
I’m not a fan of baba because of the wet texture and the rum flavour, but a good lemon custard could win me over.


But what do the judges think? Chew, chew … Rachel: “I think it looked beautiful. Custard … to me it was delicious.” Colin admires the aeration of the babas but says the custard needed more lemon zest. Rachel wanted more booze but perhaps that’s because she’s been listening to Dee all night.
And over to Dee: “Tastes like baby food… I would say it was a mediocre dessert,” she tells everyone.
Team scores: Dee and the Mute 3 “My stomach says zero” (I don’t need to attribute that – you know who said it); Step twins 6; Dad and Golfer 5; Dad Mates 4; Mr and Mrs Chops 3.
Total: 21/50. Carmine and Lauren are not happy and think it’s all down to strategy. “Up yours,” he says in his confessional. Their score seem fair given the main was inedible.
Judges: Entree Fass 6, Rachel 7; Main Fass 1, Rachel 1; Dessert Fass 7, Rachel 8.
Total: 51. (Mr and Mrs Chops got 59.)
And tomorrow night it’s up to Queensland to see if Dad and the Golfer can cook. Let’s hope so because it’s about time someone put up a decent meal. Come back, Zana – all is forgiven.

APOLOGIES TO ANYONE WHO’S BEEN HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE SITE TODAY. Someone fed the computer gremlins after midnight and they wreaked havoc. We should be back to normal in a day or so. Thanks.



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33 Comments

  1. Why would you leave a hug of iced drink on the table three hours before guests arrive. Another up themselves couple

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    • They always get the drink ready when setting the tables, pre requisite by the Fuze drink! To showcase the BEAUTIFUL COCKTAIL

  2. This is the cow who said ” Oh, that’s just one of my fortes!”. (I thought a person had one forte)

    It’s a variation on “I’m an achiever!”

    We know how this ends.

  3. Anyone want to do a recap for tomorrow night (Wed) MKR? I have to go to a parent teacher thingy. It can be the next day and I can do the food pix. If not we’ll let it slide.

  4. Recap is up. When are we going too get some good cooks out of this lot? and … APOLOGIES TO ANYONE WHO’S BEEN HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE SITE TODAY. Someone fed the computer gremlins after midnight and they wreaked havoc. We should be back to normal in a day or so. Thanks.

  5. Yeah, I had trouble getting onto the site all day. I missed all you beautiful and sexy people. Almost as much as I’m missing Jordan :).

    I ended up liking Lauren and Carmine more than I thought I would, but I do think they’re a little pedantic and high-maintenance (and I found it a little jarring that they reacted so strongly to such low scores from the guest teams. Guys, your main meal was inedible). Tomorrow night, it seems Lauren starts getting snippy over her score, so we’ll see how their ‘characters’ develop.

    Dee, OTOH, just seems like *that* person who hates everything. If I’d had to hear her moan, “I’m starved!” dramatically one more damn time, I think I would’ve thrown the remote through the television. We get it, you’re hungry.

    Rachel seems quite lovely and gracious, and I like her reviews. But does anyone else think she doesn’t quite seem at ease, in the role? Like she still hasn’t got it quite figured out yet, just a little bit awkward. I’m only saying that because I’d like her to stick around, I think in the long-term that she’d be really good.

    I also laughed when Colin mentioned that he couldn’t taste the rum in the dessert. Guys, he’s Irish. Don’t skimp on the booze, for the love of Guinness.

    Also, for the love of all that is holy and good, please, NO MORE DAD JOKES. I actually think Tarq is quite handsome, but saying that feels like I’m cheating on Jordan.

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    • He needs to harden up , like the concrete he deals with and not be constantly smoothing things over for his wife~ who he’s obviously besotted with.

  6. The method used for soaking the babas was simply disgusting. There is no need to wring each cake like a wet sponge. If the others had seen that display, the scores may have been even lower!

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    • I was wondering if that was really the tradition way of doing it. Very pleased to hear it’s not!

      Am I the only one who had uninvited filthy thoughts about how those weirdly shaped babas and custard could’ve been plated… I couldn’t look at them after a while.

      (sorry, double post)

    • Agree was disgusting wringing it out… I’m a big baba fan and make them often… generally leave them soaking for hours and serve with cream and fruit.. divine (and I’m not a drinker.. but the rum is what makes it!).

  7. I’m still not grasping the point of spaghetti in paper. So you get some nice steam when it’s opened (or you’re supposed to, if you don’t whip it out of the oven after 2 mins) but so what? And wouldn’t the bottom of the paper end up soggy and torn after twiring a fork around on it? Think I’ll stick with a bowl. I lurrrve seafood pasta so this felt like a devasting waste.

    Ricotta almost makes itself…. you heat milk & add acid, it curdles. I find good pastry trickier to do. Not sure about the fuss there.

    I want the suave Italians back. This group is a bit of a yawn so far. I’ve got to go against the grain and say Rachel Khoo has always annoyed me, too saccherine for my liking, but I’ll give her a chance.

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  8. No more jokes please! These men think they are sooooo funny, will someone please tell them they are NOT.
    That Spag. in a bag looked a disgusting mess.
    Looks like they are going to be very bad losers indeed.
    You are right Cuisinaire, Carmine didn’t do much for himself with his ‘Up yours’ comment and also agree with you about what would the guests have thought about the squeezing of each cake, yuk.
    Another couple that talked themselves to the hilt and failed to deliver.
    It seems the couple’s that don’t sell themselves are usually the ones that can and do deliver.

    Thanks Juz for recap.
    I was unable to log on all day, glad you are up and running again.

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  9. The 2nd couple to cook and while the Entree and Dessert, well entree looked ok and dessert looked good…tho I would have let the cake keep the rum in it (not squeezed which looked gross) and sit in a little pool of sauce. But can you forgive anyone for serving over cooked pasta and worse…under cooked seafood?? Do the judges and contestants ever get ill from meals served?? I really felt for all of them tonight as they probably had to do a maccas run after dinner.
    My thoughts so far…is stress really getting to them OR can they all really cook?
    IMO out of the 3 groups…there are not a lot of fab cooks. I think group one had the best so far. Has the show gone too far with the personalities and too little thought is given to the cooking!!!
    I am out to night so look forward to the recap and pics.

  10. What’s wrong with a good Dad joke, then?

    What’s the difference between a paycheck and a pen*s?

    You don’t have to beg your wife to blow your paycheck.

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

    Sure you want me to do a recap? I got a million of these. It might just all be bad jokes.

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  11. This years lot of MKR is really poor… and with this 3rd round I’m falling asleep watching them. Now for main.. how hard was it to make an extra parcel… for a taste to see how it is… the spaghetti would’ve been unsalvageable but if they at least got the seafood cooked might’ve given them and extra 5-6 points.

    Secondly… just because you may be of Polish, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Indian, China, etc etc of decent…. DOES NOT mean you CAN COOK well!

    Now the desserts this series have been lame… lift up your games… at least with this 3rd lot at least not everyone is doing IceCream!

    • You are so right about the desserts. I can’t remember one that involved any complicated technique. I think they have taken the ‘we want home cooked dishes’ mantra way too far. One positive though, at least not everyone is making an icecream and claiming how difficult it is, we are seeing more variety (of boring desserts).

    • Agree with making extra for testing. Even at home I prefer to make individual desserts for guests as I can test out before serving. Especially lava cakes.

  12. Also I’d like to point out that she was not the first one to make her own ricotta on the show. Those evil WA girls from 2 seasons ago made their own ricotta at kitchen HQ.

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  13. Carmine and Lauren went with the wrong kind of bag for main.

    They could have chosen a garbage bag….and saved time.

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  14. Dad: “My wife’s jealousy is getting ridiculous. The other day she looked at my calendar and wanted to know who May was”

    Dad:I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker. But when I got home, all the signs were there.

    Dad: Why couldn’t the sesame seeds leave the casino?

    They were on a roll.

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