1. You know how the young, hip judge on MasterChef gets to wear sneakers and suits (Andy now, George then)? Here it’s Manu and he’s 46.
    They are at a Bachie-esque mansion, minus the fairy lights.
    There’s a complicated explanation about how it works, involving mention of gardens and an arena.
    Two teams will compete tonight.
    First up is China – represented by two young women.

  2. They are up against Team Australia, represented by two blokes.
    They have to cook outside but it’s a much fancier set up than when most cooking shows cook outside. Think lots of grapevines and white pillars.
    The Aussie boys know the lingo – one has already spoken about a dish being “elevated”. The other teams get to hover in the background and watch – a bit like MKR when it gets to Kitchen HQ sudden death rounds.
    China is making duck with noodles.
    And tofu arsecream (channelling Manu here).
    The boys are doing rough puff outside on what looks to be a warm day.
    There is much footage of the judges bantering – they are the stars of the show, not the contestants.

  3. China gets rave reviews for duck and noodles while the Aussies do well with beef and three veg, although their potato purée is just shy of perfection. For dessert it’s tofu ice cream with black sesame something. This is when Mr 8 comes in feeling unwell, so I have to watch it on silent. The judges don’t seem crazy about it. The blokes made a mille-feuille layered with fruit. The pastry looks thick but I can’t hear the judging.
    Oh, and from earlier, I can tell the Frenchies have been cast as your bog standard MKR villains.

  4. Yes, Manu, we all call Australia “hom”. He must have been back in France for a while before this was filmed. His accent has been re-inforced being there and I can barely understand him. Listening from the next room and am not fond of the loud music.

  5. So do we reckon anybody’s actually going to swim in that pool? I didn’t mind it. Didn’t like the French team very much hopefully they’ll settle down. Since Family Food Fight got cancelled it will be a nice substitute.

  6. Thanks, Juz. Agree that the Frenchmen are being edited as the baddies, along with, maybe, the Indians. As long as it is more like Family Food Fight than MKR, I’ll watch again. If snottiness and backbiting starts, I’m out.

    I don’t mind the judges getting more air time. They are more entertaining than the contestants usually.

    It might be because I was listening more than watching, but the first episode seemed very loud to me. The music was loud, and contestants were yelling instead of talking in normal tones. I wanted to tell them all to settle down.

    • I gave it a minute, moved to the Masked Singer for a minute or so and then settled on NCIS for a minute or three.
      Even HYBPA was a bit ho-hum.
      Nothing kept my attention and I was overwhelmed by the number of ads on every station.
      It was either one of those nights or … idk.

  7. We didn’t last long. It didn’t seem dreadful, but I found it a bit boring. Will pop in here to see if anyone else watches and see if it is worth dipping back into.

  8. I tuned into the end of the replay.
    Way too much talking for me.
    I will give it another go. I love a cooking show. So I don’t want to give up easily.

  9. I watched the encore today. It’s not bad………but it’s not good.

    The muzak is the same aural bilge we hear on MKR and Ma$terchef. Cheap.

  10. Tonight it’s the Cameroon sisters V Vietnam guys. Manu surprises everyone by claiming expert knowledge of West African cuisine – as a kid in France many of his neighbours were from Cameroon.

  11. The boys will make a spicy beef soup, the girls a roast chicken, rice and plantain dish.
    Thanh is sniffing the pineapples for ripeness and I like it – that’s me in the supermarket (pre-covid)

  12. Dessert for the girls is beignet (doughnuts), so that’s the country’s French influence. Boys are doing coconut corn sago

  13. Why do the judges have to eat standing up? Particularly tricky when drinking soup. Both teams get rave reviews for mains but the boys’ pig trotter is not soft enough.

  14. I enjoyed last night’s episode, perhaps because both teams were likable. I could do without some of the yak yak from the other contestants.

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