MKR, Mon, March 14 – the one where they cook at the Rissole

Here come the contestants in their casual gear but with kitchen clogs on and – yay – Colin Fassnidge is back, keeping Pete Evans company (reminder – Zana and Plus One, Dads/Besties and Italians get to sit this one out for being the top scorers of their rounds). Who did you forget was still in the comp?

The Fass announces they will be cooking a family bouffay for members of the public at an arsehole club (gotta love that Irish accent – we usually call it the Rissole, but I get puzzled looks from SA friends when I do that). They’ll be cooking for 100 RSL diners who will pay what they think the meal is worth.
Dish of the day winners gets to skate past two eliminations – a worthy prize. They’ll be working as two groups and chaos ensues as they have to pick their own teams. Lauren and Carmine are particularly torn but end up with Duck Nutters and the crew from the Nutters’ restaurant round.
It’s off to Coles to the tune of Barnsey and INXS’s version of Good Times.

So the Black team is Duck Nutters, JP and Nelly, Miners, Laurine and Carmine and the Sisters, and they choose the theme Mediterranean because it covers so many cuisines (well, except the Sisters, but they’re overruled).
The White team is Curlies, Tarq and Dad, Rosie and Paige, Anna and Jordan and Mr and Mrs Chops, who choose Asian, which would be my pick. The stronger cooks of the comp are in this team, and no real drama queens, so they should do well.

White buffet:
Curlies: Red Chicken Curry with red rice and a pickle (and good on her for buying up all the fresh chilli – better to be oversupplied)
Chops: Vietnamese Prawn Salad (will be quick once they shell the prawns)
Dad and Tarq: Roasted pork belly
Rosie and Paige: Five Spice Duck
Anna and Jordan: Satay beef with homemade egg noodles (ooh – brave decision on the noodles)

So, no desserts? Perhaps they had to be mains. Hope the punters at least get a crack at an all-you-can-eat ice cream machine afterwards with some diced jelly.

Black buffet:
Duck Nutters: Crumbed prawns with Mediterranean salsa (Kell’s right – everyone goes for prawns at a buffet)
JP and Nelly (who seem to be the team leaders): Chicken shish kebab with harissa pumpkin (that’s a lot of skewers to thread)
Miners: Filo cups with salsa and grilled peach (sounds weird, guys)
Laurine and Carmine: Spinach and ricotto rotolo
Sisters: Moroccan Lamb Stew (do they have time to do a stew, even in the pressure cooker?)

The black team are so chillaxed they are having a singalong (but Lauren and Carmine aren’t joining in – not that we get to see anyway). It’s a tight squeeze in the kitchens – let’s hope they’ve considered who will need what cooking equipment once service starts.

Mr Chops is defending his use of ginger and garlic from a jar (and, yes, I have those in my fridge for when I’m pushed for time, but you are on a cooking show, guys). He and the missus are laboriously prepping prawns.

It’s all a bit frantic because there are so many bloody teams. The Fass is worried that Rosie and Paige’s duck will be tough, given the tight timeframe. Jordan is madly rolling egg noodles and, if they work, the judges will definitely be impressed. Pete is worried Duck Nutters won’t finish prawn prep in time, but Nelly jumps in to help. Lauren and Carmine debate whether there is enough salt in their dish – given they were criticised for bland polenta last round, they should be upping the salt.
Uh oh – the sisters didn’t properly close one of the pressure cookers. Nelly is looking stressed. Go have a herbal tea, Nelly.
The teams start doing their blackboards and we learn a) Tarq’s Dad has lovely writing and b) Nelly can’t spell rotolo or crumbed. Or Mediterranean. Aargh – it hurts my eyes. Plus, why doesn’t it say Lauren’s Amazeballs Rotolo?

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Mike and Tarq have a chuckle at the errors. Glad at least one of the teams can spell.

The judges are worried the Miners’ filo cups will go soggy, sitting on the buffet. The Sisters have to cook rice the old-school way, in a pot. “We can’t be the Asians who can’t cook rice,” the younger one says. I’m with them – a rice cooker gives a reliable result and so less messy to clean.
Mr and Mrs Chops have finally finished peeling their 160 prawns and Chops gets onto his jar-based salad – coincidentally just as the judges walk over. The Fass ain’t impressed. I hadn’t realised they’d bought bottled lime juice, too.
As predicted by The Fass, the Besties are having trouble with their duck – it won’t shred easily.
Luckily the Sisters’ Asian cred is saved as their rice works.

With 15 minutes ago, Curlies “need a fresh mouth” to check their curry isn’t too spicy and Rosie gives it the thumbs up. Everyone is frantically plating up. Jordan helps the Besties plate up and no-one has enough room to move. If only they’d been allowed to use both side of the bench.
Time’s up and everything’s sitting there on the bench, going cold away from the heat lamps. It’s time to serve and we see it’s filmed at North Ryde RSL in Sydney.

Time for the White Team judging …
Mrs Chops is doing a good job chatting with the public as Chops lurks in the background. The judges are a bit underwhelmed by the flavours.

Curlies’ curry get the thumbs up from the judges for the spice, seasoning and texture. “I would go back for seconds,” says Colin.

Rosie and Paige’s duck is a bit dry, even with the watermelon, and the judges can’t taste the meat.

Dad and Tarq’s pork belly looks lovely and colourful, thanks to the red cabbage, but there’s not much crunch to the belly and Pete doesn’t like the cabbage. Colin knows they can do better. They’ll be safe.

Jordan is the ultimate salesman for his homemade egg noodles and that should win them a few extra bucks from the public.
“I commend them because I’d written this dish off,” says The Fass, saying the noodles worked but some of the meat was overcooked.

And the Black team …
JP and Nelly’s chook kebabs are moist, says the judges, and they like the harissa pumpkin. As one customer rockin a mad beard sans mo opines: “It’s not a bad feed.”
The judges try Duck Nutters’ crumbed prawns and bemoan the lack of soz. Pete says the chorizo is the star of the dish, and the prawns aren’t crunchy.
Carmine and Lauren’s rotolo looks pretty but it’s hard for a veg dish to win these kind of public-voted competitions, Colin is glad not to be at risk of food poisoning from this pasta. The judges like it.

The line for the White Team’s buffet is long, so Gareth (Man Bun) goes over to try and entice the crowd to skip queues and ends up the target of some young women.
The judges try his filo cup (while the girls want to cop a feel) and discover there’s hardly any filling.
Time for the Sisters’ lamb stew and Colin likes it the texture and spicing. Pete: “Amazing.”

Now it’s time for the public to pay what they think the buffet was worth and, as usual, everyone low balls, given modern RSLs aren’t as cheap as they used to be. One delighted customer says: “Four out of the five dishes were superb, so $12.”
Another woman who looks a character reckons $5 is generous, so the producers take her name and number as a potential 2017 villain.

The judges give their official critique and praise the White Team for an enticing menu. Jordan wins the judges over by interjecting when Pete questions the wisdom of making their own noodles because the guests couldn’t tell the difference between bought and homemade: “Yeah, I told every single one,” Jordan says, to much laughter.
Fass has a crack at the Chopses and, fair enough. Rosie and Paige look knackered and Pete’s “bitterly disappointed” hurts. The Curlies are stoked to hear Pete say their curry was “sensational” and that Colin “couldn’t fault it”.
Mike and Tarq get a mixed review while JP and Nelly get the “it tasted a lot better than it looked”. The Miners make the fatal mistake of not tasting the food and telling the judges they didn’t taste the food. Oh, boys, you’re nice lads but it’s obvious you’re not going far, just like the Chopses.
Carmine and Lauren look anxious and are delighted with Colin’s: “When I tasted your dish, it was bang on.”
Nev is disappointed with the criticism and Kell is as impassive as usual.
Tasia and Gracia are packing it so are relived to hear Pete thinks they nailed it. Colin tells the other teams they are a threat because they did so well outside their comfort sign. Yeah, nice one, Colin, putting a target on their back.
Mitch and Laura get the win and are safe from the next two eliminations and their team is also safe. Yay. Chops have had a lucky escape.
Nelly and JP are devo and crying in the confessional. It must have been a very long day. All members of the Black team will cook for their lives tomorrow.

The first sudden death cook off tomorrow night will be judged by Curtis Stone – does this mean they’ve pinched Marco Pierre White’s prodigal son from MasterChef? The other teams get to judge, too, so it will be interesting to see how much weight their scores are given.
Which means Zana’s back on TV tomorrow, if not in the kitchen.



  1. “Crumed” Prawns?


    Lot of sweat and hands on food for a change tonight..

    • Thanks, BDD. I will be very cautious about clicking over tonight if they are going to continue to gross me out with unsanitary food-handling techniques. And misspellings? This show is pushing all my buttons this year.

      I wonder if they baked the bred to make the crums.

      • Lauren plonked for “Ritolo” instead of “Rotolo”, too. Can’t spell it, don’t cook it. Nonna ‘s so proud.

  2. I love that the first team to get an interview segment in the all-teams-round was Jordan and his mother. Swoon, I want him.

    I mean, I want him to win. Yeah, that’s what I said. That’s totally what I said. Yeah.

    Saved it.

  3. Deflated Duck Nut and his soggy prawns came back to Earth with a thud. If looks could Kell. Loving the result. Cry me a river of jus, boring Lovebirds.

  4. From the preview, it looks like this is going to become the Zana show again. Really, channel 7? There are far more interesting people from group 1.

    I also loved how the miners cooked a dish that Pete described as, “very nice to look at, but there’s nothing really inside.”

    I don’t think the miners or the lovebirds will be around for much longer, and I did think it was hilarious that Lauren was annoyed because the other teams did poorly so now she and Carmine have to cook in the elimination. If you’re that good, honey, you shouldn’t be that worried, should you?

    As for Duck nuts, I just don’t get it. His intro was that his whole life is all about food (and aggressively pursuing the wives of his family members), but every impression he leaves is that he’s just a random guy (with more hair on his shoulders than his head) who doesn’t really know that much about cuisine. His food-obsessed persona just seems so contrived by the director and camera-crew, and I just don’t buy it. Plus, Kell frankly isn’t all that likeable.

    • Add some chorizo and is Mediterranean! Didn’t see much of Chris and Cookie. I can’t remember what they cooked?

      • The three winning teams from the first three IR rounds didn’t have to cook, tonight. They were the Italians, Zana and whatshisface, and Chris/Cookie.

    • Zana’s not even cooking tomorrow night but producers will make it all about her because they believe nasty self opinionated people is what the viewers want to see.

    • Maybe if Carmine and Lauren had had more of a team spirit and offered help to the others, the team might have done better. Being so individualistic might cause them problems in the future.

  5. I couldn’t believe so many teams came up with such a bad dish tonight. It’s hard to believe out of all the people that interviewed these are the best they could come up with.
    Thank goodness the Duck nutters were in the losing side, they really deserve to go home, they have had enough chances.
    I was quite surprised with the young newly wed girl crying before anything happened and then her other half crying when they were in the losing side. They are both quite overwhelmed by the whole experience.
    I think the brother and sister who won are going to be a force to be reckoned with, they really seem to know what they are doing.

    • Gabby have to agree with you about the curly siblings and they are so genuine.

      Promo shows ducks nuts is on his own tomorrow night she has some sort of drama. But I’ll bet his nuts it’s just a bag of hot air that deflates before it goes anywhere.

  6. Kudos to Tasia and Gracia for grace in defeat and to Mitch the brother for grace in victory (and his sister). The DuckNutters had absolutely no grace in defeat and granite faced Kell had to be prompted to clap for the winners (but really no surprise there).

  7. 3 of the top 4 from the redemption round leaderboard fail to impress.

    My guess is the Lovebirds or the Miners will get the chop tomorrow. They will hold onto the Ducknobblers as long as they can. On the other hand Lauren and Sidekick may suffer another kitchen implosion. Naturally Lauren and Sidekick were bang on tonight but we knew they would be before they lifted a spoon.

    We may never know what Chop 1 and Chop 2 were thinking when they bought those jars. I have a feeling we will not have much time to try and find out their thinking. I am just not sure they have the cooking chops to stay much longer.


    Did anyone else notice that Jordan made all his own egg noodles?

      • But, see, Paige is so funny and brilliant that I’d give her a cuddle too!

        And then I’d give Jordan a cuddle. Because Jordan’s just so cuddly. Wow, I’m really out of control on this tonight. I think I just missed him.

    • I quite like Chops and Mrs Chops, they seem to be devoid of nastiness. But seriously, they have a lot of learning to do if they want to progress.

  8. Snow-white and tearful Prince Charming – get a grip, guys! Even the Duck Nuts were dribbling. I use garlic in a jar on occasion, but never for a “fresh” salad – ewww. As for lime/lemon in a bottle – nada. I thought the red curry looked yummy!
    Thanks for the recap, Juz.

    I think a few “one trick ponies” exposed in that episode. Bit disappointed by a few of the menu choices. Haven’t Mike and Tarq already done a pork belly dish?

  9. Did Lauren and Carmine make their own pasta after all the pasta disaster redemption talk? I don’t remember seeing them make it, but then again we were too busy watching Jordan do that.

    • I went back to look again and there is no evidence of it. When the other teams are singing together, which the episode implies is right after they start cooking, C & L are already loading the ricotta mix and rolling up the pasta. Presumably if they made their own it should have been in progress or resting at that time. Have to assume that they have used premade, which makes a mockery of the claim that they have redeemed their pasta.

      • Thanks for confirming that Fijane. It’s as I thought then. They are able to open a packet. Game, set and match. Home run for ‘we know we can cook and now we’ve proved it to youse all’. You proved nothing including your bread.

        Last night we learnt that packets are acceptable but jars are a complete no no. Having said that the minced garlic, etc. did look a bit vile.

          • Yep, just cook it for six minutes like Marco Pierre White says.( He says ignore what the packet says)

            Also use a hair dryer on the pork belly Pops to get the crackling happening and you won’t sweat like a hog again.( Rachel Khoo tip)

  10. Since they were judged as a team and all of the dishes also judged individually I don’t think it’s fair that 2 of the teams who had the best dishes have to go to the elimination round and that some of the teams who made the worst dishes are safe. I also think that the diners should have been able to taste the food from both teams and then pay accordingly or even vote for the best dish. Since they only tasted one buffet how can that actually be people’s choice.
    I thought the Rotolo looked delicious…saucy and cheesy. Yum.
    Hoping that the Duck Nutters will be eliminated. A bit of chorizo and crumby (actually crummy) prawns…how is that even Mediterranean? Did anyone notice Kell’s pouty, angry face when Pete and Colin praised Tasia’s and Gracia’s stew?

    • Duck’s nuts was using prawns out of a packet. They were that black, my hubby and I would not use them as bait when fishing. Really put me off. Lime and lemon juice in a bottle is not even real lime juice I have been told.
      I liked that Jordan and Mum made their own noodles.

      • Have to agree AH those black prawns were hard to watch when the other team had lovely fresh green ones.

  11. Duck Nut : “Who doesn’t love prawns at a buffet?’

    Yeah…but you produced a “barfet”.

    Duck Nut has grown chops, too but got the location wrong and plonked for the back of his neck. It looked truly hideous.

    I think his obscured MKR tatt is the “M” and the “K” is on each testicle and the “K” is on his Chorizo and expands into “Kell” when he gets er..pumped.

    Never was so much cooked so badly for so few by so many. We shall never forget them.

  12. Duh, thanks to the poll I was thinking: Who will really be in the final 2? So I guess it is Meister Proper and is partner with that horribly annoying voice. They will be facing off against Zana and cannot-remember-guy’s-name-guy. It will be perfect promo material: The rich spoiled lawyers versus the poor, authentic Aussie battlers. *searching for a smiley that throws up*

  13. I thought Zana and Sidekick would be my objects of scorn in this series. I wondered if Gianni’s pallor was a result of Zana sinking fangs into his jugular at regular intervals. Then we met in rapid succession: Dee, Jessica, and Lauren. All three thoroughly unpleasant. All three with partners content to snap to attention and yell ‘Ma’am!’ when given a direct order. None of them actually able to cook.

    If they have to cast 4 identical villainesses in every series couldn’t they at least try to find villainesses that can cook and are occasionally amusing?

  14. If thee DuckNutters are in the final I know I won’t be watching.
    Dear Ch7,
    When you cast ‘battlers’ for the nation to fall in love with, you need to ensure they are at least remotely likeable.
    Disgruntled viewer number 367 000

  15. After the farce of “the twist”… not revealing the twist early on obviously means that come time to reveal it.. “the twist” can be anything that suits the producers objective (keep Lauren in.. and Ducknuts)… and with last night quite shocked the White’s won… thought black had the better overall… I guess again the producers can sneak in a table of “special customers” who then can be messaged to pay X amount in order for a certain team to win in the end. The more this season goes.. the more the credibility of MKR goes out the window.

    Must’ve been cold during the winning team reveal as Duck Nuts backhair was standing up… looked like Blanka from Streetfighter game.

    If the pathetic execuses for cooks of Ducknuts, Miners get through further it’s a shame on other teams (I highly suspect miners probably auditioned for the great race or something like that but the casting agency pushed them to this.. I know someone who auditioned for Masterchef but got asked to go for something else as their character was a perfect fit for the type another show was after).. and if Lauren can’t do anything but italian it’ll arivardercie to them soon too.

    In terms of channel 7 demographic I think top four will be Zana, Sisters, bro-sis, lovebirds.

  16. There’s nowhere to hide in Kitchen HQ. All of those who struggled with time management will be making their way through the revolving doors – soon, I hope.

  17. It is really funny when in a cooking comp we picked winners based on their marketability. Just tell you these shows are there for us to have a laugh. It is more fun commenting and reading the blog.

    Shock horror if Miners and Ducknuts are the final 2. Stop it. I gave myself a slap in the face. Just not possible.

    • Don’t even joke about things like that!

      I think channel 7 thought that Duck Nuts and his brother’s wife were far more marketable than they actually are. The miners are nice guys, but sadly, they’re hopeless in a kitchen. Same with the lovebirds, and Eve and Chops (who seem lovely, as Juz said upthread, but again, I wouldn’t trust them making me food).

      I see the Italianos going far (because they’re quirky and wonderful chefs), and the Indonesian sisters as well. And I’m not saying this just because I’m biased, but Jordan is such a character that I imagine he and his mother will go far as well.

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