MKR – Mon, Apr 11 – Lauren V Chopses

It’s Lauren and Carmine versus Eve and Jason (better known as Mr and Mrs Chops). And for what is likely to be his final night in Kitchen HQ, the stylists have dressed Mr Chops in a shirt even more hideous than those that have come before him. It’s possible he could self combust if the studio lights hit the offending polyester garment at the wrong angle.

The horror.

The horror.

And Lauren continues to oblige the producers with some trash talk while the Chopses are bemused by this whole reality TV lark.
Manu wardrobe update: He’s back in the purple velvet, which is a letdown after his chef blacks last night at Fass’s restaurant.

Chopses’ menu
Entree: Choux gnocchi with spring vegies and roast tomato sauce
Main: Lamb cutlets with parsnip puree, mushrooms and jus
Dessert: Lemon cheesecake with citrus curd and pepita crumb
Mmmm, sounds tasty but not very “cheffy”, especially the main.

Gangsta Lauren’s menu
Entree: Toretellini in brodo
Main:Beef brisket with mushy peas and roasted bone marrow
Dessert: Apple crumble tart with cinnamon ice cream.
Another broth? They’ve had great success with it in the past and are on rinse and repeat. As Zana comments: “By the 10th time you’d probably nail it.”
Lauren is determined to win: “I want to stick it to all those people who said I couldn’t do anything with my life. Stuff youse.” Where did she grow up? Detroit, in the trailer next to Eminem?
On the sidelines, contenders Anna and Jordan say there’s no need to mess with the perfection that is traditional gnocchi. Meanwhile, Lauren is working on her broth: “It’s gonna be amaze.” She has a dig at Chopses for their usage of jar shortcuts.
And the award for the first person to talk about treating produce with respect is Zana, in regards to the brisket. (This could make a good drinking game: One shot when the word respect is used; a sip for the word soz; two sips every time Lauren does her gangsta accent …)
Eve is trying to show the judges she has learnt new skills and is doing a good job of frenching her lamb racks. So Chops channels the spirit of Tarq’s Dad and quips: “No-one frenches like you, baby.” But – as predicted by Jordan – Chops has put too much cheese in his gnocchi choux and it ain’t working. He needs to chuck it but he won’t listen to the missus and doggedly keeps trying to make it work.
Carmine is working on the pasta while Lauren preps dessert, doing the double whisk, double saucepan thing. Credit where it’s due – she’s a fast worker. And Carmine’s tortellini look pretty.
Chops has cut the carrots too small and again is not listening to the Missus when she says they need bigger chunks. And then he uses tongs to one by one take out roasted cherry tomatoes from the oven tray. If I was Eve I’d throw a slotted soon at his head.
Lauren is seasoning her broth and chucks a bucket of salt in it. Chops is happy with his gnocchi but Anna and Jordan reckon he’s overcrowded the pan and won’t get the caramelisation he needs. Plus it’s a teeny serve.
Time to taste

Fass says the dish looks clumsy but it has good flavour. Guy says the pasta needs to be worked more. However, the seasoning is apparently spot on. But what does Zana think? “Whoa – that is some bad flavours in the mouth, mate.”

As suspected, it’s a fail and the gnocchi aren’t at all pillowy. Fass: “You’d have a crick in your neck if you slept on one of those pillows.” The sauce is nice but the judges note there is nothing spring like about the vegies they used. But what does Zana think? “I wouldn’t pay for either of these in a restaurant.”

How does Zana keep a straight face in court?

How does Zana keep a straight face in court?

On to mains
Lauren is checking on her soz and it’s too salty, so she adds sugar – to jus! Zana and I are both horrified. Now it’s too sweet, so she adds the packet stock.
Mrs Chops is also working on her soz, but there doesn’t appear to be much of it. Chops is trimming the beans and he’s so painfully slow the editors play Baby Elephant Walk in the background. Over to Jordan: “That turtle that beat the hare would easily beat Jason.”
Over in the other kitchen Carmine is having bone marrow trouble because his oven was set to grill. This happens all the time on MKR – wouldn’t you think teams would check each other’s oven setting ability for each course? At least the brisket looks lovely and tender.
Mrs Chops carves up her lamb racks and they look perfectly pink. Carmine chopping brisket and is adding even more salt to the meat. Chops is taking forevs to puree the parsnip and it’s the first thing that needs to go on the plate. Missus rolls the cutlets in fresh herbs for a vibrant dash of green.
The brisket goes on the plate and Curly Laura is worried at the lack of soz. When will MKR contestants learn the soz is crucial.

Time to taste

Everything is cooked well but the judges agree with Karen, who wants to see more “razzamatazz”. And thanks, Karen, for putting this old jingle back in my head:

Everyone loves it but they wanted more sauce. Fass: “This is my type of food.” Pete says both mains were very strong, which is not at all the impression I got. But what does Zana think? “I actually prefer Eve and Jason’s dish.”

On to dessert
Most of the dessert prep is already done, so Chopses are doing their lemon curd and crumb (which includes fennel seed – hmm, not sure about this. Rosemary would be more likely). However Lauren is yet to get her tart shells in the oven. And instead of trimming the tarts individually she’s trying to do a whole row at once with a strip of pastry and failing dismally. Just cut the pastry into squares, place it in the tin and then roll that pin over to trim, Lauren. She’s freaking out, but unless it’s a complete disaster they’re safe anyway. Lauren’s fired up, so she spits out: “Screw all those people that be drinking that Hatorade.” Yes … Seriously. Finally she gets the tart shells done but in the rush she breaks one getting it out of the tin. Chopses are actually plating up without it being a mad rush, but Missus isn’t happy with the consistency of her cheesecake mousse quenelles. Again, Chops is using tongs to laboriously put single items on a plate, this time strawberries. Dude, put a glove on, use your hand and save yourself five minutes! Their deconstructed cheesecake looks ok but if it was MasterChef there’d at least be some microherbs on there and a tuille.
Carmine and Lauren are in a world of pain getting their tarts on the plate but it all pans out in the end.

Time to taste

Everyone thinks it doesn’t look like much but it tastes great, and it’s the strongest dish out of their three courses.

Urgh – it’s that thing where we have to wait until the final critique to hear what they thought, so it’s probably good.

The verdict
Chopses: Comments are more of the same.
Guy 5, Karen 6, Liz 6, Fass 6, Pete 6, Manu 6. Total 35/60
Lauren and Carmine: Karen says the dessert was very simple, with only two elements: “They were impeccable.” But the highest praise comes from straight talker Fass: “In four years here I’ve only had one dessert as good and that was in the grand final. For me that was a 10 out of 10.”
Guy 8, Karen 8, Liz 7, Fass 8 (which elicits a *bleep* to the heavens from Carmine), Pete 8, Manu 7. Total 46

Goodbye, Eve and Jason. Yes, you weren’t the best cooks in the world and you embrace dreadful facial hair, but you were real people on a reality TV show and you never tried to speak gangsta or use the word “Hatorade”.
So tomorrow night another team will go and we’ll learn who the Final Five are (any Battlestar Galactica fans out there? No? Moving on, then.) We’re left with Anna and Jordan, Curlies, Sisters, Lauren and Carmine, Dads and Zana and Plus One. You’d think the first three teams are safe, although someone could always drop a tray or decide to serve seafood pasta in a bag.



  1. There is something oddly satisfying about listening to Zana roundly shred Lauren and Carmine’s entree while they’re still busy cooking it. Meanwhile, so far, Chops’ pastry doesn’t look like it’s working out well either.

    Seriously, how did either of these teams make it this far into this series? We lost Rosie and Paige, the Big Gay Italians and Mike and Tarq for this :(.

    • All well and good to critique while watching….. you really can’t assume how something will taste….Zana. Neither Zana+1 or the Mafioso have produced anything outstanding, and then came apple crumble and ice-cream – who da thunk? Looking forward to the finals.
      Thanks for another great recap, Juz. 🙂

    • And why did the judges not detect this “unwelcome” addition? If they’d been prancing around the kitchen as per usual, bias would have ensued. Instead the judges raved about the sauce. It must have been Manu’s favourite brand.

      • 🙂

        Hey, all I ask is that when Jordan and I do get married and you’re all invited to the reception, just be nice to him :D.

        • I may be making wildly inappropriate guesses about your gender, but you are aware that Jordan is unlikely to get married without same-sex marriage legislation?

    • Meanwhile, can someone please tell Lauren how much of a gangster she’s *not*? One more reference to the “two fiddy kay” and I’m gonna scream.

  2. I want each judge fitted wth an explosive collar that is set to detonate whenever they say: ‘full of flavour’.

  3. I have just sat down to watch. The first bit I hear is Mrs. Chops talking about frenching whatever they are cooking. And he says, “No one frenches like you, doll.” Oh, please, are you 12? I wasn’t looking, but I could hear a sleazy leer. MKR, your standards are falling daily.

    • She was actually frenching Chops at the time….

      Chops had a Sam Newman moment to make the quip.

      And why are the judges getting bent out of shape about a properly cooked lamb chop, ffs? Millions achieve this daily.

  4. At least Eve and Jason could speak to each other with civility. Some individuals treat their other halves like Lauren and Carmine’s seafood in a bag.

    • Sure. But a lot of Chops’ comments came out of a jar, too. Plus he gets creepiness points for the frenching faux pas. I thought I was watching On The Buses.

      I’d settle for someone who just kept their hands out of the oil/ duck fat and off the food. That’s moy koind of civility.

  5. “We’re left with Anna and Jordan, Curlies, Sisters, Lauren and Carmine, Dads and Zana and Plus One. You’d think the first three teams are safe.”

    I’d say you’re not wrong on that one. What I’m thinking channel 7 wants is Lauren and Zana across the table from each other during the ultimate instant restaurant round, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the dads were the next team to be eliminated tomorrow night. It’s an awful thought that the show is *that* scripted, but seriously, c’mon.

    • No, no, no… they’re my favs!

      The producers have run out of expendable teams now (well, the ones THEY thought were expendable). It is going to be really hard for them to justify making Carmine and Lauren win over any of the remaining teams.

  6. No way the apple tarts is 10 out of 10. Time must have stopped for dessert. 30 mins is not enough to roll out the pastry and bake and fill.

    Shouldn’t the tart shells be blind bake to prevent shrinkage?

    No way you can put the cream pâtissière on hot tart.

    • Yep, every bad technique in the book, and then they want us to believe that they took the tart out of the oven with 10 seconds to spare, and got it finished – crock.

      Pastry was too short and sticky, rolled too thin, placed in the tins like a dog’s breakfast, not chilled before cooking, shrunk down the sides of the tins, undercooked and blonde, then hot tarts filled with cold creme patisserie which would make it go liquidy. Then another dog’s breakfast of lumpy crumble poured over the top. What the…

      And why was the creme patisserie being sieved? If it is made properly that shouldn’t be necessary.

    • Agree, with all the re-rolling and rolling and whacking etc the gluten in the pastry would’ve really been pushed and made the pastry tougher…

      plus the cases were a mess, shrunken and too light in colour..

      And the Cream Pat… how thick was it… definitely looked too claggy…

      Me smell the BS!

      • Now the recipe is on the website.

        The tart shells were blind bake, cool before filling with cream pat. Poached apples were also cool completely before placing on top of the tarts.

        Usually you sieve the cream pat before cooling and not after cooling.

        All so wrong. My guess is the producers have no clue about cooking techniques and think the viewers will believe what the judges say.

        Colin has lost it to give it a 10 unless the tart he ate was not the one baked by Lauren

    • Watching Chops chopping is about as exciting as watching Jordan growing broccoli. *slips into asbestos suit for flame war*

      • But only one of them has acceptable facial hair.

        And a show about Jordan farming broccoli … see, now I’m picturing all sorts of wacky subplots and hijinks that involve, well, myself obviously, but guest appearances from the other MKR contestants.

  7. Ah, I knew the time will come… Reading the recap and deciding not to watch MKR again. It was obvious Mrs. Amazeballs will win (where on earth do you learn to speak that way? Is she playing WoW or something?).

    • I doubt that Lauren plays WoW. The production assistant who does her cue cards on the other hand…

      Now Zana, I could see being a demon at Fallout 4 or Total War Attila.

      • Agreed.Not even an Italian battalion of Nonnas on steroids will get Lauren to the two fiddy kay.

        Australia’s drunk on Hatorade for her and her puppet.

  8. You know you’re serving up awful entertainment , Ch 7, when a show about Clive Palmer is a better viewing experience. Four Corners is nearly always full of flavour. Even the druggies in the swimming pool were calling to me.

    There’s no point to the pointy end,producers.Yawn. Zana v Lauren. Get it over with.

    All hail MKR. For managing to make Ma$terchef look good.

      • See, I don’t know, I find the forced sentimentality of the House Rules ads quite a turn off.

        Plus, the sheer impracticality of that show bothers me. Why the hell would I let total strangers — some of which have zero experience in building or carpentry or renovating houses — rebuild my house while I’m not there? That’s a horrifying thought, to me.

  9. I can’t help but feel that they are forcing the rivalry between Lauren and Zana. Certainly, L is jealous of Zana, but then she is the same to everyone. Her paranoia is huge and she thinks everyone else is there undeservedly and that she and Carmine are the only one who should be there. If the Chops were never heard to say anything bad, L has never been heard to give anyone praise.

    Whereas Zana, even though her personal habits and sense of over-entitlement are annoying, her opinions of L are always based on her opinion of their cooking skills – she never ‘plays the man’. She will give credit where due.

    I don’t think we have a genuine cat-fight here, and it definitely feels to me that the producers take every skerrick of negativity and use it to imply that they are at each other’s throats. I’m not buying it, especially when so much of what we see are just grimaces and smirks that could be in response to any situation.

    Certainly, they are not best friends. But I don’t think the rivalry has developed as the producers would have wished.

    • They tried quite hard for Kat on steroids this year. They gave us Jessica, Dee, Lauren and Zana. Now 1 or 2 teams of an aggressive woman with slightly psychopathic presentation and a quiet partner who takes orders might be an accident, but 4 of these teams is deliberate planning.

  10. I don’t think I can take anymore of this pretence of a competition – predictable, phony, cliched, and ultimately boring. Lauren puts my teeth on edge; she has used up whatever miniscule amusement value she may have had and needs to shut the hell up.

    Silver lining – these recaps and everyone’s comments, I love you guys, *sobs*, *bro hugs all around*

  11. Looks like the hairdresser made a visit to the kitchen – a few new cuts for the men. We know that Zana is a ‘lawyer’ but what about Lauren – wonder what she does. It’s a really disappointing final few couples, other couples who auditioned must have been shocking.

  12. Who was it skinning tomatoes – can’t remember! Didn’t they realise that after putting tomatoes in boiling water they should then be plunged into icy water and skins would just come off. And what was wrong with using a slotted spoon – ditto with the strawberries.

    • I think that was Chops and his “Shoe Gnocchi”. It tasted like a rat that had died in a shoe.

      But he’s grown so much on his awesome journey ‘cos they didn’t come from a can.

  13. Already mentioned about how BS the critique on the dessert was with badly cooked shells and claggy custard…

    But FMD, Lauren sure has got a mega chip on her shoulder.. surely she’s crying out for help!! The whole damn world and their hater-ade is against her…

    AND if she thinks being on MRK makes her successful…reality will be hitting her sometime!

    250K between two people then take away taxes… for 6 months effort away from home… then flitter away into oblivion does not make you a success… plus at the moment she’s probably one of the most disliked people in the country…

    Hope she has a good shrink.

  14. Did you hear Lauren comment last night, “This is for all my haters in my life who said I would never make anything of myself”?
    I don’t know about you other commenters but I don’t think I have one hater that has ever said that to me, let alone a whole load of them.
    Just how many people out there have hated her throughout her life?

    Pity she ain’t gonna win and show them there peops what she has made of herself.

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