Alex Casey plates up her unconventional power rankings for week eight of My Kitchen Rules NZ, including a stonking good name and some pampered pork.
I am very very late this week, and I sincerely apologise. This truth is, I’m exhausted. I’ve been up all hours scribbling equations on whiteboards, rifling through old books and asking ancient cooking shamans what in the hell a “lasagnette” is. I have no answers. Dammit William and Zoe, first you send me this incredible picture of William dressed as Ali G in 2010, and now you are just straight up making up words. What next? Spagettinetti? COME ON.
Ruth and Cheryl were sent home during the “feed the prefects” challenge, where some lucky high school students were treated to a degustation menu in the solid company of a few Genesis energy suits. High school kids want a can of creaming soda and a bloody pie, get that steak tartare out of there! Oh god, is that what kids like still?
And then, of course, we had to say haere rā to Monique and Henry. I’m not ashamed to say I cried, more than once, during their exit episode. Once was with laughter when Henry said “enheighten the flavours,” and the other was with poignant gusto as Henry said “even if we don’t win $100,000, my wife’s worth $1,000,000.” That touching quote nearly made me forget that the pair had just cooked a gluggy bit of pancreas and called it ‘sweetbread’. Never has anything been less sweet, or less bread.
With the competition coming to a close, I’m boldly going to do away with the traditional contestant rankings. It’s patently clear that William and Zoe are going to bake a judge into a cannelloni, crumble some shard of something on top, and call it a Ben Bayley-oni and win $100,000. So here are ten moments, lasagnette vignettes if you will, that took my fancy from the past week on MKRNZ.
1) Ben Bayly championing the return of “stonking”
Such a stonking good word.
2) The hot scoop from @jessetheridge that Zoe is low key in this ‘Blurred Lines’ parody video
This, combined with the ever-linkable photo of William as Ali G, have made this team my all-time favourites. Who would have thought in week one that this stern Auckland pair were low key genesis pop culture satirist masterminds? Boo. Ya. Ka. Sha.
3) When the food “didn’t just talk, it sang”
Aside from being the hero of the dish, having a dish that sings is the highest of all MKRNZ praise. Tune in next week when a sirloin steak performs ‘I dreamed a dream’ from Les Mis, haircut scene and all.
4) Jay’s good point about purée
Finally, someone is speaking truth to purée power. Week in, week out contestants lose their mind over purée, endlessly stuffing potato, parsnip and kumara through sieves, ricers and muslin cloth to make the finest brew. And for what? A smear of baby-food looking sludge on a plate? Purée does not sing, purée lipsynchs at best.
5) Jess hates desserts
I get an immense amount of glee out of seeing people faff about with hellish little finnicky praline things that they would much rather throw off a bridge than sprinkle delicately over a sorbet quinelle. This week, Jess had a tough time fiddling around with desserts, and I commend her for not losing her shit like me when I dropped a whole Butterscotch pudding on the ground just because I hadn’t mixed it right.
6) Plating up the perfect storybook name
Here’s an excerpt from my new MKRNZ-based book of children’s limericks:
Liked to toddle
Down the cobble
Like a model
7) Zoe’s murderous black glove
An unsettling kitchen nightmare.
8) Monique’s swearing bombs
Yes, she absolutely lost the plot in the fatal Sudden Death challenge, but it was exceptional television. And further evidence for why Monique and Henry are the New Zealand couple of the year.
9) A great week to be pork
Pork got treated like a bloody princess this week, seizing every luxury treatment like it was on a drunken GrabOne spree. William bathed his pork belly in milk just like Cleopatra, and Monique and Henry tended to these sirloin stacks so well you’d think it was more Sir Loin.
10) Stella’s secret superhero weapon
Think about it, this Wellington pair definitely seem like they still have something big up their sleeves. My guess is that, in the final moments of the grand final, Stella’s luscious blonde curls will take on the form of perfect al dente spaghetti, drop onto the plate in front of Ben Bayly, and he’ll have her doing live shows at Baduzzi every Friday until the end of time.
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