This episode was a People’s Choice Challenge, where the contestants would run a market stall and a group of hungry punters would give fake money to the best team. These weren’t just any punters though, they were Genesis Energy punters. If Genesis has taught us anything, it’s that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and on that earth sprouted many different cultures bearing many different delicious dishes. Each team was to select a suitcase containing the flag of the country that they would be cooking a dish from. Jessie and Ricki looked nervously at each other, “we only cook butter chicken out of a packet!” Other teams looked quietly smug, particularly Neena and Belinda who were oozing that smarmy superior traveller’s vibe as seen in 89% of Instagram photos. Like how you just know when somebody has been to India. Because they tell you.
The teams went about opening their cases, which took a lot longer than it needed to. They began one by one, but Dai and Dal took far too long opening theirs and had to be saved by Maura. How many girls does it take to open a suitcase? Three. How many Gareths does it take to crack a wise about the challenge being the food and not the suitcases? Just the one. They scrapped formalities and everyone tore on in, discovering what country they would be cooking on behalf of. Surprise surprise, Neena and Belinda got Indian. Ghee whizz, how convenient. Ian and Sandie lucked out with Mexican, with Ian immediately blurting out “tequila” as his first idea.
This is what everyone got, and what they decided to make:
Sam and Dan = Thai (green curry and roti)
Jessie and Ricki = Italian (fried Arancini balls)
Steve and Maura = Chinese (crispy prawn pancakes)
Josh and Aaron = Pacific Islands (fish papillote)
Aaron and Heather = New Zealand (L&P glazed ribs (god of nations at thy feet))
Ian and Sandie = Mexican (fish tacos and salsa)
Dai and Dal = Japanese (chicken katsu)
Neena and Belinda = Indian (fish curry with chutney, flatbread and all sorts – did I mention they had been to India?)
After a quick trip to Countdown (The Social Media boys using a fancy navigational app to get to the supermarket five minutes away), the teams returned to the shed to start cooking. Sam and Dan were throwing “leaves and trees and sugar syrup” into a blender, hoping to make a curry paste. Jessie and Ricki were already in prep hell, regretting such a complicated dish. They were deep frying risotto balls, a far cry from their pancakes of yonder year. Talking of pancakes, Steve and Maura were in fresh hell with their Chinese pancakes. It was sort of nice to see the perfect foodies trying to cook these ratty little globs and immediately binning them before the judges could see. Ian was also panicking with his soft tacos, manically kneading until he actually read the recipe on the flour packet and realised he had to start again. Dai and Dal were having mayonnaise troubles. It wasn’t going great.
The only teams that seems to be on top of things were The Corporate Dads and The Modern Day Hippies. The Corporate Dads had set up a “Deliverance Mechanism” of “plan, execute, and get it done.” Whatever that meant, it seemed to be working. They were serving up their hot piping fish parcels just as the Genesis folk arrived. To grab their attention, Aaron went into “sales and marketing mode”, which largely consisted of him yelling “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” to attract attention. Once again, it seemed to be working. The Hippies were also churning out curries and flatbreads, spinning massive yarns about the probiotic yoghurt in the chutney. Aaron and Heather were getting mobbed at their New Zealand stand, which just goes to show that if there’s one thing that New Zealander’s like – it’s New Zealand.
Neena and Belinda were the Slumdog Millionaires, raking in the MKR dollars and winning by a country mile. They were followed by Josh and Aaron, Aaron and Heather and Dai and Dal. At the bottom of the ranks were Sam and Dan, Ricki and Jessie, Steve and Maura and Ian and Sandie. Team Taco (Ian and Sandie) and Team Pancake (Steve and Maura) will be the first two teams to enter the double-elimination challenge.
Moral of the story: Avoid making any sort of flat fried flour-based product. Unless you have been to India in which case, flat bread away.
Watch My Kitchen Rules on TVNZ Ondemand here