In this episode we were dispatched to Lower Hutt, home of Ian and Sandy (aka “The Firefighter and his Flame”). There was much speculation about what Ian would be dishing up after his meat-aging-cauliflower-shaming opinions at the previous instant restaurant. It seemed pretty clear after seeing the pair at home cooking for their large family, as well as for the boys down at the station, that they knew their stuff. The Corporate Dads predicted either aged meat, possum or cat for the main. I suppose Ian probably does spend a lot of time rescuing cats from trees.
The instant restaurant “Ignite” was not sponsored by a herbal sex pill as I originally thought, but was boring old “fire” themed. We saw the flickering embers of Ian’s soon-to-be overwhelming sincerity as he turned to guests and said “the restaurant is for igniting new friendships”. Back in the kitchen, Ian started to get very freaked out about the judges. He would continue to be freaked out for the rest of the ep/all of time, talking to his pan of Beurre Noisette like a lunatic. Before the snapper starters were served, Christchurch cuties Jessie and Ricki came out to the table as a couple. Talk about ignite! You should have seen the Corporate Dads face!
The starter came under a bit of fire by the other contestants. Corporate Dad Aaron had fish so raw it was “verging on sushi”, whilst others complained that the amount of capers overpowered the dish (“Capers 4 Africa”- Kelly’s new niche charity organisation). Aaron (Corporate) enjoyed his sushi line so much that he would pull it out several more times in the episode. The other Aaron (Polynesian Cook), kept up his air of quiet genius by calmly telling judges he found the beurre noisette to be more of a clarified butter.
The main course also suffered a bit of heat. A mushroom risotto struck fear into the heart of Corporate Dad Josh, who spent “three days in the toilet and shower” after a bad risotto on holiday. The shower bit is a little weird but, moving on. Too many big flavours (mushroom, chorizo, gorgonzola) in the dish meant that it wasn’t enjoyed by everyone. The Corporate Dads put in their two cents again by saying they would have loved to “tuck a cray” in there. Gareth was not impressed by that. Dessert redeemed the old flames – a vanilla panna cotta with berry couli. Contestants were happy with it, judges were happy with it, but nobody was happier than Ian. Moved to tears, he was choked up describing the “really good wobble” of his dessert. Overall, the pair were given a score of 69. A smokin’ score for a smokin’ episode.