The challenge was to make a vague platter for an undisclosed large group of hungry people. Who would the mystery guests be? Heather wanted a big group of hairy men, Dai wanted All Blacks (Dan Carter, specifically). We would find out later. The teams got to work manically tearing stuff from the storeroom. Jessie and Ricki had no idea what to do, considering a bag of chips, and then picking up a piece of pork which they would switch to chicken at the last remaining second. The Corporate Dads went straight for the steak. “What if they’re women?” Josh mused, “ladies love steak, my wife loves a steak” retorted Aaron. Oh captain, my captain. We do love a good steak.
Dai and Dal were doing sticky ribs, I reckon Dai was looking to get this hypothetical Dan Carter character lickin’ his fingers seductively. Neena and Belinda were making scones, perhaps expecting a troupe of Hip-Hoperation style grandmas. Aaron and Heather were doing an elaborate thing with a beef cheek and a pressure cooker. Steve and Maura were going for an MKR favourite – a Mexican fiesta. More importantly, as ever, what in the hell was Steve wearing? That checkered cheese cutter and a chunky roll-neck cardigan combo looked eerily familiar.
The Corporate Dads were using their signature Two Fat Cats butter on their gender-neutral steak. Point of order mister speaker, how did they smuggle that into Kitchen HQ? That’s not a registered trademark Countdown product by any stretch. Neena and Belinda were over the other side struggling through hell-fire to make their own butter, and these guys just strut in with their own chilly bin full of the stuff? Maybe they smuggle it in Josh’s spiky hair. It’s all just business. All of my butter musings were interrupted by the arrival of the much-hyped mystery guests. Not Dan Carter, not a troupe of hip-hop dancing grandmas, but a giant gang of bikers – who zoomed in on their Harleys. Fine, totally fine.
Was this the most absurd thing to happen on National television this year? Almost definitely. Doing circles around the frantic teams, the tattooed bikers looked like they had no idea what they were doing there. Nobody did. Gareth and Ben instantly puffed their chests up, no longer holding any authority in the fictitious MKR hierarchy. It was a very bizarre intersection of class, culture, leather jackets and cardigans. The teams started to adjust their platters to the bikie palate. Corporate Dad looked at Corporate Aaron, “no frilly shit anymore brother.” I don’t know what frilly shit they got rid of, but they kept their frilly-ass butter that’s for sure. Jessie and Ricki were nervously testing their chicken with a thermometer, a handy trick that Ricki picked up working at McDonalds. Tell you what, Jessie and Ricki are doing for McDonalds what Ian and Sandie did for smoke alarms.
The bikies turned out to be amazingly well-versed in the subtleties of flavour and texture, awarding Neena and Belinda (frilly scone queens) the highest score for their Ploughman’s platter of a million chutneys, frilled meats, and frilly pickled things. Just goes to show, ladies can eat steak and bikies can eat scones.
Moral of the story: A little bit of frilly shit goes a long a way.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.