It was Sudden Death, the Cuties vs the Foodies. Jessie and Maura were wearing identical pink tops, and Steve was without a hat – this was clearly serious business. They were making a three-course meal for the celebrity panel, Jessie was ready to vomit and Steve and Maura were flexing their hands, ready to crank out some undoubtedly complicated dishes. I wasn’t wrong, their entrée was a duo of sashimi with caviar and mousse and lemon air. What in god’s sweet name is lemon air? The Cuties were making ravioli, with just your regular bog standard air.
The Cuties were having pasta troubles, with a very thick dough struggling to roll through the machine. At one point the machine packed it in entirely, releasing a deflated “beep beep beeeeeep” akin to a dying person’s heart monitor. Meanwhile, Steve was deep in some psychotic scientific caviar creation. “Dude looks like a mad mixologist” said Aaron from the sidelines. The glasses don’t help either AMIRIIIIITE. Ha! Glasses, who wears glasses?
The Cutie Ravioli was bloody loved by all. “Beautiful” said Ben Bayly, making possibly the funniest face MKRNZ has seen yet. The Foodies’ sashimi and proto-plasm also delivered both science and flavour. Sexy Grace Ramirez thought the sashimi was “sexy”, which along with “party”, is her only other adjective for describing food that she likes. Imagine if someone manages a “sexy party”? Instant win.
The Foodies travelled to China (metaphorically, they literally were just in the same place at Kitchen HQ in Auckland) for their main course of braised ribs and star anise. They left the ribs in the pressure cooker to do some crazy pressure science. Alas, the pressure cooker somehow drained out all of the water or something and left them with charred meat. “They are going to have to rectify a nightmare” said Neena, undoubtedly irked by unnatural pressure cooker upsetting the holistic chi of the meat. Over at camp Cutie, their lemon chicken main and “colourful salad” was coming along fine. They played it safe, they played it cute.
The judges enjoyed the charred-pressure beef, with Sean Connolly having a near-death experience, “when I close my eyes, I’m in heaven.” You should really get that checked out Sean. The cute chicken was cooked to perfection, but again failed to reach the sexy heights of sexy Grace Ramirez’s sex-o-meter. Ben Bayly was tangibly moved by the perfect cooking of the chicken, “is it possible to cook chicken any better? I’m here to tell you that it’s not.” Rousing words.
For dessert, Ricki decided to start spinning sugar to garnish their chocolate mint tart like some crazed (yet still cute) spider. Scientist Steve was having major issues with the agar-agar again, I’m truly quite scared of his scientific aspirations. I’ve seen Hollow Man enough times to know that you do not mess around with science that you don’t fully understand. The Foodies ended up serving up a creme brulée that looked like it was “from the 90s”. I mean, I didn’t see a scrunchie or a chatter-ring but sure, whatever you say Sean. The Cuties’ mint-choc tart went down a storm, even with famous mint hater Grace Ramirez. I guess mint isn’t really that sexy is it.
Jessie and Ricki won by a whisker over Steve and Maura, who now have to hang their fedoras as they leaven Kitchen HQ forever. It was emotional, even Corporate Aaron was crying corporate crocodile tears. Goodbye my Foodies, goodbye my friends.
Moral of the story: Science can’t save us all.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.