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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Between all the book labelling and mad hunt for hats and socks and uniform bits I finally finished watching My Kitchen Rules last night.

And although I probably shouldn’t say this, I don’t think I like the South Australian team. Nope. Can’t wait to watch when it’s Paul and Melissa’s  turn to cook for 10 people.

The first episode features Michael “Mossy” Moss and wife Gabrielle from NSW; he’s a senior police officer, she’s a lawyer and they’re the only competitors with kids (six from memory).

They have to prepare a three course meal for their competition rivals as well as judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel.’The meal is prepared and served in the contestants’ homes – so having a flair for entertaining and interior decorating helps.

After just one episode it’s easy to tell Pete and Manu know the ropes when it comes to the demands of reality TV, which is quite a different beast  to daytime cooking shows.

They know how to work the camera, play with words and make the contestants squirm as they await the verdict. But so far, they’re not being mean – just honest. No one wants to wait 90 minutes for a main course.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of  Mossy and Gabrielle’s rivals, who are happy to dump on them and are brutal when it comes to scoring.

During the interview segments with the rival couples, I couldn’t help feeling these people have all watched too many episodes of Survivor and all think they are Matt Prestons or Rob Broadfields in the making (minus the years of experience).

They complain about the mashed potato, the choice of meal, the presentation, the cheesecake. About the only thing they seem to like is the jus.

Key to any show like this is casting. There is always going to be a degree of animosity in a competitive environment, contrived or otherwise. It’s not just about cooking, it’s about presentation, conflict and performing under pressure.

Unlike Masterchef, I don’t see My Kitchen Rules necessarily sending viewers for the pots and pans. What it may lead to is more dinner parties and a more picky, discerning (and potentially backstabbing) breed of diners and guests.

My Kitchen Rules premieres tonight Feb 1 at 7.30pm on Seven, with episode two screening tomorrow at the same time.

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On Saturday I travelled to the Margaret River region with Channel 7 and assorted media types and Perthonalities for the launch of Seven’s new reality cooking series My Kitchen Rules. 

WA contestants Marc & Natalie with MC Mark Gibson at MKR launch

When this show was announced last year, I groaned. It sounded like a knee-jerk, copycat reaction to Ten’s hit Masterchef Australia. Worth noting I also doubted Masterchef would work when Ten announced it in 2008. 

Paul & Melissa, SA contestants in MKR

I’ll start by saying I am yet to see a full episode of MKR, which some including Reality Ravings have already called a cross between Seven’s previous hit series My Restaurant Rules and Come Dine With Me. Hopefully I’ll be seeing it early this week. 

Having watched a lot of TV over the years, I was asked by other guests/media  on more than one occasion the million dollar question – how I thought the show would go? 

Again, not having seen a full episode, there are several factors to consider. First, the talent. Whether we like or dislike the contestants and how they behave and react under pressure is pretty important  (I have an inkling there’s at least one person viewers are going to find irritating – it is after all, reality TV). 

Then there are the judges; Peter Evans and Manu Feildel both have plenty of TV experience, Evans on Nine’s Fresh (he was also cooking for IGA at the Perth Royal Show last year) and Feildel on Ready, Steady Cook and Masterchef. 

Crispy skinned salmon with salsa

Yet  some media didn’t seem to know who they were. Still, that’s not such a concern – how many TV viewers had heard of Matt Preston this time last year? It’s their advice and how they give it that will count (some are predicting Frenchman Feildel will win over female viewers). 

Also worth considering – timeslot. MKR is being launched in double chunks, at 7.30pm Mondays and Tuesdays from Feb 1. Is that too much to swallow? Not when you consider Masterchef was stripped every night bar Saturday. 

But what will MKR be up against? On Nine, the answer is all new  Two and a Half Men/ Big Bang Theory and Survivor (for week one at least). On Ten, The Biggest Loser Couples and So You Think You Can Dance. 

That’s tough competition and not everyone can come out a winner. On the positive side, there will be no other cooking shows on prime time commercial TV – with Masterchef not on air until The Biggest Loser concludes around May. 

But if I had to pick a winner at the launch, WA contestants Marc and Natalie (the only married couple on the show) got the big thumbs up for their grilled lamb with Moroccan cous cous (maybe I am being parochial, maybe Sam Kekovich has me brainwashed and maybe it was Moroccan lamb, not cous cous). 

Marc & Natalie's Lamb with cous cous

I’m not sure if the side serves of potato salad and spinach salad with roasted sweet potato were also their handiwork but the results were delish. 

Apologies that there are no photos of Gen and Tanja from Queensland’s prawns, they were on skewers and eaten too quickly. 

*In my original post, I didn’t factor the food into how MKR would rate. Once I would have said accessible food we can easily make at home is the key – but the croquembouche challenge on Masterchef proved otherwise. 

And let’s not forget where the launch was held – award-winning home/luxury retreat Incognito 

Imagine waking up to this… 

View from Incognito luxury retreat

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Lamb Pide - dairy free

Lamb Pide

Okay, what happened to 2009? December flew by without a solitary post; not for the want of trying. A couple of quick posts ended up in drafts, and there they remained. 

If you’ve visited this site previously, you may have noticed my compulsion for almost obsessively photographing everything I cook or eat. 

For example, here’s the yummy lamb pide I made last week – a cheese free pizza that can be enjoyed by my daughter who has dairy allergies. 

And here’s an Indonesian fried chicken dish, also cooked for the first time last week. 

Indonesian Fried Chicken

Indonesian Fried Chicken

  

I  don’t make any claims about being a  great food photog but I snap away in the vague hope I’ll eventually get time to write something to go with the images. 

Yesterday I decided to force myself to do a bit of both – by starting a Project 365 revolving around food. Yes, I decided a day into the new year – but luckily, I had already taken photos on day 1. 

You can find the photos at my Flickr page categorised under Project 365. 

And of course I’ll continue to post here, too.

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For the last few weeks I have been heavily using the fantastic food website Taste.

If you are a fan of food magazines such as Super Food Ideas, Good Taste and Delicious, this is a quick and easy way to find recipes without having to sit down on the floor and wade through several years of back issues.

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

While I look forward to receiving my copy of Delicious in the post each month and often deliberately save reading it as a reward for getting work finished, Taste is a great companion.

Last weekend I made easy Beer Bread which is great to accompany a hearty soup and also banana choc chip muffins.

Banana Choc Chip Muffins

Banana Choc Chip Muffins

I have also tried a couple of chicken dishes including a simple chicken paella and an oven baked chicken risotto.

The bread is so easy and has just three ingredients – beer, SR flour and French onion soup – how easy is that!

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