MKR – Wed, Mar 23 – Miners V Lovebirds

Go now, boys. Run - be free of your constraining shirts.
Go now, boys. Run – be free of your constraining shirts.

At this point does it matter who goes home? We know neither of these teams is going to be in the grand final. I guess I want the Miners to win because they are affable chaps who don’t do ridiculous PDA, but is that just prolonging their suffering?
Boys, use your mining cash to start a food truck selling Mexican food and juices. Put Gareth on customer service and you’d make a motza.

Hmmm, nice raw meat touching cabbage there, MKR fridge stockers.

And so the race to see who the not-quite-so-sucky of two sucky teams begins … But first, we check in with Paige, who recounts her fishy story and says she’s on the mend (but surely she can’t continue in the competition while recovering from hand surgery?).

Gareth and Alex’s menu:

Entree: Salmon sashimi with avocado puree and rice crackers (Sounds way basic so they’d better have awesome sushi knife skills. Seems unlikely.)

Main: Eye fillet with butter bean mash and red wine jus (Sounds like a Nev dish – should that be juss?)

Dessert: Chocolate mousse dome with cherry sorbet (Yum – hope they have been practising their tempering. Any dessert based on the flavours of a Cherry Ripe is a winner with me.)

JP and Nelly:

Entree: Polish borscht with caraway flatbread and dill yoghurt (What’s with all the soup’s this year on MKR? From the Cops’ gluggy pea and ham to Dee’s whatever that mess was with unfried chorizo, they’ll all been flops, despite not being technically challenging.)

Main: Roast duck maryland with potato and leek mash and red wine jus (Meh. Could be delicious but it’s not exactly inspirational)

Dessert: White chocolate mascarpone tart with caramelised figs and hints of earl grey (I believe I’ve made my view on the nothingness that is white chocolate clear.)

And they’re cooking … Alex confesses he’s only tempered chocolate once before but it looks like he’s been shotgunning YouTube videos. It’s going to be hard controlling the temperature under the studio lights.

Nelly is working on her tart pastry but there’s still time for nauseating pecks with JP. But what does official commentator Lauren think? She mutters (correctly) from the sidelines: “There’s too much love between them and not enough in the food.”

Gareth (aka Man Bun) says the dressing is “ponzu-inspired” and “We’re showing a bit of creative flair.” This does not bode well. If combining the sauce and avocado was a good idea, the Japanese would have started doing it centuries ago.

Both teams seem behind with their entrees, but who can tell, really, with the editing. Supposedly with 20 minutes to go Nelly yells “shish-kebab!” and remembers she has to make flatbread for the entree. And with 15 minutes to go their rice crackers aren’t in the oven and the fish hasn’t been touched.

Back from the ad break, Manu pretends he’s excited and tells Pete “We’ve got salmon versus soup; the ‘fat’ is on.”

Urgh – more kissy kissy. Nelly’s flatbread doesn’t seem to be baking in the oven so they pop it in a frypan. Allegedly with 60 seconds to go Gareth is cutting up his hot rice crackers with a pizza wheel.

Time for judging …

Guy says the soup has a grainy texture. It’s all a bit blah.

“It’s a good bit of fish, but a few microherbs thrown on top, it just doesn’t cut the mustard for me.” Karen says the rice cracker wasn’t cooked enough. Colin is scathing: “What are you doing with all that time? … When we’ve seem some of the other dishes the other teams have put up …”

Time for mains … the boys get their sorbet in the freezer and start to unmould their chocolate. Their domes are breaking. But then Alex gets the hang of it and the crowd goes wild. The Lovebirds are also focusing on dessert – can someone please start their main!
Alex does a paprika and onion powder rub for his beef fillet and browns it in a pan that’s far too hot. Man Bun is entrusted with mixing lemon into butter.
Nelly is making potato and leek mash and is trying to get it smooth with a stick blender. But what does official commentator, Lauren, think: “They’re going to turn into glue.”
That’s twice I’ve agreed with Lauren tonight. Can someone check my temperature? Does Nelly not watch the show? It’s called a drum sieve, girl. And why is she cooking broccolini with oodles of time left on the clock?
Meanwhile, everything’s going wrong on the other side. Pete and Manu are exchanging alarmed looks at the thought of eating the Miners’ gloppy bean puree (Fass is going to lose it); the boys have forgotten to put the wine in their jus; and Alex has burnt some of the beef because he burnt the spices when he fried it earlier. Oh no, it’s actually because he had one of the ovens on grill. He’s understandably freaking out.
It’s the battle of the sozes, and the onlookers think both jus will be rubbish. The Mners’ meat is resting without a thermometer in sight, but luckily for them it looks nice and pink inside. Well, one fillet, at least. The other is almost raw. The Lovebirds are plopping their Clag mash and overcooked broccoli on the plate. We haven’t heard much about the duck, so it’s probably fine.

The judges dig in …

Fass: “It was dry. The broccoli .. it was three times cooked .. I’m a bit disheartened today actually.” The sauce is yucky, as is the Clag.

Some beef is blue, some is overcooked, the beans are stodgy. Manu: “The jus is just red wine. I prefer to have no soz at all.”
Fass: “I might not even come back – I’m that angry”
Jordan sums it up: “The butter has [pause while he tries to think of something nice to say] flavour in it and the leek was actually all right. Normally I have my red wine in a glass.”

As predicted, it’s a huge letdown after the highs of the Italians V Zana showdown where people made their own pasta and filo, stuffed squid, made risotto, etc.

It’s dessert time and the boys are quenelling sorbet like champions. Gareth starts making praline. At least the dessert will have a number of elements showcasing technique.
The Lovebirds take their tea-flavoured pastry out and it looks a bit blond but they seem happy. It’s certainly thin.
But then Nelly is having fig trouble and yet again has to be bleeped for swearing. I remember this from her instant restaurant – she was depicted as Snow White but there was a lot of bleeping.
Why didn’t she just torch them to start with? Perhaps because she was terrible memories of blow torch dramas from their restaurant – remember JP driving from servo to servo?
The Miners are plating up and it looks so much better than their last sweet effort:

Not plated up by four year olds.
Not plated up by four year olds.

Yep, they’ve got this.

Tasting time …
The judges are delighted to have two dishes that look edible.

Guy: “Wow – it’s like it’s a different team.” The choc is well tempered and the sorbet is refreshingly tart. Fass would like a thinner dome but he’s just happy to have decent food. Manu eats everything on his plate.

Guy likes the shortness of the pastry. Colin: “It’s elegant, it’s feminine.” They all like it.

The Miners are judged first and Colin does some truth telling to their sad little faces, but they “romped it home” for dessert.
Scores: Fass 4; Guy 5; Karen 5; Liz 5; Pete 5; Manu 5. Total 29/60
The boys think they’re going home and JP and Nelly are hopeful, until …
Fass schools them in how to make a vegie trivet to stop duck overcooking on the bottom and says their soz was a waste of red wine.
Scores: Fass 3; Guy 4; Karen 5; Liz 5; Pete 5; Manu 5. 27/60
The camera must have missed Zana’s reaction, so instead we get:


JP is so devo that Nelly has to do all the talking.
Go have a cup of tea, JP.
Go have a cup of tea, JP.

Yep, see ya – don’t mind me while I fast forward through your kissing montage.

A reminder there’s no MKR Sunday but it’s back Monday with a feed-the-public challenge at a movie night. It looks like everything goes wrong for Zana, probably because they made her wear pink lippie instead of her usual villain red. Lauren must have gotten that shade – for when she’s throwing shade.

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brain dead dave

If there’s ever a night to watch Reno Rumble~ here it is!


Let’s keep the miners. Who remembers Darling Sweetie, the lovely young Asian couple – JP and Nellie are not as likeable …


Oh yes. The one with the dad jokes


Alex started with 1 bandaid then 2 then 3. Now he has the blue glove on. Now glove off.

brain dead dave

Miner playing with tempered chocolate: “I’ve only done this once before”

Hey. it’s only sudden death.

JP ~ stands for “Just Pretending”

Lets’ play ” **** ~ a ~ duck”


Faux drama from the voice over person. “One of the favourites will go home?” Really? lololol


Both teams should be sent home and bring back Italianos

brain dead dave

“Dill Yoghurt”~ You’d have to be a dill to eat it.


Questions to the judges:

Have there been any big disasters?
Pete: There are always disasters! There are teams that come in thinking they can cook, who unfortunately are probably a little bit out of their league.
Manu: Some people are relieved to leave early!

Wonder who they are referring to


I know I can’t wait for another evening of awesome Lauren-isms.

Meanwhile, the miners go straight to seafood for their entree. Oh my gosh boys. STAY AWAY FROM SEAFOOD.


“She’s gotta move. She’s gotta move quick.” Thank you for that stunning observation Lauren.

Meanwhile, the boys have 18 minutes left and haven’t even started their entree. Seriously, can we just eliminate them all now? It’ll save everybody time.


But but but this seafood doesn’t need cooking 🙂


Good point :D.

Still, you gotta say, they’re temping fate.

brain dead dave

Exactly who is facing sudden death here? The two teams or the poor sods who have to eat this garbage?


Blue Moo served with glue – yum, yum 😉


At last…..dessert forks. Sad when I’m more thrilled with the dessert fork than the food.

brain dead dave

Entree and Mains.

Fails all round.

We won’t hear “unctuous” tonight, folks.

Best to desert before dessert.


After hearing the Khoo use ‘unctuous’ and not being sure of the meaning I looked it up. Apparently, it means ‘oily, greasy, soapy’ or if used to describe a person ‘smarmy ingratiating’.

Somehow it has been picked up by food critics and used to mean the opposite of its true meaning.


The Khoo lied to us? *gasp*

brain dead dave

Karen de Martini is the first person I heard use “unctuous” on this show. I’m dreading her using it again but the food last night was so bad ,she didn’t get the chance.

I Googled it after Rachel Khoo used it, too. The foodies are using a more obscure meaning. It’s a pose. Though plenty of MKR fare is “oily” and “greasy”

Some of these synonyms for “unctuous” apply to MKR, surely?

~ sycophantic, ingratiating, obsequious, fawning, servile, self-abasing, grovelling, subservient, wheedling, cajoling, crawling, cringing, Uriah Heepish, humble, toadying, hypocritical, insincere, flattering, adulatory, honey-tongued, silver-tongued, gushing, effusive, suave, urbane, glib, smooth, smooth-tongued, smooth-spoken, smooth-talking, slick, slippery, saccharine; oily, oleaginous, greasy;
cloying, nauseating, sickening;
informalsmarmy, slimy, bootlicking, forelock-tugging, phoney, sucky, soapy;
informalbrown-nosing, apple-polishing;
vulgar slangarse-licking, bum-sucking;
vulgar slangass-kissing, kiss-ass;
raresaponaceous, pinguid


I’m sorry, but whenever they cut to Zana, I want somebody to scream, “Watch out! There’s a pigeon!” and watch her reaction. Is that mean?


Now you’ve put that in my head ….


Thank God we don’t have to watch the kissing any more


I second that 🙂


As pretentious as he is, didn’t Manu just sound heart-broken when he was talking about the lovebird’s sauce? That must’ve been *bad*.


“I love cherries, I love chocolate, and I have a weird fascination with domes. Bring it on boys!”

Jordan, stop being so adorable!


I have to admit ….i love steak and am a chocoholic…so i was preferring the boys menu..and omg but that chocolate dessert with cherry sorbet looked good..


The canaries have fallen off the perch.


Hahahaha! 🙂


Thanks Juz, great recap. Both of those teams deserved to go home. How they even made it on to the show I don’t know, they were abysmal cooks tonight and most other times they have cooked.
Nelly said she had never seen JP cry before, well I know I saw him crying the other night, I don’t know how she missed it she was standing right next to him.


She implied that she hadn’t seen him cry before coming on MKR. For someone so emotional, I don’t know how.


Great recap Jush, I mean Jus, I mean Juz,


I decided I’d down a shot every time shomeone shaid they weren’t ready to ho gome, I mean go home.

What were we shpeaking about? Oh yesh MKY, ummm MKZ, or shomething. Whatevzh. Doeshn’t matter. My head hurtsh…


All you get playing the shots game with ‘not ready to go home’ is a bad hangover. Nelly/JP kiss kiss shots would lead to alcohol poisoning.


It’s only been on 45 minutes here, but I am watching to see how many dumb mistakes these two teams can make. Come on, people, I know you are amateur cooks but for f-sake, who doesn’t look at the setting when putting something in the oven? And your mise en place should show you what you are cooking so you can’t forget a part of the dish. I need a drink…and I hope they both go home.


How often (or not) can Nelly have made mash? “I have to make this mash from scratch”. And then uses a stick blender! Year after year, some contestants (not just Nelly) have no basic skills but ponce around about their passion, gush over cookbook chefs and throw around culinary terms with aplomb!


“I have to make this mash from scratch”. How else do you make a mash? Anyone?

brain dead dave

I was told rats cannot resist that Deb Instant Potato , in fact, they think it’s to die for.


Pastry now has a gender!!!


Yep, a multitude of basic mistakes. Cooking broccolini 40 minutes (!) before serving, using stick blender for potato, not frying the figs in a pan, general poor time management.

I don’t know much about making jus, but it was clear that the boys didn’t ‘forget’ to add the wine as some of the watchers thought. They never intended to add it before the point where they did.

Not sure why the judges couldn’t tell the duck was overcooked just by looking at it. The meat had pulled away from the bone, and it was clearly dried up.

I’d like to make that tart, though. Good on them for making something unique and being brave to add a little unusual flavour. Hope the recipe goes up on the website.


I found it by searching by team. Maybe it has just been put up in the last couple of hours. Doesn’t look too difficult at first glance. I might try it over Easter if I have the family together.

Just noticed that it should have had 4 hours chilling time after the filling goes in. That doesn’t fit with the episode last night. Did they use a blast chiller?


No wonder the duck was shrivelled up then.

I had thought that the filling went in much later. Can’t really remember now.


Well it was disaster upon disaster… and setting tempered chocolate in the fridge is a bit of a no no but lucky they succeeded.

Just wondering how much advance warnings the contestants get on their challenges though… for Paige to admit to hurting herself filleting fish.. just before they were due for a seafood challenge… sounds like they were in the know and they were practicing.

Looking forward to the next episode of another “lets milk Zana for all she’s worth”.

Bruiser Brody

that was great – apex stuff, exposing what a completely horrible farce this show always has the potential to be!
Professional chefs being served some cut-up fish… which took an hour to prepare?!? Just exposes the shallowness of this ‘competition’ and brilliant work by Fass to basically point the finger directly at Pete/ Manu for putting these charlatans through to this level of the comp!

Zana checklist.
Doesn’t like: pigeons; segaulls; any body of water; outdoors; the sun
Does like: deep-frying everything; cocaine?
By all rights she should be pushing 120kgs!


To be fair to the judges, they have no say in the audition process. The producers just like the Lovebird’s and the Miners. They were picked not because they can cook but for their ability to torture the viewers or for the eye candy for the younger female audience .


I think for the judges the contrast from one elimination to the next was a step too far. They’ve had just as bad in other season’s eliminations, but before they started bad and gradually got better as the better cooks reached the end. Dried up duck was just too much after squid ink risotto.

Bet they wished now that they had given the other teams 9s instead of 7s. They are unlikely to get anything better.

And… Pete and Manu were much more lenient in their IR rounds than Colin and Rachel, so maybe they did have something to do with these two teams getting so far. Got to wonder if the cops or stepsies would have done better.


I don’t think the miners will be around much longer. Not going to miss the kissing lovebirds but both teams should have been eliminated. With only one course being decent, even if it was excellent, don’t see how either of the teams were given 5s.

brain dead dave

All the moaning about going back to the mines. A friend of mine is making $43 an hour down there. That’s gotta beat starting some crazy restaurant.

brain dead dave

Pete and Manu are being paid more….. therefore they bend over for the producers and don’t rock the boat.


That’s why Colin is so refreshing. Can we get three more Colins to replace the other judges?


Plonk any old plonk in a jus and you risk the dish tasting worse than anything in the Liquorland bin ends bargain barrel. So indiscriminate. Gosh, Nelly put more work into “making the broccolini from scratch” than anyone does choosing a suitable wine (at least the producers could arrange for the sponsors to provide a selection – that would introduce more complexity to the fraught competition).
Thanks so much JUZ for your magnificent recaps – I lap them up!


Yeah, I forgot how Nelly made it sound so technical to cook the broccolini. What a fuss.

Nelly forgot why we have a potato masher


Fresh greens just lightly steamed/boiled are so yummy. Why did she then have to fry them as well?


And why did she start cooking them so early?


No doubt about it, they deserved to go home, in fact it should have been a double eviction.
They could have had great headlines “First time in MKR history”

It’s bad to say we are getting used to this standard of cooking on our locally produced shows but I wonder what overseas viewers think when they tune in to see the way it’s done on our shows, I hate to think.
They will surely be thinking that is the best of the best home cook we have to offer.


I noticed all the desserts from the Miners are chocolate desserts.

I also wonder whether the teams have some cooking lessons as red wine juss was featured 3 times by 3 different team.