MKR – Sun, Feb 21

Tonight’s the night we find out if Villain Jess and He of the Serial Killer stare, Marcos, can walk the talk.
Of course, we start with footage of them working out, then it’s a rehash of some of their most villainous quotes. after a week of seeing them on TV it’s only now we learn she works in OH&S for the construction industry (is she like Safety Cam on The Block?) and he’s an amateur boxer (does that mean he is unemployed?).
They “mates from Melbourne” have chosen to do a vegetarian menu, and it’s a gutsy move as it’s certainly easier to create crowd-pleasing, punchier flavours using meat.
Their menu is:
Entree: Herb and zucchini fritters with fennel flat bread and yoghurt sauce (sounds very simple).
Main: Stained Glass Lasagne with Mushroom Ragu (yum!)
Dessert: Spiced carrot and pineapple cake with carrot and ginger jelly (not sure about the jelly component).
In Coles, Jess is buying canned pineapple for the cake and is careful to buy one that does not have added sugar. However, she has no qualms about purchasing a brand that comes from Thailand, rather than Aussie grown.

Shopping in Coles is fun. Hang on, why are we in the medicine aisle?

Shopping in Coles is fun. Hang on, why are we in the medicine aisle?

All of a sudden Jess is about food being a balance of naughty and nice – this from the woman who cut out easting chocolate because she loved it too much…
Back home and they are setting up the restaurant in their cooking time, so we know they’ll be running late al night.
Their restaurant, The Upper Cut, is a 1920s boxing theme. Who comes up with this stuff?
Finally they are in the kitchen with only 1 hour 46 minutes to go.
Jess gets started on the cakes: “I’ve made this recipe so many times I am just going to freeball it.” They are talking up how the cake uses the pineapple’s natural sweetness, but then Jess adds at least one cup of brown sugar. Umm, just because it’s brown, Jess, it doesn’t make it healthy.
Marcos is sous chef tonight and he’s moving too slowly on the mushrooms for Jess’s taste. Luckily, as he says: “I like taking orders.”
I’m surprised they made they mushroom sauce so tomatoey – I was picturing a mushroom and goat’s curd-type deal.
They get changed (and, yes, Jess is wearing a weird blingy playsuit that just covers her boobs – hopefully no-one glances sideways when she’s leaning over to put a dish on the table) and when they return one of the cakes looks overdone. Only now is Jess making pasta dough and it looks like a small quantity.
But where are the knee socks?

But where are the knee socks?

j closeup
The guests arrive and are awkwardly greeted. In the kitchen Marcos has not left the food processor all night – he’s done carrots, mushrooms and now zucchini. Pete and Manu arrive to what sounds like Jet’s Cold Hard Bitch – are you trying to tell us something, editors?
The teams check out the menu and quickly pick up on the oil and carbs being used – and the lack of protein.
In the kitchen they are just starting to make their fritters and Jess comments they don’t want them to be too salty. Uh oh, here comes another underseasoned dish. The producers send Pete into the kitchen to try and rattle them and he gets to hear Jess tell him the entree came to her in a dream. He ripostes with: “Do you think it’s going to be a dream or a nightmare for the guests out there?” One point to Pete.
The fritters look tasty but it’s definitely two dishes crammed on one plate. And no garnish of fresh herbs or salsa.

Time to watch the judges masticate …
Pete must have been hoping for some yummy healthy food that’s right up his alley. “It’s halfway there .. sort of.” The fritters lack flavour, while the sauce is terrific. Manu points out the fritter and bread together don’t make sense.
The guests are underwhelmed and Nev and Kell are happy they are in with a chance.
In the kitchen they haven’t started on the jelly yet. That’s going to take forever to set, even in a thin sheet.
They are making the stained glass pasta – layering flat-leaf parsley between the sheets for effect – and the lasagne looks lovely and thin. (I appreciate their use of a container of gelatine powder as a measuring tool, since I bought that exact purple container of gelatine four hours ago.) However, in the dining room it’s been 90 minutes since entree and the guests are getting antsy. Where do Pete and Manu go between courses? Do they have ritzy trailers out in the street where Manu can watch soccer and Pete can meditate?
The pasta is finally served and the guests mistake the mushroom duxelle for beef and get excited.

Chew time … Pete likes the stained glass effect and that it’s meat free but, says the tomatoes are too strong. Manu is not happy that the mushrooms have been minced to mimic meat rather than sliced. Jess opines the whole point is to trick the senses, but Manu does not look impressed. Again the dish is underseasoned.
The Italians give props for the texture of lasagne sheets but apparently Jess has served them a severed horse’s head as well, because they are brutal about the flavour.
In the kitchen Jess wisely slices the burnt crust off the cake but she and Marcos are fighting about the amount of icing sugar to put in the icing. Marcos knows they will get bagged out if their dessert is not sweet.
After a wait of 2 hours and 15 mins they serve dessert. Don’t know why it took so long – perhaps some of the dessert making we were shown earlier didn’t actually occur til later.

Time to chews … Manu is missimg the spice of the cake … and the pineapple … and the sugar. “Sigh” pretty much sums up his comments. Pete also thinks it’s not sweet enough, so you know it must have been really bland.
If they wanted a dessert that wasn’t too sweet, why not
Credit to Nev, who’s on the chopping block – he’s a big fan of the jelly. And the Italians appreciate the moistness of the cake.
Scores: Argh, I’ve typed out this: Sisters ; Miners ; Nev and Kell ; Lovebirds; Italians … but of course we have to go to kitchen HQ to get the scores as it’s the last cook of the round.
Judges: Entree Pete 4, Manu 4; Main Pete 7, Manu 7; Dessert Pete 3, Manu 2.
Guest score: 11/50. Ouch! That means four 2s and one 3.
For a total of 38. Jess and Marcos remain stoic but you can tell they are upset.

And here comes Group 1 again, just when we’d forgotten them, and in strides Colin like a rock star and the girls are even more excited than when they met Manu.

The Fassnidge Effect.

The Fassnidge Effect.

Colin makes the shocking announcement there is a whole other group of cooks. Erm, isn’t this the EXACT SAME TWIST as last year? New villains Lauren and Dee are introduced. Could Channel 7 not at least rustle up a bitchy gay guy to provide some snide comments this season?
Anyway, it will be good to see what Rachel Khoo makes of it all, and if she has a new show coming to Channel 7, as currently she’s on SBS.



  1. I’d imagine that Jess can cook, just not very well. And Channel 7 will use that to contrive some drama in terms of the scoring, even though it’s probably pretty obvious that Duck Nuts and his brother’s wife will be leaving.

    As much as we want to get rid of Jess, Channel 7 will want to hang onto her for a little while longer yet.

  2. Hi everyone

    Can someone recommend some restaurants in Adelaide? I have 2 nights in Adelaide and 1 night at Baossa Valley.

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    • If it’s a Friday, you can go to Adelaide Central Market.Lots of restaurants there. Also near me on The Parade at Norwood. Also O’Connell St, Nth Adelaide. Many choices.

      I’ll leave the recommending of individual restaurants to Juz, Izo2 or whoever as I’m not a frequent customer.

      Rose’s cafe in Melrose Park could still be going. You gotta hustle.

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      • LP, do you want fancy date night stuff or cheap feeds? Are you staying in the CBD? The areas BDD mentions are the “eat streets”. I’d recommend the Central Market for Fri night as it’s open til 9 and gets a lovely bustling feeling OR go there for brekkie and get great coffee and corn fritters at Big Table or chakchouka (mince with eggs cracked in it and Harissa on the side) at Le Souk. Poh from MasterChef just opened her JamFace cafe there. For a special night book Andre’s Cucina (From same season as Poh). He does a chef’s tasting menu that is fabulous and good value. Just book ahead as it gets busy.

        • Thanks Juz and BDD. Not sure why my earlier reply was not posted.

          Thurs and Sat nights in Adelaide Fri night at Baossa Valley.

          Yes, I am thinking of Andre. I will go to Central Market for brekkie.

          • Try Andre on the Thursday if you can, as Sat is always packed. In the Barossa I have only eaten at The Louise, as we stayed at the hotel. It was nice. Chateau Tanunda did a yummy cheese plate. The Barossa restaurants that always win food awards are FermentAsian and Hentley Farm.
            If it’s a nice day and you have a car, drive to the beach at Somerton Park for morning tea. The kiosk there does decent coffee and simple food and you can sit overlooking the beach. The two “happening” foodie streets right now are Leigh and Peel streets in the city. Tiny restaurants and bars that are pumping, if you don’t mind the hipster crowd.

    • Hey Littlepetal hope you enjoy Adelaide! The Barossa is fabulous, which town are you staying in?
      Sounds like Juz & BDD have the food scene covered for you! There are so many choices I’m sure you will be fine.

  3. OMG! Juz, Jessica’s outfit may hurt your eyes but it is such a worthy entry for the fashion gallery of shame.

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  4. I think they are trying to channel Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall Every- Day Veg Challenge. They screwed themselves over going to Coles (wrong mushrooms) and cutting into their prep time.

  5. So far I haven’t seen them cooking a single thing that will keep them in the comp. Bottle of passata, cans of crushed tomatoes. Perhaps the assortment of herbs will add enough flavour? I note that Jess is a glorified lollipop “lady” at a construction site. High achiever career?

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    • Not everyone wants to be a CEO. My daughter works traffic control because after 2 years in an office she was going out of her mind with boredom and dealing with politics. It’s hard, dirty work that requires a bit more ability than a ‘lollipop lady’, but she’s very well paid and gets to work in a variety of places in the beautiful australian outdoors.

  6. I gotta say, on the face of it, Jess’s menu actually looks like it could be nice (particularly the dessert).

    OTOH, for an “achiever”, how on Earth did she lose an hour and a half of prep time? That can’t possibly be a good thing. I also feel a bit sorry for Marcos, given the way she’s pushing him around the kitchen. I feel like that would be a very one-sided friendship, you know?

    • When they have nothing much to buy. All from Coles. Set up to fail.

      I was looking forward to a Raw cheesecake or cake made with almond meal and honey. Jessica is a fake.

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    • The rod that Jessica built for herself aside, even if she had realised the potential of the menu and been the first team of the round to compete, they still would have struggled to remain in this competition. End of the day,most of the teams competing are not adventurous foodies and at the most elementary level failed to comprehend that a vegetarian meal would not have meat.

      Unfortunately, we are now stuck with the ‘Ducks Nuts’ for a little while longer.

  7. hmmm – very low/strategic scores. Downside for me is that “ducks nuts” annoys the crap out of me. Hopefully they’ll get knocked out in the next round. Snow white has a dark side IMO. Italians seem to be food snobs.
    Enter faux drama – What? A third group? Would never have guessed that was coming….

    • It’s still on here but from your comment it seems Jessica and Marcos scored lowest. This fills me with dread that there will be a fourth instant restaurant round for the lowest scoring 6. Aaaaaargh!
      If they don’t why would Jordan and others have strong feelings (allegedly -there’s been newspaper stories) about her?

  8. There was a hilarious moment when Jess was describing her entree to Pete, and Pete was like, “… what?”

    Even Pete thinks she’s crazy. And let’s not gloss over that point too quickly.

    Even. Pete. Thinks. She’s. Crazy.

      • I particularly liked the moment when Manu was telling her that he felt cheated in terms of her ragu, and she’s like, “Of course it’s a trick! That’s the point! I’m tricking you into thinking you’re eating meat!”

        Just the look on Manu’s face. I could imagine him thinking, in French, “I could snap you in half, sweet-heart.”

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  9. Just past mains here. I do seriously wonder about the mental health of Jessica – she actually seems quite fragile tonight despite the bravado.
    If strategic scoring happens tonight, I think it’s less about which teams a threat and more about who the other teams would prefer to spend time with.

  10. I really like Rachel Khoo but I also really liked Kylie Kwong before she appeared on Masterchef – I really hope the same thing doesn’t happen with MKR.

    • You are so right about Kylie Kwong. Her restaurant is well liked by white Australians. No offence here!! Dont shoot me. But I have yet to hear good reviews from Chinese who have been to her restaurant.

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  11. 11 out of 50 from the other teams. Bwahahaha! How’s that, “I’m an achiever!” thing going for you, Jessica? And at the end of the day, she still didn’t really get it. “Our healthy lifestyle let us down.” Um, sweety? Your obsession with your healthy lifestyle didn’t help, but your attitude was obnoxious and rude from start to finish. I bet that didn’t help your cause either.

    On the one hand, the Jess/Zana match-up won’t happen, but on the other? Good riddance.

    And 30 seconds of Jordan will have to do me, because we have to sit through yet another instant restaurant round. Gah. I hate the posturing from the judges. “What does Colin have in store for the new teams?” Probably the exact same thing that we’ve just sat through for 2 weeks, because the show is incredibly formulaic?

  12. I’ll only be convinced that there is not another round of IR for the bottom 6 when I see them all in the kitchen. From memory isn’t that how Kelly and Chloe got back in a couple of seasons ago?
    But I really hope I’m wrong.

    • If they follow last year format, the Round 4 IR consist of the teams in 4th and 5th placing in Round 1,2 and 3. I dont think Jessica and Cougar will be back.

  13. I’m envious of the kitchen with 2 ovens they were using. Handy. Maybe it belonged to a kosher family? but I didn’t spot a 2nd sink.

    Well, good riddance to Jess & her eating disorder. To be replaced by two new female villains…I agree Juz, where’s the snarky gay guy, a la Conrad from The Hot Plate? The Italians are more suave and charming than scathing/funny. Definitely my favourite team so far though.

    And yes, where DO Manu & Pete go for hours between courses? Surely they don’t just sit in the car on their phones? I really wanna know now.

    • I’ve often wondered the same! Occasionally we see them sitting chatting with the contestants but not that often. Last night in particular, there were hours to kill. Maybe they all went to Maccas? We never see bread at the table either. I wonder how many drinks they are allowed. I figure Manu and Pete hang somewhere with the crew. Perhaps too much fraternization isn’t encouraged?

  14. Quite often, the MKR vanquished appear on $unrise next morning but unless I’ve missed it, Jessica has sunk without a trace. Dumped quicker than a Cash Cow loser. It’s truly pitiful how you have to pick up the phone in three rings to win..

    I’ve just assumed Manu and Pete kick back in some kind of hospitality van, laughing about what they are about to endure after quickly purging the previous course.

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  15. Wow, wait til you see the hipster sideburns that Jason, who’s cooking tonight is wearing.

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  16. Oblivious to the fact that the judges will base their scoring on your food… whereas the guests may not just score you on your food but how much they like/dislike you and for strategy… If you’re so smart… pucker up until you’ve completed your cook!

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    • And it’s not even that complicated. Just don’t be an asshole. Jess insulted the table, called Manu fat, told everyone how silly they were for not living on a diet of lettuce and oxygen, spent most of 5 evenings telling us at length how much she hates carbs and fried food and rice and icing sugar (and then serving all of those things) … she left a very unpleasant impression on us, I can’t imagine what the other teams thought about her.

      And again, it’s an important question. When you have that many hang-ups about food … when you admit on-camera that your views and eating habits are extreme … what the hell are you doing on a cooking show? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • It worked really great with the boxing theme.

      Also , re the guests, I’m pretty unimpressed with Duck Nut’s “passion for food” if he’s never heard of carrot cake. Which planet has he been living on?

  17. One of our favourite Adelaide restuarants in the city is Chianti Classico in Hutt Street. You will need to book. Our daughter and her husband live in the Barossa and have been to a lot of the major/well known restaurants, ie Hentley Farm,The Louise, Fino, Ferment Asian. The one they would go back to in a flash is Fino at Seppeltsfield.

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  18. Add my two bob’s worth about brekkie at the Central Market. Can’t go wrong. Fantastic foodie place.
    Still cracking up about the figure skating outfit comment!!!!

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