On Sunday night, MKR held the first “cook” to see who would join Kate and Mary, Sophie and Katherine in the 2022 semi-finals.
Curtis Stone and Colin Fassnidge were on hand to supervise as first group members Mat and Ashley, Arnott and Fuzz, Peter and Alice, and Janelle and Monzeer competed for the coveted seat.
Each couple will prepare the main and dessert, and they will have 90 minutes for the first and 60 minutes for the second.
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All the while, Curtis and Colin have been scouring the MKR special kitchen to see how everyone is doing.
The food will not be enjoyed by them alone – the members of the group of two were invited to dine on the balcony above, literally getting a taste of the competition.
Mat and Ashley were making a Sri Lankan curry with coconut rice, but they couldn’t handle the rice, which was too sticky and overcooked, and not enough coconut.
And their apple tart tatin for dessert was severely lacking in caramel, much to the dismay of Curtis Stone.
Peter and Alice’s main course, meatloaf with brisket and zucchini, was well cooked, but Alice feared their mashed potatoes were not up to the high standards of Irish potato lover Colin Fassnidge.
But their lemon curd roll with pistachios and rhubarb dessert was a hit, voted best of the night by both the judges and the second group.
Janelle and Monzir cooked tavuk (chicken) with muhammara, a sauce that can be eaten with bread.
Janelle described it as a “Turkish-style Sunday roast”.
The dessert was a Middle Eastern three-milk cake, a biscuit soaked in three types of milk (creamy, condensed, and condensed).
Both of these dishes made a splash with the judges, full of taste and interesting decorations, prepared with precision and talent.
Arnnott and Fuzz’s main course was Fijian Chicken Palau with tomato chutney and spiced yogurt, which the judges loved.
But their traditional dessert, Fijian halva with gulgula and masala tea, was not to the liking of some of the contestants.
With all the dishes served, everything seemed fairly even.
With most couples, if they served a disgusting meal, they made it up to others.
Only Mat and Ashley failed to hit the mark with either the main course or the dessert, and Ashley looked particularly dejected at the end of the evening.
Curtis and Colin considered Janelle and Monzeer to be a couple that consistently produced impressive plates and they were sent to the semi-finals.
Janelle was incredibly emotional as she looked frozen in horror for most of the preparations for ruining everything.
“Thank you so much,” Janelle told the judges as Monzeer beamed.
“It means so much to us.”
Looking down from their balcony, the members of the second group knew that after Monday only one of them would advance to the semi-finals.
Who would it be?
MKR will continue preparing the second group on Monday at 19:30 on channels 7 and 7plus.