‘Risotto? It is gluggy pumpkin rice’
CAITIE Barrow and Demi Kotsoris have been eliminated in another sub-par cook-off episode of My Kitchen Rules.
The youngest team in the competition scored a dismal 24 out of 60 to be beaten by Victorian mates Mark Virgona and Chris Jongebloed who could only manage 31 out of 60.
"It is not a great score," Mark admitted after learning of victory. "It is barely a pass."
Sadly, poor cooking has been a hallmark of this year's season of My Kitchen Rules, perhaps explaining why the Channel Seven series slumped to third in the ratings with 968,000 viewers on Monday night.
In the previous elimination cook-off, Amy and Tyson Murr triumphed with a mediocre 37 out of 60, while Damo and Caz Ahearn with a scorecard of just 29 out of 60.
Unless the standard of cooking rises dramatically over coming nights, it is hard to see MKR reclaiming the ratings crown it lost to Nine's Married at First Sight.
Breaking down the dull elimination, Mark and Chris served up an entree of fettuccine carbonara, a main of beef fillet with mushroom gratin and capsicum puree, and dessert of peanut butter parfait with salted caramel sauce.
Caitie and Demi plated an entree of gnocchi with sage and burnt butter sauce, a main of pumpkin and olive risotto with tempura zucchini flower and dessert of Italian ricotta pie with raspberry cream.
Caitie and Demi made a mistake early when, to save time, they put their potatoes, destined for the gnocchi, through a food processor instead of a ricer.
Evans and the rest of the judges were aghast.
"The gnocchi is stodgy, it is rubbery, and the sauce isn't great," Evans said. "There really should be no excuse, in an hour and a half, to create this at this stage of the competition."
Mark and Chris decided to cook individual serves of their fettuccine rather than one big batch but the extra time it took left the pair increasingly rattled.
Fassnidge thought the end result was one of the better pastas he has tasted on the show but in the only dramatic moment of the episode (milked for all it was worth in the promos) Evans disagreed.
"The pasta is way undercooked, the egg hasn't been cooked properly and the pancetta hasn't been cooked properly.
Evans questioned Caitie and Demi's decision to start cooking their risotto with 45 minutes left on the clock. Feildel also doubted their decision to include Rosemary in the mix would pay off.
Those doubts were confirmed. "This is definitely not a risotto, it is gluggy pumpkin rice," Demi said after tasting the dish.
Martini agreed. "The risotto is chalky and I find the pumpkin and olive combination challenging," she said.
"I don't know why the zucchini flower is there," Fassnidge said. "The rosemary and the chilli in there is just too overpowering," was Evans' verdict.
Mark and Chris had their own issues. Mark put the capsicum into the food processor without peeling off the bitter skin. Breadcrumbs were substituted for parmesan cheese in the mushroom gratin which topped the beef.
Egan said that the beef had been cooked perfectly but "I have an issue with the capsicum puree - it has got a really unpleasant texture".
Fassnidge was furious. "I don't rate this dish where we are in this competition - I want more," he said (echoing the sentiments of the show's critics).
The lads had better luck with their dessert which was small but flavoursome.
"These flavour combinations work - I just wish there was a bit more of it," Egan said.
"This is such a step up from their main course," Martini opined.
Caitie and Demi's dessert looked attractive but there were issues. Demi left the ricotta cakes in the oven too long and their raspberry sauce was runny.
Mark and Chris got a six from Egan and fives from the rest of the judges - enough for victory. Caitie and Demi got straight fours.
"We're going to take so much away from this experience," Demi said after elimination. "We might be young but we proved that vogue food is here to stay."