Happy Fergus-in-his-home-turf Day, lovers! What better way to spend a Sunday night than in a pantry filled with all the rank body parts poor people tried to shovel into their children in the seventies. Fun fact: I once offered to buy the Dog giblets for his dinner and he told me I could go right ahead but that I’d be cleaning them off the toilet wall five minutes later because he planned to miss on purpose.
Anyhoo, for those of you who actually read our words of salient wisdom, you’d know that Fergus is a bit of a fond favourite of ours (read: we adore him from the tip of his greasy locks to the horned claws poking out of his sneakers) and so it’s a thrill to know that tonight we’ll get to meet some of the chefs he’s hand-selected and that not one of them will be Drasko.
Also on a Fergussy note is that he’s been getting a bit of a serve on the MKR main page lately because of his so-called lack of table manners. Seems that lots of people cruising the forums don’t appreciate a man who deems fists the fourth cutlery and want him to change his ways so that his elbows don’t jostle Skinny Pete and send his frail, orange body flying into the ether.
Rico reckons all the aforementioned offenders can sod off, because Fergus’ eating habits are a thing of beauty and for every person wanting Fergus to leave his elbows off the tablecloth, that’s one less person who won’t be fighting us to suck the gravy out of his shirtfront.
And for the record: Fergus is by far the most rootable thing about MKR. Pete? A twig of a man who makes Burger Rings look pasty. Manu? Sure he’s French but so’s this guy and if not for the wine and the rumour that he peed on a plane, we so wouldn’t.
Anyhoo, tonight going head-to-head like a pack of wounded bulls who’ve just been introduced to fine dining are the six teams who’ve yet to serve up a giant meatball and get dragged away by security. Because Fergus’ kitchen is built for chefs who don’t flab over the tops of their jeans, only three teams can fit in at one time and Manu has been told that he enters at his own risk.
After a lot of gushing over organs and feces in the cool room, Anna and Jordan, Zana and Gianni and Eve and Jason take to their stations to start the lengthy process of cooking something that will hopefully end up on Fergus’ menu, not in his dumpster.
First up to tell us what in God’s name they’ve managed to salvage from that cool room of horrors is Anna and Jordan, who reveal they’ve chosen octopus because Jordan has fond memories of his grandfather.
Moving on to Zana and Gianni and they’re doing a salt baked rainbow trout, heirloom tomatoes and something Rico doesn’t want to pronounce because he just changed his shirt. (I’m lying. He’s worn that shirt since Easter.)
Anyhoo, before anything of importance can happen, the fancy tomatoes need peeling and that means Gianni has a job to do that requires skill, patience and Zana roaring at him like a beheaded goblin.
Over to Eve and Jason and because they took one look at the cool room and figured when you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, they’re using the liver AND making a black pudding and for anyone who watches MKR and still doesn’t know what that is, go do some Googling but for the love of Christ do it next to a bucket that holds more than a litre.
Into this mess of ingredients comes Manu, who doesn’t care to be told he’s too rotund for the kitchen and is hell bent on knocking pots off their boilers and hoovering anything covered in sauce.
‘Do you like liver?’ Eve queries as Manu makes his rounds.
‘Ah LOV liver!’ he exclaims, and Rico mutters it always makes him nervous when people gush about organs because Jack the Ripper.
Back to Gianni and Zana and Gianni is still working at the glacial speed that would make him a shoe-in for a highly paid position in the Public Service.
‘I’m going as fast as I can’ he explains to Zana, fondling his rubbery heirlooms, and Zana has no choice but to do the sorbet herself and make a solemn vow to neuter him later.
Over with the judges and Manu has rejoined their ranks so they can share liver stories and, in Pete’s case, make suggestive remarks about Jordan.
‘That kale juice is so youthful!’ he exclaims, adjusting his parts and trying to pretend Anna isn’t anywhere near the kitchen.
Back to the cooking though and Eve reckons she’d faint if they won because what idiot eats liver rather than worshiping it for the alcohol processing wizard it is. Meanwhile, Zana is feeling sweaty and she hates feeling sweaty because sweaty is dirty and on their wedding night Gianni had to fire up the chemical shower before she’d let him touch her.
Over to Anna and Jordan and Anna has cooked the octopus in stock, covered it in harissa paste and managed to bung it on the grill without any pieces going into Manu’s mouth.
‘We’ve got so much to do!’ frets Jordan. ‘But not as much as Eve and Jason – look, Manu, livers!’
Speaking of livers, Eve is getting panicky and has decided the best way to ensure her liver isn’t overcooked is to slice it so thinly it can’t even pass over a grill plate without exploding into spontaneous flames.
Meanwhile, Gianni has finally finished with the tomatoes and is now engaged with Zana in salting the fish.
‘More salt!’ Zana shrieks ‘It’s a protective layer for the fish!’
‘Where’s my protective layer’ mutters Gianni, who’d do anything for one day of waking up without a cattle prod in his rectum and his eardrums on fire.
With thirty minutes left on the clock, Jason is busy with a lemon mayonnaise because anything to disguise the fact they’re serving innards. Meanwhile, Jordan is worrying over his Kale juice because it’s more bitter than expected and how in hell are a million hipsters swallowing these on a daily basis?
Over to Gianni and Zana and their fish is coming out of the oven and seems to be just how they wanted it.
‘Oh for fuck’s sake’ mutters all of Australia. But wait! All is not lost because Zana wants to fry the fish skins and – oh, hang on, those are usually really good. Shit.
With five minutes to go, in come Fergus’ cooking team which turns out to be an assortment of young people who don’t appear to be drunk.
‘I hope the chefs like octopus’ exclaims Anna, who has ‘always wanted to be a chef’ because, like so many people, she’s labouring under the impression it would be a better job than combing the rissoles out of her cat’s bottom and watching yet another one of her sons fail to change the bog roll.
‘Well I think winning would be something they’d write on our tombstones!’ gushes Jordan, who has vivid dreams of a life where the most significant thing he’s ever done is win a non-monetary challenge on the back of his mother.
Over to Eve and Jason and Eve is busy making a creamy onion sauce for the liver which has Skinny Pete cringing in terror and begging the producers to bring on his understudy.
Meanwhile, Manu has just challenged Australia’s belief system by agreeing with Zana that Gianni is too slow and begging them to clear off their bench space so that they can at least re-consummate their union, if not finish their dish.
Plating time and there’s sweating and swearing and hairy jowls quivering and things get so tense Jordan curses at his mum and everyone’s so focused on hating Zana they forget to tear him a new one on Twitter.
But that’s it, time is up and as the judging panel sits down for the tasting, Fergus confesses he trusts his chefs with his life because fucked if he’ll ever put his hand up to be designated driver.
First up for tasting is Eve and Jason’s liver and black pudding and although there’s a bit of love for the black pudding, no one likes that the liver is well past its prime and telling stories about hiking ten miles to school in a blizzard.
‘It’s like they’ve raided the pantry and just thrown stuff on a plate’ comments one chef, who clearly has an excellent career ahead of her in forensics.
Moving on to Anna and Jordan and Fergus does his patented closed-eye-squint upon tasting which, along with the synchronised grunting, means something has been cooked well. Turns out it’s everything and Skinny Pete admits he was wrong to question the kale juice because now all his Paleo friends will be angry with him. Manu agrees but adds that, personally, he would have preferred a thicker sauce, or at least something that would cling to his tattooed nipples on Date Night.
On to Gianni and Zana and everyone thinks the fish is cooked well but don’t really get the sorbet. Manu also has an issue with tiny bones because he has a ‘good friend’ who has one and that’s like God giving you the gift of life and then wrapping it up in middle fingers.
Right, on to the next round and because Laura was brought up on a patch of land frequented by stoned concert goers and intransigents, she’s ready for a FIGHT! She also thinks that their strategy and Fergus’ are SO the fucking same, because the only thing that ends up in the trash at their house are the 19 year old skanks Mitch swears got lost on the way to his bedroom.
Also in this round are Lauren and Carmine and they’ve chosen ribs because it’s the only thing they could come up with out of Fergus’ perverted menagerie of a pantry.
The third team is of course Tasia and Gracia, and that means we’re in for crispy skinned duck and more bickering than the returns desk at Ikea. Because they’re using a strange oven, they’re rather cleverly running a tester. First though they have to grapple with the challenging concept of temperatures and Tasia snaps that Gracia was the one who was supposed to be good at numbers because at least her maths teacher didn’t send her outside the room with a colouring book and something shiny to play with.
Back to brother and sister duo, Mitch and Laura, and because they’re young and hoping to impress, they’re taking their lamb and shoving it into the same fucking sous vide bag Drasko used last year approximately six billion times. Laura is also doing a ‘rosemary ash’ which is essentially burned rosemary blended into powder so that the the judges get a ‘hint of BBQ’ with the reassurance that it doesn’t turn them into bogans.
Elsewhere and Lauren has come into trouble with one of the pressure cookers, because although she put them both on at the same time, one is up to pressure and the other isn’t and someone call in Mulder and Scully because ALIENS.
Meanwhile, Gracia and Tasia are still bickering because Tasia thinks it’s cute to call turnips tulips and Gracia has been given strict instructions not to punch her.
‘Forty five minutes to go!’ squeals Manu, who is tickled pink over the malfunctioning pressure cooker that he totally didn’t diddle with when Fergus gave him an unwilling tour of his kitchen.
Back to the girls, though, because their tester duck is out and looking good and that means the rest can go in and they can go back to wishing each other dead.
Over to Lauren and to Manu’s dismay, the dodgy cooker is now a working cooker and all the ribs are cooking along merrily – or not quite merrily because they’re still pieces of meat on bone that used to go moo in a paddock.
Over to the judges and Fergus reckons the ribs are by far the simplest of the three dishes so he’s confused by the permanent bead of sweat on the end of Carmine’s nose. Of Mitch and Laura’s, however, he reckons they ‘had him at brains’ and because they’re giving him brains he can forget about that tall guy from last year who turned up on his first day of work with his hair tied back with his underpants.
Speaking of Drasko, Laura reckons her sous vide is ‘next level’ and Rico swears he can hear him screaming.
Back to the girls and while Gracia is screeching that Tasia is a psycho, Lauren thinks it’s cute because fear of being branded a racist has her mouth shut over anything more interesting.
‘It’s getting hot in here!’ gushes Mitch, who senses Manu’s desire to return to the kitchen and really doesn’t want him to. Meanwhile, Lauren is worried that she’s not normally a ‘snappy tom’ but stress is turning her into the thing that Carmine didn’t see before they were married, but has every month like clockwork since.
Back to the judges and Skinny Pete comments that cooking in Fergus’ kitchen could be the ‘spring board’ the contestants need to make it in the outside.
‘Oh fook’ mutters Fergus, who knows where this is going and is forced to admit that he may have hired a former contestant in the past but Jesus fooking CHROIST hasn’t he paid for that enough already?
‘YAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS BITCHESSSSSSSSSS!’ screams Drasko from deep in Bianca’s Red Room. ‘YOU WILL REMEMBER MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!’
Back to the cooking and the girls’ duck is resting, the lids are off the Lauren’s cookers, and Laura is so happy with her sous vide-d lamb she’s rubbing ashes all over it and pretending it’s not a foul voodoo ritual.
Plating time and Carmine is concerned that there’s not enough glaze, Laura forgot the jus so now they don’t have any, and Tasia and Grasia are so busy spraying at each other and hating their mother for the notion of siblings that they barely notice that time is up and their food looks pretty darn good.
‘Don’t kiss me you’re all sweaty!’ snaps Lauren when Carmine and his record breaking bead of perspiration approaches looking amorous. But then it’s on to the tasting and let’s get this fucking over with.
First up is Laura and Mitch’s sous vide lamb with crispy brains and although Fergus air-wanks through the intro and rolls his eyes into his skull cavity, everyone loves it, particularly the grey matter.
Next are Lauren and Carmine’s ribs and because the scary music is playing we know before we’re told that they’re tasteless and that the pickle was probably filched from Fergus’ own cookbook.
‘We have this on our menu already’ says a plucky young chef called James, who adds that Lauren and Carmine’s is to theirs like a splat of pub vomit is to the kebab you snarf down straight after: not quite as good.
Finally it’s the girls and the scary music is gone, replaced by something that, as far as we know, is never paired with imminent bloodshed. Anyhoo, of course they all weep over it and when Fergus suggests there may be a bit much miso for his liking, one of his chefs disagrees and guarantees himself a next pay check with the word ‘severance’ written on it.
Decision time and permanently surprised Anna is even more surprised to learn that she’s won and that Jordan, whose sole contribution was the kale juice and and a cuss word, is sharing her glory.
Next are the two weakest teams which turn out to be Lauren and Carmine, for failing at ribs, and Eve and Jason for turning offal into… well, offal.
As the show ends, Eve swears blind that she and Jason will be serving ‘Eve and Jason on a plate’. So essentially some red stuff with a giant hairy off-cut that could stand to get a few teeth removed.
Until next time, lovers!