Strings. A room full of ovens, all raising an angry finger to convention by leaving the hobs on. Boom. Masterchef. Would anything be as good as Michael botching up a birthday cake and tearfully spooning chocolate sponge into a pint glass?
Nine left, one would definitely get the chop. This was going to be real. Almost too real. Trousers back on, phone off the hook. Let’s cook.
PHASE ONE – COOKING IN A FACTORY
Having failed to suitably feed a gaggle of toffs in frilly outfits, Andrew and his gang were severely punished. They faced the humiliation of making lunch for men who build blue tractors. 350 of them. That’s 349 people more than Jay had ever met in one go.
“If they don’t get fed at lunchtime, there will be a riot!” barked a chef, referencing both the tractor makers and riots in the same sentence. As topical comments go, it was up there with some of the best.
They set to work. House music kicked in. Torode ducked and dived between ovens, occasionally popping up like a crazed Jack-in-the-box with a massive puppet face. There were three things on the menu – Eamonn’s Lancashire Hot Pot, Afsaneh’s vegetarian moussaka, and Ashvy’s chicken in water with rubbish rice on a fucking plate. This was getting intense. Those tractors weren’t going to make themselves.
“I hope those potatoes thicken the sauce,” said John, first pointing to some potatoes, and then to some sauce.
And then in came the 350 hungry tractor makers, some carrying drills, others with paint brushes and splodges of blue paint at the corners of their mouths. Proof that they were hungry. To cut a long story short, it was basically the best meal any of them had ever eaten. Paul Freeman liked the chicken in water.
Trousers back on, phone off the hook. Let’s cook.
PHASE TWO – BACK TO MASTERCHEF HQ TO COOK SOME LUNCH FOR JOHN TORODE AND GREGG WALLACE
Drum and bass. All of the contestants walking in slow motion looking good enough to get off with.
“Time to turn the heat up!” demanded Gregg ominously, standing next to a cooker.
“One dish, one and a half hours, two judges, two and a half men, three’s a crowd, four weddings and a funeral, FIVE GOLD RINGS, six feet under, seven brides for seven brothers, eight days a week, nine…” mumbled John as the contestants all gave up listening and began to cook.
Ashvy wouldn’t be there – she was at home feeling ill. Would the others take their opportunity to shine? Would they make a nice bit of lunch worthy of the Gregg Wallace palate?
Intensity turned up to ELEVEN on the stress-o-metre. Afsaneh immediately threw logic out of the window, and thumped common sense on the leg by fashioning a plateful of shit she wouldn’t even serve to her worst enemy, including a pile of kidneys and livers served in a dead tramp’s scrotum. As you’d expect, Wallace spooned one forkful into his mouth, and then called security.
Aki, the small Japanese girl who perpetually thinks it’s Christmas morning, fared similarly badly, when she made some bullshit pudding that had come to her in a dream.
“I hate this!” screamed Gregg.
Of the rest: Tom did a mind blowing pineapple and scotch bonnet soufflé, Eamonn cut the crusts off bread to make CRUSTLESS BREAD, then stuffed some mushrooms up a chicken’s nose. Jay went at a lump of steak with a flame thrower, Andrew cooked a recipe he’d nicked off Afsaneh, and Emma got all up in everyone’s face by ice creaming some onions.
But the real winner was Shelina, who made some derogatory comments about her husband, then constructed the greatest pudding Gregg Wallace had ever sucked from the end of an long silver spoon.
“Beautiful,” purred Wallace, removing her apron with his hungry eyes. “Really beautiful.”
“Steady,” said John, sensing that his buddy was probably about to spaff everywhere.
“We really enjoyed our lunch,” boomed John. “So you’re all saved!”
And everyone cheered, and then began kissing. Great stuff.
NEXT TIME: Cooking. Lots more cooking.
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