“Stop thinking like amateurs” blasted Torode with his puppet face slowly rotating a full 720 degrees (partly for show) and suddenly fixing on the contestants with his eyes lighting up like a fairground demon.
“We’re sending you to work in a kitchen, don’t blow it!”
“Don’t worry your sweet ass about that!” shouted the cocky Ed Norton one. “I used to work in a god damn sandwich shop.”
With that, all nine contestants were then ushered from the building, and driven in Renault Espaces borrowed from The Apprentice in groups of three to three different restaurants around London. The aim of this task – to see if they could hack cooking expensive lunches for old women, or whether they should give up the dream and sod off to their pointless day jobs as teachers, intensive care nurses, aid workers, and midwives.
Team One - Milkmaid, Norton, Foreign One. Thai restaurant.
Team Two – Jackie, Kennedy (Oh, how delicious!), and Tom. Modern British.
Team Three – Posh One, Miss Wales, and ASBO. French.
“This is my kind of food,” purred Tom, looking dreamily at a plate of squirrels.
“Bring it on,” said ASBO, menacingly miming slicing his own throat with his finger.
In the French place, Miss Wales and Posh One played a blinder, whilst Le Chef required the added use of subtitles when communicating with ASBO. Over in the British restaurant, Tom was absent-mindedly frying bits of bread for local ducks, when the head cook broke his trance by demanding nineteen plates of squirrels, each with a side of meat ice cream fashioned into a perfect rhombus. His trembling hands weren’t up to it. They just weren’t.
Meanwhile, in the Thai Garden, Ed Norton was inundated with orders for a curious meal of “Nazis”, Milkmaid was totally acing her raw tuna dish, and Jackie managed to correctly cook chicken, despite the fact that she’s a vegetarian and wouldn’t normally be seen dead with the stuff.
Then came the Drum and Bass, “Live your dream!” exclaimed John, dancing in a flowing white gown, his octopus arms following the current of the music.
“Well, if I can do this, I can do anything,” chirped Norton, having just that very second completely failed to create a single plate without buggering most of it up.
A tough morning all round, next up they were going to spend the afternoon cooking for Alexis Gaultier – a talented Frenchman who won a Michelin star when he was 12 years old, and proudly ignores ridiculous processes like weighing things or switching ovens on, choosing instead to rely on his inner voices to guide him to the creation of the perfect dinner. Hence the lucky nine were instructed to choose food blindfolded, and then cook up whatever ludicrous combination fate had in mind.
ASBO butchered some lamb, then mumbled “I like sausages.” Foreign One fried some squid which Torode hated. Kennedy confused chicken with duck, so everyone slagged him off. Tom’s segment was fast-forwarded by the editors (that’ll make him one to watch). Posho made duck and mash. Jackie created fish and crisps. Ed Norton is either brilliant or totally shit. Milkmaid offended absolutely everyone by playing it safe. And then Miss Wales wandered in, popped on a blindfold, and for a second Gregg considered popping his cock in amongst the mystery meat plate for her to feel.
THE COOK OFF
After a short deliberation, the three judges decreed that Kennedy, Miss Wales, and Milkmaid would go head-to-head… to-head. One of them would be going home. They’d be cooking trout with carrots and limes. Again, because they had a French philosopher in their midst, this was to be cooked using only their minds. No clocks.
“See - you’re cooking with instincts,” whispered John standing seductively behind Milkmaid, before lurching to one side and breathing dope smoke into Gregg’s open mouth from his own. Some trance music kicked in, Kennedy’s face reflected in the back of a spoon. “Don’t give up the faith,” urged Gregg with his fists clenched to his heart. Then came the Drum and Bass, “Live your dream!” exclaimed John, dancing in a flowing white gown, his octopus arms following the current of the music.
Everyone then grated lime zest on a plate, and Gaultier told them that they were all winners. At that, Gregg sobered up, scrunched his face up like a little potato, and then John piped in to tell Milkmaid Polly to fuck off home.
“I’m really sad,” wept Polly, tearfully, backstage.
Whilst back at HQ, a naked Gregg Wallace mimed milking a cow, and everyone totally cracked up.
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