It’s just one of the many won­der­ful el­e­ments I love about this se­ries

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

VE de­cided I now need to see a show called Great Aus­tralian Menu. This for­mat is ab­so­lutely tai­lor­made for it. Aus­tralia’s got the chefs, the judges, the re­gional vari­a­tion in pro­duce, the el­e­vated level of celebrity re­quired for the ban­quet, and ob­vi­ously the in­ter­est in food from us at home who will be watch­ing it all take place. Or un­ravel, pos­si­bly. There are some mo­ments on Great Bri­tish Menu where I just wanted to say to these Miche­lin-starred chefs, step aside, I’ll boil that wa­ter, clearly it’s be­yond you. It’s just one of the many won­der­ful el­e­ments I love about this se­ries.

And be­fore you say, come on, they’re un­der a lot of pres­sure, mak­ing all that food, blah de blah blah, I just need to tell you, they only have to make one dish per episode and plate it up five times — four for the judges, one for the other chefs to pick at.

Wouldn’t you throw ev­ery­thing you had at it?

So fi­nals week starts Mon­day. Which means some of the chefs panic and make whole­sale changes to their dish on the day. Change it com­pletely. Which is mad, be­cause this is the dish that’s got them to the fi­nals, usu­ally, and also be­cause they haven’t been able to try it out and so they’re mak­ing it for the first time right now. For the judges. You would’ve done this your­self at home when you’ve had peo­ple com­ing over, so you know how in­sane it is. I can’t be­lieve high-end chefs would do it though. I was ac­tu­ally shocked at how badly some of them are ex­posed. I felt as if they are too. Poor sods.

Ev­ery­one keeps go­ing on about Prince Charles, he’s the big guest at the ban­quet at the end of it. They al­ways have a ban­quet, the first year it was the Queen and her 80th birth­day and this year it’s him. And about that. I like the premise here this se­ries. It’s all about lo­cally sourced pro­duce. The chefs have to get their stuff from farms around a Na­tional Trust prop­erty in their area, rather than use their nor­mal sup­pli­ers. It’s a great idea. This is what made me think about an Aus­tralian ver­sion of this show. West Aus­tralian truf­fles ver­sus north Queens­land man­goes. Co­ral trout from Tas­ma­nia ver­sus bar­ra­mundi from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory. And so on. I feel like bar­ra­mundi right now. Cheese from Tas­ma­nia ver­sus figs from South Aus­tralia.

So any­way, the chefs con­stantly trash talk each other by go­ing, are you sure that’s go­ing to be fancy enough to serve up to Prince Charles? Makes me laugh, he and the mis­sus prob­a­bly eat those hob­nobs or what­ever they’re called half the time, with cups of tea in front of the fire. Sounds all right ac­tu­ally. They’ll be the judge: Oliver Pey­ton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort, judges on

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