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