Of course I watched last night's grand final of My Kitchen Rules. I now have to update my recent commentary about the show:
* My big oversight on what this year's recipes indicate is "in": PICKLING. Did an episode go by in which at least one contestant wasn't pickling some vegetable or other as an accompaniment ? Oh. Actually, now that I think of it - last night's grand finale might have given it a well earned rest. And perhaps the cooking on board ship episodes? Alright, let's just say that approximately 95% of episodes featured pickled something. It seemed a tad excessive, to me.
* I've been meaning to complain about this for years: isn't it obvious to every contestant that to get not only nutty carnivore Pete Evans on side in a big way, but every other chef judge, is to get a dirt cheap big bone, bake it and bung it on the plate as marrow. They always gush about how delicious that is, yet it takes absolutely no technique to speak of, and for me, the idea of eating marrow alone is just unpleasant. (I suspect it is what gives pressure cooked osso bucco a delicious sauce, as often the marrow has melted out into the liquid, but still, the gelatinous fatty look of it by itself just puts me off.) The power of marrow on this show's judges, however, just seems ridiculously out of proportion to what it is. Last night's winning team had probably worked this out, but their main course of veal, marrow and hardly any vegetables didn't look particularly attractive to me. Of course, it won raves from the judges. .
* As for last night's final: everyone liked the Indian mother and daughter as people, but I get the feeling that the intense India-centric aspect of every single dish they could cook perhaps put them behind. (Yes, I know, last year's winners were those Indonesian sisters who did everything Asian, as did the "hashtag" team - who advertisers seemed to absolutely adore - this year. But if I were to assess South East Asian cooking versus Indian cooking, I would say that the SE Asian cuisine has at least some more variation in flavour profiles and techniques than does Indian.)
And as for Amy and Tyson, the winners: poor old Tyson gave the impression of being a socially challenged shut in who puts all his pent up energy into thinking up odd flavour combinations and innovative ways with offal. If he has a job, I would guess it's as a backroom public servant (they likely don't trust him with direct interaction with the public.)* So it felt like letting him win was somehow right in the big picture: he has the potential anger profile of a new Gordon Ramsay and seems perfectly suited to the unsocial hours and isolation of being a chef.
But, despite all of that - many of the dishes he and his sister put up were basically unappealing to the average person, I reckon. Sweetbreads last night! Didn't they do brains early on? Putting pickles on dessert? No, sorry, give me the good curry from the other team, any day.
* my usual disclaimer: this impression of his personality outside of the TV show could, of course, be completely wrong. (Although any 20 something year old who does no social media of any type whatsoever is, well, unusual.)