The 1st episode of Raymond Blanc's "The Restaurant". The talent is so raw it provides great entertainment.
The idea of this opening episode was for the pairs of "Chefs" to showcase their signature dish. Something that would say a lot about their restaurant, their flair and creativity. So, you would say it should be a real "Opportunity".
Did you see the part where, whilst trying to make a "coconut soup" (later named mousse) the ladies concerned proceeded to hit a large sabatier knife with a rolling pin, in a bid to break open a coconut. Not only was there the extreme possibility of stabbing one of themselves in the stomach, but the lady holding the knife was holding the blade in her palm. Truly shocking TV!
Then the same procedure for opening a tin of carnation milk(when there was a can opener at the end of the worktop).
This then leads to the conversation about their actual culinary skills. Hmmm yes I can see how a tin of carnation milk and pieces of coconut might not make a great mousse. Thank goodness Raymond indulged them no further. They were bonkers.
Was this just sensational TV? Would they really risk something like this if it had been staged?
So then on to the pair that saw their opportunity to showcase their "signature dish", was to buy a packet of smoked salmon and dress it with some raw veg that just looked like grated carrot and cabbage.(and in fact was just that)
All this just makes me wish I had entered the competition to be on the show. I can cook, but I am no masterchef or restaurateur, however I could have knocked spots off some of these people. How on earth did they get to the final? I would say, from the commentary and insight into their working lives etc, that they have been chosen for their "life skills". I am also guessing, that a bit like big brother and other sensational reality TV style shows, some had to be chosen for their entertainment value! i.e they were always destined to put on a good show, just through sheer nuttiness!
Lastly, worth a mention on a positive note, were the guys who had a go at a Pork Wellington, though very ambitious to pull off this dish in an hour!(especially as it was only going in the oven with just 15 minutes of said hour left). They realised they had really got it wrong, then went on to rescue it with a great result. It became a pan seared piece of pork, dressed to the nine's to look the dogs and from the judges responses, tasted pretty good too! Bravo!
I will definitely be watching the series. It was great entertainment. You don't need to be a chef or food lover to really enjoy this. You will get pulled in to discussion, disagreement with judgements and empathise with those not doing so well one week, or being given the elbow all together.
I shall endeavour to know their names next week!
I'm just glad that in their current state they are not in a Tewkesbury restaurant near us. (unless I had already eaten and was there for the show).
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