I WAS ready to sample some spectacular cooking at the televised semi-finals of Rock Chef but I’d have done better to eat my own words.
I won’t blame the Arrogant Frog. That’s not the producer by the way (Jordan Lopez of GibMedia Production Studios is Gibraltarian) but the French wine I was raising to my lips when a microphone got there first. The Mistress of Sizzle never gets sozzled on duty!
“Say something,” somebody whispered.
So I did. Straight to Candid Camera, sacré cordon bleu!
I meant to say the dessert was so good I wished there’d been more of it. But one’s semantics get a bit frantic when a microphone’s in your face. Instead, I heard myself wishing for a larger portion… and a few other things that I hope will never be broadcast on television…
Oliver Twist could not have rued his request for more gruel as much as I regretted my ‘out take’. Thank goodness for the cutting room floor although, alas, that’s not my decision. I won’t know until 9pm on May 28 whether my ill-chosen words feature in the penultimate episode of Rock Chef on GBC TV. I should be thankful Gibraltar only has 30,000 potential viewers and that maybe they won’t all watch it.
As a Masterchef fan, I was excited about taking part in the filming as a judge, along with 79 other members of the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses. A £35 ticket bought a three-course meal with wine – a brilliant way of recouping some of the five-figure production cost of the show.
For the contestants – all amateurs with different day jobs – it was a baptism of fire, smoke and wonky gas rings to get this far. A sneak peek into the kitchens revealed three chefs cussing over 80 plates of clams. Lucky no one was filming there…
For the diners, there was the added spice of critiquing dishes on TV – made more interesting by the choice of location: the Wessex Lounge at the airport terminal, usually spookily-deserted as it doesn’t get much air traffic, no thanks to Spain.
We were a ‘liquorish’ (sic) allsorts at Table Five, drawn from the worlds of insurance, finance, gaming, interior design, bridal retail, media and charity wig-making.
What most of us knew about haute cuisine (in the Michelin Inspector sense) could probably be written on the top of an Arrogant Frog wine cork but we all held loud opinions … the Michel Roux Juniors among us who were complimentary, and the wasp-tongued Monica Galettis who were not. But we were all Gregg Wallace-ish about one thing: a night out at a reality cooking show doesn’t get better than this!
That goes for the pudding too – a small-but-perfectly-formed portion of raspberries and white chocolate mousse that was just too small to satisfy a gal of my hearty appetite. But, in cookery as in life, size doesn’t matter; it’s the quality that counts. I just wanted to make that clear, in case you do see me on TV.
I discriminate against no man (or chef) because his postre is petite!