Thursday, October 29, 2009


Eet's baack! Raymond and his sniffy cohorts 'ave anuzzair bunch of 'ow you say...numpties with ambitions to open their own eatery. This week we get to meet the contestants and they get to cook for Raymond and his fearsome assistants. First, they take to the streets of Bristol.

Now, I'm sure that Bristol has a wide range of high end and speciality food shops, but for some reason our contestants are in Morrisons. Or is it Asda? I wouldn't know: I shop at Ocado, darling.

Ho we go, in the live as-it-happens blog, straight from our lovely new laptop...

Team Nigeria
A midwife and a lady who does the announcements on the Piccadilly line. They want to put Nigerian food on the culinary map because nobody eats Nigerian food (apart from Nigerians and a few Scots mechanics and nurses nostalgic for their VSO days when they drank Gulder beer under the desert sky.). They (or the producers) don't seem to realise that Bristol, being one of the main centres of slavery in the 17th century and all, also has a large African Caribbean community, and thus fail to find a butcher selling goat. They have to make do with mutton for a mutton stew and rice and it looks totally tasty. Raymond and co do much chewing and accuse the girls of "murdairing the lamb". They also don't think it looks very nice. I disagree.

I haven't got a name for Mother & Son team yet. She's a food stylist: he wears pratty glasses and prattles on about wanting to cook the produce from his allotment. Having been shot down in flames by Raymond and his lieutenants, he retires, tongue-tied.

Team Essex
He's a hospital chef: she's an estate agent with a lovely whiney estate agent voice and they overcook a chocolate pudding. I remember the hospital food my late grandmother got served...

...want to open a multicultural restaurant that definitely isn't a curry house. The trouble is, they don't actually know how to cook. Raymond has to intervene when they try to open a tin of condensed milk with a very very big knife, and show them how to use a can-opener.

I wanted to keep them in simply for the comedy value. Spoilsport Raymond asks for them to leave immediately.

Team NotGay
The traditional "best friends" Nathan and Chris want to bring high-end food to the mid-priced market. Chris works for a diet boot camp in Wales, and wants to stop cooking beans and mushrooms. His pork Wellington goes completely wrong, and he's reduced to cooking a fillet while Nathan flaps about. It's actually quite nice.

Team Blonde
First seen devising their vision of locally sourced, seasonal food in the corridor, then in the next scene cooking up some frozen peas. Well, that's a good start. Scallops with pea and mint puree isn't the most original of dishes, and Raymond points out they cooked their peas for 25 minutes.

Team Winker
A couple of 80s haircuts called JJ and James. JJ makes cocktails and James runs the bar that JJ works in. Their idea is picnic food in a restaurant setting. Well that was the one that didn't go away when they sobered up. Raymond is perturbed by JJ's habit of winking at him. James looks a bit perturbed at the idea of actually doing anything that doesn't involve sitting at a bar with a glass in his hand. The pear and strawberry crumble is more like a sugary dough with a few bits of fruit underneath. Raymond: pas heureux.

Team Miliband
Barney is an army chef and Badger is ex-logistics. Barney looks a bit like David Miliband. Badger barks orders, and Barney looks harried. He has to consult Raymond about his over-salted stock.

Apparently Mrs IKEA is married to George Best, and lived in Sweden for a bit in the 80s, so she's going to make gravadlax and beetroot salad. Raymond and co note that all she has done is open some packets of Asda smoked salmon and mix some veg with sour cream.

It turns out that I didn't need a team name for Mother&Son because Raymond decides that for zem, the journey is over.

Next week, they're let loose on an unsuspecting public. Team Winker runs out of scotch eggs or something. George Best says he can't cope, and Team Nigeria is seen offering free drinks to waiting customers.

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