The Hotplate…premiere

So we have a new show starting, The Hotplate, but on another channel at the same time is another new food restaurant reality show, so I’m deciding which one I like and will continue watching.

There’s Aron and Vanessa who are married and do modern Australian food.  Phillippe and Pascal who are father and son and have a French restaurant.  Emi and Marie who are best friends with a Japanese restaurant.  Lozz and Nols who are friends and have a seafood restaurant.  Conrad and Liam who are partners who do Asian fusion.  Christina and Tania who are mother and daughter with an Italian restaurant.

They all arrive in Fremantle to meet the judges and they’re all restaurant owners and they’re playing for $100,000.  The judges are Scott Pickett, a chef, and Tom Parker Bowles, a restaurant critic (yes he’s related to Camilla).

Round 1 they have to cook in their restaurants for the other teams and the judges and they have 3 hours to prepare without any of their other staff and they’ll be judged on food and the whole restaurant experience.

Christina and Tania are first and they’ve got on tops of the same animal print, but heck Tania’s got the cleavage on display and they’re yelling at each other in the car.  So they own Christina’s in Middle Park, a Perth suburb, and they’ve had it for 20 years and then we’re told they live together as well as work together.  Christina reckons that Gordon Ramsay has nothing on her volatile temper…oh this could be fun.  Then Tania says she’s quit about 20 time, obviously hasn’t stuck to quitting.

They get to their restaurant and say that the judges can order anything from the menu, so they’re prepping a lot of things and we find out that Tania doesn’t work in the kitchen normally, oh this is getting better and better.

The judges look at the menu and discuss it, because apparently it is a window into the soul of the restaurant.  Then the cheffy judge says he wants to know if the pasta is bought or made.  Now Tania’s making pasta for the first time, but Christina says that usually they buy fresh pasta for the restaurant…oh heck.

The judges look at the dessert menu…apple crumble and sticky date pudding, yes you’re right guys, they’re not Italian.  God bless Tania “mum does the spoon have to be that big, it’s too bloody big mate”…between that, the cleavage and the leopard print I’m enjoying her so far.

Turns out that Tania is a maître de who has won maître de of the year in WA.  Bless her when her mother pulls her top up to cover some of the cleavage and she pulls it down.  The judges arrive and Tania races over to greet them and kiss them on the cheek.  The judges have a look around and see all the awards the restaurant has won, but say it reminds them of a Mexican cantina.

The other contestants stroll down the street.  They’re met with a popping champagne bottle and a drink and they all see the awards on the wall.  Conrad says it looks nice, Liam’s response is “are you sure?”  Then he tells us that they’ll be honest, but not necessarily honest nice guys.  Conrad’s not keen on the fake plants and Liam thinks there’s enough plastic to fill Pamela Anderson’s brassiere, oh bless him.

We’re introduced to the others.  Conrad and Liam have been together for 15 years and do Asian fusion, Conrad’s in the kitchen, Liam’s out the front and they’re food snobs.  They’re also from WA.

Arin and Vanessa met at the restaurant and Vanessa was a waitress, they’re now married and have a 1 year old.  Arin’s the chef and Vanessa is out the front and they do modern Australian.

Eli and Marie are best friends with a Japanese restaurant.  Eli is out the front and Marie is in the kitchen and they learnt the Japanese cooking in Japan.

Lozz and Nols are friends and they run a restaurant at Toorain airfield in Victoria and they specialise in crayfish, straight from the plane to their holding tanks.  Lozz is in the kitchen and Nols is out the fron.

Phillippe and Pascal are father and son, Phillippe is the chef and Pascal is out the front and has to explain the menu a lt.

They check out the menu and comment it’s a big menu and must be a family restaurant, Arin’s confused by the Tex-Mex items on the menu.  Conrad’s over reading Christina’s name on the menu.   So each judge chooses an entrée, main and dessert and that’s what everyone will be eating.  So they order for entrée minestrone and fungi alla griglia.  For main they order fettucini con pollo and bistecca Christina and for dessert they order sticky date pudding and apple crumble.  Thankfully Tania asks how everyone wants their steak cooked for bistecca Christina.

Everyone’s curious about what the special sauce is, because the menu doesn’t give any hints.  Liam says he’s not on a game show so he shouldn’t have to guess what it is.  Tania’s doing the mushrooms and starts screaming about how Christina wants it done and walks away and the others can all hear the yelling.  Oh heck Nols is flirting with Pascal something shocking and asks if he’s single…honey, honey, honey.

The minestrone’s been on the stove for almost 3 ½ hours and it’s going a bit mushy, oh dear Christina’s starting to stress a bit now, that’s what you get for getting pushy about the mushrooms that Tania was cooking and not focusing on the soup.  They’re still going on about the entrees and they’re screaming loud enough that all the others can hear them.

They take the food out and Liam says he’s in front of his Olympic swimming pool of minestrone…oh honey, you’ve got a line for everything.  Then he says it’s over-processed and has all been blended together.  Conrad tastes the mushroom and most taste the barbecue sauce and think it’s not overly special “special” sauce unless they make the barbeque sauce themselves.

Christina and Tania go back into the dining room for feedback about the entrée.  Critic judge Tom talks about the mushroom dish and asks about the special sauce and she sauces she made it from scratch, every part and he asks if she made the barbecue sauce and of course she says no, he enjoyed the dish.  Cheffy judge enjoyed it, but would have preferred more of it made themselves.  Then he says what a good minestrone is, but says they didn’t get there with it and it was quite mediocre.  Tom says it was under seasoned and poor Christina is gutted.  Then Tania tells Christina she wants to give up and go home…honey how many times have you already quit the restaurant???  You’re going nowhere.

Strangely enough Tania goes back into the restaurant and they get on to making the main course.  One is going well, then they test the homemade pasta, but it’s too dry.  Well Christina you said it, you should have made it yourself and not left it to Tania.  So they use the fresh pasta that they buy.  Christina’s taking over and Tania’s telling her to put the steaks on and then Christina says “you cannot rush good food” oh honey all the others heard that comment.  She finally gets the steaks on while Tania starts plating up.  Holy heck that’s a lot of food mashed potato, steak, vegies, another steak and mushroom sauce all piled up on top of each other.

Main course is served and the others are in shock about two steaks on the plate and the portion size overall and aren’t really keen on the presentation of everything piled up.  Vanessa and Arin like the pasta, Liam wants to half the portion size and doesn’t want to lose his 28 inch waist, but Nols is happy with the portion size and thinks that Christina doesn’t want people to walk away hungry.

They come back for comments and Christina’s worried about the plates with half a meal left on them.  Tom comments on the steak and mushroom dish, bistecca Christina and says it was “absolutely bloody lovely” except it was too generous and slightly under seasoned.  Scott comments on the pasta and was pleasantly surprised, but would have liked a bit more chicken, but isn’t sure it is authentic Italian.  Tom asks if they make the pasta or buy it, thankfully Christina says it is fresh pasta that is bought in and Tom says not to be ashamed of that.

They go back into the kitchen to do dessert, the sticky date puddings look perfect when they’re out of the oven, but the apples are overcooked, holy heck girls focus already.  Conrad says that the desserts aren’t Italian and Liam wants to see the vanilla bean in the ice-cream as it says vanilla bean ice-cream, gee not half fussy.  They put the crumble onto the apples now that extra are made and it seriously looks like there are more crumbs than apple, oh my goodness me.  Now the butterscotch sauce.

They serve dessert.  Conrad’s worried about the ice-cream being in a ramekin and sitting in the butterscotch sauce, gee he’s hard to please.  Liam’s got my ration concerns about the apple crumble, I’m hearing you there mate.  Arin compares the sticky date pudding to a hockey puck.  Now Liam can’t see the vanilla speckle in the ice-cream.

They go back for comments, Tom comments on the apple crumble and he has my ratio problem as well.  Scott comments on the sticky date pudding, he says it’s heavy and steaming it might improve it.

Now everyone has to score on the food and the dining experience and have to write it and leave it in the bill folder…finally we see and hear Phillippe, we haven’t seen him for ages, there’s been no comments from him, well I guess Liam and Conrad have talked a lot!  Phillippe and Pascale give a 4, Conrad and Liam give a 4, Aaron and Vanessa give 4, Lozz and Nols give 4 and Emi and Marie give them 6.

They go back for the scores and Tania’s comment away from the others was that the main thing was that they didn’t quit, no comment required.  They get told the guest teams scored them 23/50 and Christina isn’t happy, she thinks it is embarrassing.  Scott comments on each dish, which we heard before basically but says the experience was fantastic, he gives them 5/10 for food and 7/10 for the experience and says the should be proud.  Tom talks about each dish as well then says how great it was to see Christina and Tania working together.  He scores 5/10 for the food and 8/10 for the experience.

So they get 48/90 for the total score.  Christina thinks the others gave them a low score because they feel threatened, yeah not likely hon!!

Next up is Phillippe and Pascal in Sydney.


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