MKR rocked by satay sauce cheating scandal


The idea that when you put something negative out, you increase the chances of getting something negative back.

Like when someone makes you brake suddenly and five minutes later you see them getting pulled over.

Or when you see the person who bullied you relentlessly at your high school reunion and time has been distinctly unkind to them.

Or when you talk a massive, condescending, obnoxious game about your cooking for a week and then scrape a curry paste out of a jar.

Alyse and Matt do not do failure. Alyse and Matt do success, and fine dining, and winning, and fine dining. Alyse and Matt are better than you.

"We want everyone to be amazed by the sheer opulence of our restaurant,” say Alyse and Matt to the camera, as they drag a large ceramic horse into place in a marquee in the backyard, surrounded by gold, diamantés, and lilies. It's a bit like Trump Tower, but in a tent in Queensland.

OK, before we start cooking, let's make a short list of things we do not expect from people who say they're experts in fine dining:

1. We do not expect them to pronounce their first course as "san chow bow”;

2. We do not expect them to serve two stir-fried dishes in a row, because they are not university students on a budget, they are heaps opulent;

3. We do not expect them to get their red curry paste out of a store-bought jar; and

4. We do not expect them to say "Do you want me to nut it?” instead of "Do you want me to add the nuts now?” but frankly we're OK with this one.

Look, the first course is fine. It's pork san choy bow, a dish universally acknowledged as almost impossible to stuff up.

Accordingly, Alyse and Matt do not stuff it up. All well and good, but from the gargantuan props they've been giving themselves for the past week, you'd hope for a little more than 'not failure'.

Which is a shame, come their "satay beef” main course.

Now, perhaps if Pete Evans had never visited Alyse and Matt in the kitchen while they were busy overcooking the beef, undercooking the pumpkin, and avoiding most of the things that would make their dish actual satay beef, we might have never known that they were total dirty getting-ready-made-curry-paste-out-of-a-jar cheaters.

Ignoring the fact that time-management skills and making things from scratch are two of the main things that distinguish good cooks from average cooks, they excuse themselves with "If we tried to make a curry paste from scratch, the drama of the time management issues could flow over into other courses”.

Ignoring the fact that the opinions of the judges and other contestants mean the difference between winning and losing, Alyse says "We're not gonna let anyone else's opinion change how we serve our food”.

The quite amazing part is that even after serving the not-satay, even after the judges have brutally sprayed the dish for being a not-satay, and even after every other contestant has made it very clear that this dish has fewer similarities to a satay than a laminated kitten sliding down a rainbow, Alyse and Matt are still not convinced there's a problem.

"Maybe there's some discrepancy between different chefs in the way which they interpret satay,” says Matt. Hmmm.

For proper karmic retribution though, nothing beats a nifty spot of public shaming. Pete Evans makes Alyse and Matt go back into the kitchen to retrieve their holy grail of culinary shame and hold it aloft.

Despite Matt's celebrated arms being able to hoist many tens of kilos above his head at the gym, surely this is the heaviest weight of all:

Alyse and Matt's menu lists "panna cotta with mandarin and biscotti” as the dessert course, which for all we know at this point could turn out to be chocolate biscuits with anchovy paste, depending on the discrepancies between different chefs' interpretations of "panna cotta”.

Almost disappointingly, dessert turns out to be panna cotta with mandarin and biscotti, made from scratch, and by all reports completely decent. Karma is so boring when things kind of turn out OK at the end, huh.

Now all we have to do is watch Matt and Alyse in a sudden-death cook-off with the other big-talking, low-delivering team of this group, Josh and Amy.

"It's on,” whispers a nation.

"Beef satay,” whisper Matt and Alyse.

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