On this week’s episode, the nine remaining contestants tried to cook with a fruit so famously putrid that it’s banned on Singaporean subways. Here, three takeaways from episode nine.
Lesson #1: Keep it simple, stupid
Alvin Leung put it somewhat more poetically: “Being complex and being innovative are not the same thing.” Eric’s kitchen-sink strategy fell afoul of this rule, although he did manage to incorporate durian into his dish, apparently not particularly successfully. Meanwhile, Kaila earned enthusiastic props for her so-called “risky” strategy of cramming a few things into a squab and shoving it in the oven—much to Eric’s very apparent chagrin. We weren’t surprised, though, when Danielle ultimately came out on top. After all, she made a velouté. You know things are serious when there’s a velouté in the mix.
Lesson #2: Dessert counts
Unlike most of her co-chefs, Tammara’s face almost split in two (in a good way) when she heard about the reimagined Nanaimo bar bake-off. Apparently, hailing from a prairie town where “there’s nothing better to do than bake and get fat” has its benefits (namely: modest baking skills). The rest of the group was completely flummoxed, almost as if the very concept of dessert was itself a novelty. The round was a frantic whirlwind of burnt caramel, cracked crusts and slumpy, ill-conceived tartlets, the worst of which seemed well below community-bake-sale standards, judging by appearance alone. Ultimately, Tammara’s boring home life paid off when her dessert pierogies were named the best of a fairly crappy bunch.
Lesson #3: Go big or go back to Langley, B.C.
The judges kept stressing the importance of taking risks, so we had a feeling Carly’s humdrum dessert wasn’t going to win raves. (Another tip-off: the fact that she had to solicit step-by-step instructions from Tammara on “how to make that soft custardy stuff.”) It wasn’t surprising, then, when the judges thought her coconut cups were totally amateur-hour. So long, Carly.
Images courtesy of Bell Media