by Jo Thornely, news.com.au
IT'S time for sauce.
Tonight's challenge on MKR is to make a sauce worth bottling, and it's sexy as all get-out. Suitably, Curtis Stone pushes out some stubble and heads to Coles, Melbourne's erotic epicentre, to be a guest judge.
"I've been working for Coles for seven years and they've never put my sauce in a bottle" says Curtis, a testament to Coles' high hygiene standards. He goes on to reveal that today's winners will have their sauce sold nationwide, information that sends a ripple of excitement through the teams.
Keeping with the saucy theme, it seems fair to rank the teams in order of sexiness as they launch into a frenzied orgy of sauce production. Starting with:
10. MELL & CYN
"Normally we want to show a little bit of sophistication in our food" Mell says at the beginning of the challenge. "But today we have to cook for normal people" Cyn adds, misquoting Jarvis Cocker.
There's nothing sexy at all about looking down on people. The hoi class ladies don't eat sugar, but make a sickly sweet sauce because "the shoppers love it".
You know what else they love? Watching you make broad assumptions and then lose.
9. BRETT & MARIE
For their tomato-ey veal and sausage sauce, the competition's beigest couple uses a recipe from Marie's nonna. Very, very few things are less sexy than the phrase "grandma's sauce".
8. MARK & CHRIS
You're in trouble when you're in a cooking competition, but you're best known for laughing at your own dumb jokes. Mark and Chris make a semi-decent duck with spiced orange sauce, but they also put their food safety baseball caps on backwards which, unbeknown to most people wearing backwards baseball caps, loses big sexy points.
Frankly the only reason they're even this high on the list is because they keep saying "breast".
7. BETTY & DAVID
As consistently friend-zoned David is well aware, sexiness is limited when you're cooking Betty's mother's peanut satay sauce, but that's not to say that no tingly feelings are stirring in anyone's peanuts. David admits to "fangirling" over Curtis Stone, and when the chef visits their station to sample their very excellent sauce, David saves the spoon.
"I'm gonna sell this spoon on eBay, Curtis Stone licked it!" he exclaims excitedly.
6. VALERIE & COURTNEY
OK, this is getting awkward, but you have to admit Valerie and Courtney's deeply spicy food is sexy as hell. Granted, they're making an Anglo-Indian sauce from a departed relative's recipe book, but they do it with so much sincere passion, and wearing so many animal-print kaftans, that this face is totally warranted:
5. JOSH & AMY
Josh badly wants his face on a bottle, and violent fantasies aside, he's probably the only one. His main contribution to the peri peri sauce seems to be overcooking chicken and criticising his wife.
"You're obviously doing something wrong" he tells Amy when her tortilla is dry and unresponsive.
Amy's irritation with her husband becomes more and more evident as he barks orders at her while ruining their dish, so it's no surprise that when Curtis visits and starts a friendly conversation, you can visibly see Amy's capillaries open. She's just not used to a man treating her like a human being.
Josh, uncomfortable with seeing his wife happy, tells her to get back to work.
Shut up, Josh.
4. COURTNEY & DUNCAN
It's impossible not to love Court and Dunk just a little bit, especially when they make a buttery, lemony sage sauce. They're supportive of each other in the most adorable way, especially when they misjudge their sous-vide water bath temperature and overcook their meat, something that happens in every relationship eventually.
Their sauce doesn't cut the mustard, but there are only a few things sexier than Colin Fassnidge asking a lady to squeeze her husband's bag of pork.
3. AMY & TYSON
Fried chicken with gravy is, in anyone's language, extremely sexy.
It doesn't win any competitions, but Amy describes it as thick and creamy, which shoots her and Tyson up to the pointy end of the list. I didn't even take points off for Amy's backwards baseball cap, because I figured a little part of her died when she had to wear it, so she's suffered enough.
2. KAREN & ROS
Karen and Ros make pork crackling. I hear they also make a sauce, but who cares, because Karen and Ros make pork crackling, the most arousing of all cracklings.
Not only that, Kyle offers to help them cut the crackling off their pork. A man putting the needs of others before his own in the presence of pig meat. I may need a moment to myself.
1. TIM & KYLE
While we're on Kyle, hands up who wants to be on Kyle? Tim is nice and all, but he's competing with an eight-foot hairy mountain man, so Tim knows he's only there for cooking skills and conversation.
The boys make steak with mushroom sauce, which doesn't even matter, because Kyle talks about letting Tim touch his meat, and Kyle is literally salt bae.
As judging reaches its natural climax, Courtney and Valerie win people's choice, Court, Dunk, Mell and Cyn go to sudden death, and Colin drinks a cup of gravy.
I'm spent, but I could probably watch another episode in fifteen or twenty minutes.
Jo Thornely is a writer who loves it when you explain her jokes back to her on Twitter. Follow her @JoThornely