By 8:15 we were in our kitchens weighing up - and not just ingredients. Who would we work with next week? in which Kitchen? what unexpected bonus event or demo would be sprung on us today? In the event most of the answers were not forthcoming until after lunch so more of that later.
But first Rachel who has had to put up with me all week wanted a photo of us together. Probably so that her relatives could take out a contract, but it was a nice idea anyway so for those of wondering what we look like here's the evidence. Rachel is not the fat bloke with a beard just to prevent confusion.
Then serious cooking. Within minutes bread was made and in the oven, beetroot were beginning their 2 hour hot bath (NB about half the time that Mrs K can spend in a hot bath, but beetroot don't take a glass of wine and a good book with them) and peppers were blistering on a grill.
AS the totally charred peppers slid into a film covered bowl -to sweat and make peeling them easier- Rachel and I made a discovery, we were both cooking one dish, so somewhere communication had broken down and we would be one dish short. Fortunately this did not appear to be a problem, and the arrival of freshly made bread (of good aroma, texture and colour) sufficiently distracted our teacher for our little faux-pas to be forgiven though we might have to wait for our final results to see whether it was forgotten.
The beetroot continued to bathe whilst Rachel went through the many phases of making the Lemon Meringue Tart that was to be dessert and I randomly slashed at innocent vegetables, grated assorted cheeses and prepared cholesterol enhancing infusions of cream, butter and more of each again.
Just a s we were comfortable and confident that we would deliver on time the day's unexpected event. Mackerel for everyone to practice their filleting!!!!! Since I was to cook a gratinated Cod dish this was good news, I could practice on something smaller and cheaper. Within moments the kitchen looked like the set of a slasher movie as chefs with knife skills closer to Freddie Kruger than Christian Barnard flailed at small pieces of marine life with the aim of removing flesh from bone.
Now the more observant amongst you - or anyone who stayed awake to the end - would have noted the "Darina Allen filleting face" as demonstrated in yesterday's blog, and our intent to practice hard to emulate our guru gastronomique. As they say on all the best TV shows, "Audience it's up to you"
Some of us cooked the tattered ribbons of flesh which had once been proud denizens of the deep. Luckily a deep covering of cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and cream masked the fish and, browned in the oven, gave the impression of healthy and nutritious foods such as might grace a maharajah's table.
Excitement over we went to lunch having racked up some pretty good technique and taste points.
Next up we discovered our new partners and kitchens for next week My commiserations to Sarah but I did notice Rachel dancing with joy as I was not only moved away from her but to another kitchen Will Sarah do the same on October 8th?
Excitement over we headed for the Demo - my favourite Lamb - where Rory who had obviously missed out on the blade bonanza of the morning butchered a juvenile sheep into totally inedible chunks of meat and cooked them. Others who like the stringy fatty animal may disagree with my particular stand point and find it well textured and unctuous. Well, we are all equally entitled to our opinion but it's my blog- so I spent some time negotiating the cooking of all things scrawny and yet, strangely greasy, with Sarah.
Monday's lunch will be interesting a little salad? a slice of bread? Maybe a smuggled Ginsters Pasty and a bar of choccy? Hell pull yourself together man its only sheep eat it and enjoy a few days on sick leave.