Strewth! Was that a pressured heat last night or what? Seriously. It was more pressured than a pressure cooker bubbling away, in the galley of a kitchen, in a submarine, that is secretly trying to navigate through the Bering Strait, at 10,000 leagues under the sea. And you knew it was pressured because that is all the chefs kept saying.
'Blimey, it’s a bit pressured in ‘ere eh?' said Eve Townson. 'You’re telling me,' replied Matt Worswick. 'I’ve never felt this pressured before. Eve, please, hold me.' And so she did and as the whole kitchen collapsed and fell down around them, the ghost of Freddie Mercury entered the room, to deliver the crescendo from Queen’s 1981 hit ‘Under Pressure’. It was amazing.
Maybe the pressure of the show got to me and I started to hallucinate but I think you get the impression. I bet you your bottom dollar, after watching his fellow contestants battle it out, that Mark Ellis would have felt almost grateful for his early exit. Because Mark had definitely spent a week living on the edge and his nerves would not have been helped by Sat Bains' disapproval of his thick spotted dick and split honeycomb mousse, in his dessert called ‘Save the bees’. Yes, I bet he was almost chuckling with relief into his cup of tea.
I think it was the judges wot done it, personally. It’s one thing to swan into the kitchen and casually ask how the week went, but then it's another thing to turn around and say: 'Yes, well, now you’ve got to impress us', as Mr Matthew Fort did, all ominously, whilst smiling like a cat. That has got to be tough to hear. Thankfully for Eve and Matt, their guest judge was to be self-taught cook and award-winning food writer Sabrina Ghayour. Who was more interested in good, honest home cooking, the kind that instills memories. So what stories did Eve and Matt have to tell?
Well Eve was up first and her starter ‘Winnie’s chicken’ gave a firm nod to celebrated poultry farmer Winnie Swarbrick, who was a WI member and also well known for her baking. Delivering a plate of chicken croquettes, set atop beetroot ketchup and surrounded by pickles and edible flowers, the dish ticked all the boxes for the judges. However, the addition of her ‘Lancashire hard’, a traditional oatcake from the region, did threaten to leave Oliver with an expensive dental bill.