After a two-year hiatus – and a judging reshuffle – My Kitchen Rules finally made its way back to screens on Sunday night.
The 12th season premiere of the Channel 7 cooking show saw the return of foundation judge French chef Manu Feildel, who was joined by British home cooking queen Nigella Lawson.
Lawson was announced as a new judge earlier this year after the network parted ways with original judge Pete Evans following a slew of controversies.
Following declining ratings in 2019 and 2020, which saw viewers criticize the format for overdoing it on the dramatics, Seven promised the series would be bouncing back to its core values of “real food and real people” in 2022.
But it appears there’s still a little bit of room for some old-fashioned reality TV fighting, with one new contestant shaping up to be this year’s MKR ‘villain’ after criticizing everyone else’s tasting palates.
Kicking things off for MKR‘s debut episode were father-daughter duo Peter and Alice, who hosted the judges and contestants at their humble home in the small town of Chewton in Victoria.
Their menu charmed in writing, but the pair got off to a rocky start with their ‘Sunday Roast’ croquette entree.
While most of the contestants appeared to enjoy the dish for the most part, Queensland representatives Kate and Mary, who describe themselves as ‘fine diners’, weren’t too satisfied.
“Some of the other contestants really loved the croquettes, and perhaps that’s indicative of their kind of palates,” Kate said in a piece-to-camera.
Mary added, “I think they missed the thought of a good Sunday roast. I think they missed that completely.”
The judges ultimately echoed Mary’s take, telling Peter and Alice that their entree wasn’t entirely faithful to its title given they braised the beef cheek filling, as opposed to roasting it.
Bouncing back from their defeated state, the two then delivered a tasty main course of crumbed lamb chops with minted peas, with Feildel saying their meat was “cooked to perfection.”
But things plummeted from there, with their dessert – Grandma’s lemon delicious pudding – served woefully undercooked.
Lawson said she was “heartbroken” for the pair, adding, “I really wanted to see you with a smile back on your face.”
The group were equally shattered for Peter and Alice, particularly given the recipe was one passed down through generations.
“We really wanted them to do well after the entree,” NSW ‘fashionista friends’ Arrnott and Fuzz said. “On top of that, it was the added pressure of being a relative’s recipe.”
Elsewhere, Kate was a little less empathetic.
“I literally thought the whole time, grandma on the wall over there, she would not have been happy about that lemon delicious,” Kate said, later dubbing the dish “inedible.”
While most of the contestants gave Peter and Alice an overall score of 5s and 6s, Kate and Mary settled on the lowest score of 4. Meanwhile, the judge’s scored the pair an overall tally of 54.
Kate and Mary are slated to cook next on Monday night’s episode, with Kate saying she thinks the cohort will be “impressed.”
“I think we’re a threat,” Mary added.
My Kitchen Rules continues on Channel 7 at 7.30pm Monday