Fearless in the Kitchen
2021 10 16 6 00
Amy always thought that by twenty-five she would have learned to cook. Well, that birthday has come and gone and Amy can barely boil pasta -- let alone prepare a meal. Of course that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t tried. Her past attempts (and subsequent failures) include; flaming grilled cheese and soggy kale pasta with boiled vegetables smothered in kitchen floor dust sauce (Amy tried to wash vegetables after she started cooking them, burnt her fingers and then ended up dropping them on the linoleum). The fact that she never learned is not completely Amy’s fault. She grew up in a household where the cardinal rule of meal preparation was “we’ll eat whatever will defrost the fastest”. Growing up it was typical for a family meal to consist of hot dogs and an individually wrapped bag of chips.
2021 10 16 6 30
DAVE & PETER
Peter and his son, Dave are a very lucky couple of guys. For years, their respective wife and mother, Vicki, has kept them well fed with an onslaught of gourmet meals. This is just as well because each of the guys is a disaster in the kitchen. Peter claims that he once transformed barbequed sausages into “burnt offerings” and, another time, burnt stewed rhubarb in a non-stick pot so badly that the company that made the cookware refused to honour its’ lifetime guarantee. These days, Peter’s only signature dish is what he terms, “linguine a la fromage” a.k.a. instant mac’n’cheese. Not to be outdone by his dad, Dave considers his burnt chicken in honey sauce to be his ‘specialty’. And, when left to his own devices, Dave generally subsists on three simple meals; cottage cheese & pineapple, apples & peanut butter sandwiches and boiled broccoli. Although the pair consider themselves to be adventurous in many ways (they both enjoy travel, skiing and skydiving), they feel they are finally ready for the ultimate adventure – to learn how to cook something truly impressive for Vicki.
2021 10 16 7 00
NATALIE & NADINE
Twins, Natalie and Nadine (24) do everything together; they share the same degree, the same friends, the same job… and the same avoidance of the kitchen. It’s a good thing that they have both their mother and their neighbour, Rathika, to rely on. The two consistently keeps the twins’ fridge packed with home-cooked meals ready to heat and eat.
2021 10 16 7 30
I.T. Professional and father of two, Darren is extremely active and adventurous. After all he plays volleyball, canoes, bike, snowmobiles, does adventure races and even proposed to Sue, his wife of ten years atop Mt. Kilimanjaro. Although fearless in many areas of his life, he considers himself to be reckless and easily distracted in the kitchen. This may explain his continued history of culinary calamities. From setting his entire barbeque ablaze with unattended chicken on a spit to annihilating a $200 piece of beef tenderloin in a misguided attempt at his mother’s famous Beef Wellington (something he has always wanted to make), Darren is a mess in the kitchen – literally… as he drives his wife to distraction with his continual need to dirty every pot in the house. If that wasn’t enough, then Darren’s struggle to make gravy, which always turns out as a “mud puddle” and his persistent belief that when it comes to garlic, “more is never enough” is prime fodder for a culinary intervention. Christine will have her work cut out for her as she applies the brakes to Darren’s ‘full throttle’ culinary approach if she ever hopes to help him live up to his life motto of being “In it – to win it!”
2021 10 16 8 00
The ultimate over-achiever, energetic and upbeat Jacqueline (22) began university at seventeen, had a corporate job on Bay St by age eighteen and opened her own U.S.- based realty company at age twenty. In addition, she also found time to train as a ballet dancer, publish poetry and is currently writing a book. If that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, this eternal optimist and thrill-seeker has also bungee jumped, sailed a catamaran in Cuba, and travelled the world. It would seem that there isn’t anything Jacqueline cannot do… except cook.
2021 10 16 8 30
Andrew is an outdoorsy type who runs a Mazda dealership But we’ll just say “car dealership” if it’s mentioned…right? . He’s a guy that can fix an engine -- but cannot fix dinner. Truth be told, he has a terrible track record in the kitchen. In the past, his instant macaroni and cheese (in the microwave) resulted in a blackened pot of wallpaper paste. His attempt to emulate the television host of cooking show left him with a steak stir-fry fire pit. And even making simple breakfast meals eludes poor Andrew -- whose pancakes are lightly fried saucers of liquefied flour and his one attempt at scrambled eggs for his brother ended up with a mound of salt all over them (and Andrew served them anyway). As a result, Andrew often resorts to coffee and a cereal bar to start his day.
2021 10 17 6 00
Sandi has an active lifestyle, between juggling two jobs as a supply teacher and a real estate agent, she still finds time to ski, socialize, and spend time at her cottage. However, as busy as she is there is still one more thing Sandi wants to add to her already burgeoning social calendar -- to be included in her neighbors’ Gourmet Supper Club. The problem is… Sandi just can’t cook. In fact, she is so hopeless in the kitchen that she routinely mixes up ingredients. Her one attempt at garlic mashed potatoes ended up as ginger mashed potatoes, salt is a continual substitute for sugar and don’t even ask her to serve you carrot cake unless you want it to taste like shrimp. One of the many culinary issues Sandi faces is that she feels overwhelmed in the kitchen and is unable to focus on what needs to get done. As a result, whenever Sandi finds herself in a position where it is her turn to entertain, she turns to her “recipe book” -- an extremely well organized book of take-out menus. On those nights when she is left on her own, she relies heavily on frozen or easy to assemble foods (and often the kindness of neighbours). More than anything Sandi desperately wants move past her present designation in the kitchen as ‘the one who cleans up’ and learn how to make a gourmet meal that will impress her friends and earn her a pass into the coveted “Supper Club”.
2021 10 17 6 30
Mark (43) is a witty wordsmith with 2 degrees. He’s had an arsenal of jobs including: waiter, bank teller, librarian, actor, performer, talent agent, producer and writer. He can masterfully play the clarinet and the piano and enjoys bravely biking the big city streets. But one skill that eludes this well-educated jack-of-all trades? Cooking.
2021 10 17 7 00
Patricia (34) is working mother on the go with a one and half year old toddler, Eva and an Italian husband, John (42) for whom she wants more than anything to be able to cook proper meals. The problem is that Patricia generally feels anxious and overwhelmed in the kitchen. As a result she takes one look at her oven, pots and pans, and then runs straight to the only appliance she is comfortable with -- the toaster. Although Patricia, “loves food” she just doesn’t know how to cook it. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t tried. Some of her past culinary calamities include; a frozen pizza with the cardboard bottom baked right into the crust, a horrific turmeric spiced omelette cooked onto the bottom of a soup pot and fortune cookies that were “so easy a four-year-old could do it”, which ended up as one massive pancake. In fact, she is so disastrous, Patricia claims that a trail of smoke follows her in the kitchen and that she has burnt so many things that her toddler now dances to the smoke alarm.
2021 10 17 7 30
Mike (45) is a twenty-five year veteran of the entertainment industry who, despite feeling fearless at work, is absolutely terrified in the kitchen. This is not surprising, as Mike has never experienced any modicum of culinary success. His every attempt at pasta ends up a mushy noodle disaster fit only for the garbage can. His past efforts to cook something healthy, like beets, ended up with a pot of red blobs floating in dirty water – after all who knew one had to wash and peel them? However, that doesn’t mean that Mike isn’t culinarily adventurous -- he once brought pig’s feet and squid (marinated over night in soya sauce) to a work barbeque. Although he was lauded for originality the result was hardly satisfactory, as the squid ended up the consistency of shoe leather and everyone just merely tip toed around the pig’s feet. Well, except for one young assistant who tried the pig’s feet. And was sick for 3 days…(The ultimate irony is that one of Mike’s major fears is poisoning people, so much so that after he barbeques a burger, he then microwaves just to ensure that it is safe to eat.) hilarious – let’s play this up!