"It Boggles the Mind" - Sarah
This episode opened on a beautiful day in England, a strong contrast from last seasons overcast rainy days. I swear it wasn't nice out once last season. The three challenge couples met Raymond at Trinity College, one of the many colleges of Oxford University. They were told that they each had to put on an event at a different Oxford college where they would have to serve 150 students and about 25 members of a "high table" containing "fellows" of the college (Old people with long beards who do a lot of research apparently.) Their challenge began with them each having an hour to speak with someone who is normally in charge of these dinners to learn about the customs.
Mike and Harriet got Trinity College and Laura and Peter as helpers. I knew right off the bat this would be the blind leading the blind in the kitchen. I do think that Harriet is good in her own kitchen when Mike keeps the attendance down, but there is no way she has ever cooked for anything even close to 150 people. If they had gotten Helen (best teammate ever) as a helper, it might have been a different story.
We start with Mike asking questions about dinner. He asks a question about what the students were all wearing outside. When the guy begins to answer, mike cuts him off saying "This has nothing to do with us, can we stay focused and on topic please?" You just asked him that question mike! Harriet begins cooking stuff 6 hours early. And I'm not talking prep work. Stews on the stove, lamb in the oven. 6 hours! Mike also starts freaking out early, so this team is off to a great start! People aren't even in the building and mike is yelling at the manager guy "I haven't done this before!" Some random lady sternly tells him to calm down. They let people in a half hour late. Why? the food is clearly done so why the delay?
Alasdair and James (Wadham College) were told to work on communication in this challenge, but what is the first thing we see from them? James blowing their whole budget on
coke and whores food without telling Alasdair. Oh, here is 50 pounds, go buy 10 bottles of wine and get out of my face is pretty much James's reply. James decided to cook for high table only, and let whoever else deal with the rif raf students. Best teammate ever Helen steps up, creates the menu and cooks everything for the students with help from Tim.
Just like Mike, Alasdair is running late on letting people in. They seem to be doing a good job when service starts, but of course the inspector notices the terrible wine. Apparently the fellows normally drink the best wine in the world and he got them the UK equivalent of thunderbird. The service becomes a little slow but things are going out. Alasdair notices he misses a student and James whips him up this:
Caroline and Chris focused on the theme aspect of the night more than the others. They wanted to do poetry because Sir Walter Raleigh went to Oriel College where they were catering, but it turns out his poems are kind of morbid and depressing and would ruin the dinner. Instead they plan a circus theme (what??) and decide to give away snuff, a type of tobacco that Sir Walter Raleigh popularized. Chris in the kitchen focused hard on tasting and seasoning since that was Raymond's biggest complaint last time.
At service, things seem to be going ok, but the High table doesn't really like the food. Sarah comes and asks why all the students seem to be snorting something. Caroline tells her that it is snuff they served in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sarah replies with "The mind boggles." Yes Sarah, this IS ridiculous. Let's give 150 college kids something to snort! Watching them all snorting the tobacco made me cringe... but also laugh. All in all, the food seemed decent for the students, but not good enough for the high table.
At Judging, we heard what we pretty much already knew. C+C was good except for high table, Snuff was "the same as putting 20 Marlboro on the table" but all in all they learned form their mistakes about bland food and for that reason, their restaurant is staying open. A+J still lacked communication. They had a theme (prime numbers?) that no one knew about! Putting 7 pieces of asparagus on a plate does not a theme make. The money and wine situation was bad, and so was sending Helen off to cook for the masses. Ray sees "small areas of excellence" and a passion in both of them, and for that reason, their restaurant is staying open. M+H did not fare so well. Sarah said the food was awful. The lamb steamed for the last hour of cooking cause of how long it was in the oven. She could still taste raw flour in a stew that cooked for 6 hours!!!!!! Ray thinks that Harriet truly cares about cooking, but Mike does not. He says that Mike is "A thinker, a planner, but not a do-er" He does not have the passion. Mike bullshitted some more about how he IS doing it for Harriet. Didn't you say you were doing it for yourself last week? And for that reason, the blue goose will be closing its doors this week.
At the beginning of this episode, I was hoping that Caroline and Chris would go home. I like Alasdair and James, and I like Harriet and hoped her dad would reach a place where he became less crazy and at least got the job done. As this show progressed however, I started to really like Caroline and Chris! I think it was because they were really having fun with this challenge, and I like when people have fun on this show. Also during this episode, I started to dislike Mike more and more. His comical bumbling transformed into serious annoyances. I am glad they went home. What do you guys think??