Back in February, Roy and I auditioned for a new food-related quiz and cooking TV programme which was aired for the first time last week.
The working title was Truffle or Tripe but it is now called Win It Cook It.
Auditioning brought out my competitive streak and bedtime reading changed from War and Peace to Everything but the oink, a foodie quiz book with 500 questions and answers.
The day dawned and eight couples arrived to answer questions with correct answers winning ‘good’ ingredients and vice versa.
The bedtime reading paid off: I was the only person to know what chiffonade was (a chopping technique for herbs). But I was miffed that my answer of fish, to what do you pin bone, wasn’t specific, with the correct answer being salmon.
There was no actual cooking at the audition, but armed with a list of store cupboard ingredients, we described to camera the dish we’d prepare with our ingredients.
The results arrived and we were excited to have been accepted. Unfortunately, the night before, and 30 minutes after I’d bought a new TV suitable outfit, the date was changed and we were unable to make the new one. The outfit was returned.
I’ve been eagerly waiting the start of the programme to see how we’d have matched up: would we have won the prize of a luxury food hamper from Forman and Field worth £119, or would we wish we’d never taken part?
In episode three, two couples competed for the star ingredient, sea-bream fillets. To win the round they needed to know which sport Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham and Alan ‘Lamby’ Lamb played, and what 2007 film featured a rat who could cook.
Roy’s cricket mad so the first was easy but as I’m not a film-fan, Ratatouille would have defeated me and I suspect we’d have been left with white rubbery squid rings.
In round two, ‘good’ was mussels and saffron and ‘bad’ was gnocchi with a glass of Pernod.
I’d have guessed there were more chickens than people in the world, knew that clowns were the circus act that threw custard pies, and that German stollen cake was eaten at Christmas. So that would have been mussels safely in the bag.
I also knew the answer in the final round, so would have had first pick from the remaining six ingredients: preserved lemons, condensed milk, anchovies, bean sprouts, gnocchi and beef tomatoes.
The ladies with the best selection of ingredients prepared pan seared sea bream with a tomato salsa and mussels with beurre blanc, while a young couple cooked sweet and spicy squid with a Pernod chilli dip and Ramon style gnocchi.
As we’ve never cooked mussels and squid, we’d have struggled even with the choice of other ingredients. Drinking the Pernod would have been tempting. Perhaps it’s just as well we didn’t even make the cutting room floor.
Win It Cook It is hosted by Simon Rimmer on Channel 4 at 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.