Alien degustation: in space, no one can see you cook

Space brulee torch

So, here’s an idea for a future exciting, challenging challenge for MasterChef Australia: The Professionals Series 1 of the Most Challenging, Exciting Cooking Contest Ever Seen on Television Anywhere by Anyone in the Known Universe, Infinity and Beyond.

The final four contestants – let’s call them Matty, Catty, Bratty and Tatty – are put through a rigorous hour of training at NASA before the first ad break. We witness their physical hardships and share their hopes and fears, as they learn to whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, render duck fat and bone out a quail under zero-gravity conditions.

Their only companions – a large, disembodied voice (let’s call it Hal) and an unblinking, eerily life-like automaton, the MP3W.

Their most audacious, inconceivably challenging challenge? To journey to a far-off galaxy – let’s call it Planet Cake – where they must create a 12-course degustation for 100 VERY DISCERNING, ICONIC, PASSIONATELY FOODIE SURPRISE ALIEN GUESTS.

Cue shocked expressions through Perspex visors. Cue MasterChef flames. Cue McSpaceburger ad.

Cue shocked expressions through Perspex visors again.

Cue Hal: “But there’s a twist…” Cue ominous digital music. “Your guests have only one mouth between them and…” Cue over-long pause.

… “it is only used when there’s an ‘R’ in the month.” Cue MasterChef flames. Cue indestructible space paper towel ad.

Cue “It is only used when there’s an ‘R’ in the month,” again.

Catty is weeping. Matty looks to Bratty for guidance, but Bratty’s trying to remember which months are the ‘R’ ones. Tatty is defiantly confident – he knows his months backwards – but is swiftly put in his place by the MP3W, who thunders, “Respect me, respect me, respect me, respect me, respect me” until Tatty is forced to his knees – which, because it’s zero gravity, are above his head.

Cut to the MasterChef Space Module Kitchen, where our four contestants stand before the large, disembodied voice and the unblinking MP3W.

Cue Hal: “You have just 12.5 million light years to prepare 12 beautiful dishes. Luckily, you have the run of the entire MasterChef Space Module Kitchen Pantry to choose your beautiful ingredients. But Matty – because you won the Qantas Civil Aviation Invention Test, you get a head start of three millennia.”

Cue wry smiles and muffled clapping from the be-space-suited Catty, Bratty and Tatty.

The MP3W thunders, “Your time starts… Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now.”

Cue Matty floating above a Coles spice rack. Cue MasterChef flames. Cue ad for Curtis Stone’s teeth.