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Lorraine Pascale – the Simon Cowell of cooking!
6th January 2014
Lorraine talks about branching into talent show territory with a new programme on Sky Living, My Kitchen Rules, to the Daily Mail.
Six pairs of amateur cooks from across Britain and Ireland are given a day to create an ‘instant restaurant’ in their home town and cook a three-course meal for the other five pairs, as well as Lorraine and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton.
After each course the contestants are awarded marks by Lorraine, Jason and the other five couples. When each pair has hosted, the duo with the lowest score leaves and the rest move on to the tougher semi-final challenges.
While the focus is on the cooking, Lorraine says the fascinating thing is how the pressure affects those taking part. “There are tantrums, arguments and walkouts, and that’s just me and Jason,” she laughs. “We did have a few contestants who ended up saying they didn’t want to cook with each other.
“The couples are interesting; there’s one married couple, only they’re not married to each other and you wonder what’s going on there. There are two neighbours with quite a caustic relationship, and two young girls, best friends, who produce the most brilliant food.”
And Lorraine and Jason didn’t always see eye to eye. “We have different ways of going about things, which can cause friction,” she says. “He has a habit of saying, ‘You’re wrong’ and he kept mentioning his Michelin stars. I’d be proud of them too, but I’ve written four books and been classically trained, so I stand my ground.”
She says there’s a touch of Simon Cowell about her judging method. “People respect Simon because he’s honest and fair. If the viewer sees a mess on the plate and I’m saying it’s good, they’ll think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I did make a few people cry, but it’s important to be honest.”