They do say that to bake a good cake, you need good ingredients. And it seemed for all the world that this year, Geelong chef Chris Scott’s blue and white layer cake was going to be a good one. The staples were ready: Selwood, Mackie, Taylor, Bartel, Enright and Lonergan. A few home-grown goodies were picked directly from the backyard: Hawkins, Guthrie, Blicavs, Thurlow and Lang. There were even some ingredients that had only just finished curing, in the form of Menzel, McCarthy and Vardy.
But Chris was still a couple of elements away from a prize-winning cake. So he did what any good chef would do, he went shopping. And came home with Dangerfield, Henderson, Smith and a spare Selwood. (Just in case the other one doesn’t get put back in the fridge.)
And now confident that all the correct ingredients were present, Chris sets to work in his kitchen with gusto. He measures, he mixes and he kneads. And apart from dropping the Thurlow all over the floor, it was certainly taking shape.
Chris places the cake into the pre-heated oven, and retires to the lounge room to watch the news and wait. After eight rounds the aroma starts to waft through the whole house, and it is mouth-watering. Chris is beginning to believe that he can finally wrest the title back from Clarko and his banana and chocolate soufflé.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, he returns to the kitchen to check on his masterpiece, but his smile soon evaporates as he glances though the glass of the oven door.
Not once but twice in the past two weeks, some idiot couldn’t wait, and had opened the oven door to see how this delectable cake was looking. Now, fallen in the middle, his cake had all the appeal of a week old haggis.
But Chris is a resilient fellow, and while presently disappointed, he reaches for his phone.
“Hello, operator?” he starts. ‘Could you put me through to the Masterchef hotline?”
To find out if Chris can save his cake from ruin and stay in contention for the blue ribbon, stay tuned to this broadcast in the coming weeks.
And the coming weeks start this week. Saturday afternoon, Simonds Stadium, against the GWS Giants. Oddly, due to the vagaries of the draw, we play the Giants for the second time this year, even before meeting Richmond, Fremantle or Melbourne even once. But I guess that’s what you get when you have an 18 team competition, 23 rounds and a fixture that looks like it was designed by the Joker.
And as for a preview of this game, I shall limit it to two words aimed directly at Geelong’s Mitch Duncan.