All Under The Place, 7 September, Trundle

It was Cel’s last day with us today, and unfortunately it didn’t end quite as well for him as he might have hoped.

We were filming at the Bush Tucker Day in Trundle, taking part in the Masterchef event where teams of 2 have an hour to cook a meal from the ingredients presented to them. Cel was teamed up with an Aussie bloke going by the name of Digger. I wasn’t so impressed with the name of my team mate, Lisa, and when I asked her to come up with a more impressive outback style name she suggested Shovel, so I called her that for the rest of the day. We were presented with a huge piece of wild cod each and set about preparing it and then cooking it in traditional outback style in a metal pot (aka camp oven) in a hole in the ground layered with hot coals. It was a pretty hot day as it was, but standing among piles of burning coals, with wheelbarrows of fresh ones being pushed in, made us all a little sweaty.

Through no real effort on Cel or my part we both ended up with very presentable meals, and I was lucky that the judges chose my meal as the best. Lucky, because the loser’s forfeit was to eat a witchetty grub. Cel took one bite and some gooey stuff shot straight down the back of his throat and he spent the next 5 minutes retching. Our director Neil felt bad and ate one himself to make up for it and then, just to show off, 2 other members of our crew trumped him by eating LIVE ones.

In the evening we took Cel out for a farewell meal in the town of Parkes. We’ll all miss him as he’s become a big part of this show over the years we’ve been doing it. We’re heading back to Sydney tomorrow, where the rest of us will be having a week off before launching into the next 2 months of filming. Seems quite daunting at the moment, but I’m sure when this all comes to an end in November we’ll be saying “Where did the time go?”

Oh, and big congratulations to our exec producer Lou who got married today! In Scotland. Not here. She’s not that much of a slave to the job.

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