*This story was read by me last night as a guest at the wonderful Fan Fiction Comedy at Melbourne Town Hall as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It's a great night, there are only two more shows this weekend - catch them while you can.
It was dark when I stepped into the Masterchef kitchen that night. Filming had finished hours ago, but I had been summoned back by an anonymous note pushed under my door, reading, "Come to the kitchn. Urgent. Bring garnish."
As I looked around the empty kitchen, breathing in the aroma of capsicum, sweat and broken dreams, a voice boomed in the darkness.
"Welcome...to your final challenge."
"But I already did the final challenge! I made Heston Blumenthal's ice-cream pheasants! I made the liver parmigiana! I did everything you asked!"
"HAHAHA! No - nobody wins Masterchef without doing...the REAL final challenge!"
And with that, Matt Preston stepped out of the shadows. As always he wore his trademark cravat. As was less usual he wore nothing else.
"M-m-m-Matt," I stammered. "Your croquembouche is showing!"
He stepped forward, his spiced chorizo glinting in the moonlight. He leaned in close. "It's time...for the mystery box!"
With that he whipped open a wooden box on the benchtop, revealing three bananas, half a chicken and a riding crop.
"What can you make of this?" he whispered, his breath rich with the scent of lust and sun-dried tomatoes.
"I...I guess some sort of terrine?" I began, but I had no time to finish before I was pressed against the bench, Preston's chipolatas frenetically tenderising my sirloin.
"You...YOU'RE the hero of this dish!" Matt gasped, stuffing my fresh squab with his salted rolled pork. "The presentation leaves a little to be desired, but the flavours are all there! The bitterness of your rumballs, the sweetness of your glazed beef shoulders, and the firm filling inside your succulent creampie," he grunted. "Just needs...more SAUCE!" and with a mighty bellow, he covered my steaming platter with his freshly-made hollandaise.
From there it was a blur of baking and roasting and saucing and basting and stewing in each others' juices and the occasional random scream of "Schnitzel!" I found myself passed from chef to chef, as each one forced me to submit to their depraved culinary whims. Whether beating Gary Mehigan's eggs with all my might to produce custard for his crusty buns, delicately smearing white chocolate icing on Donna Hay's sticky date pudding, or drizzling Margaret Fulton's pungent fish pie with what she called verjuice bukkake, I did it all. Until finally, I was letting George Calombaris batter my dolmades, screaming, "We're nearly there, just ten seconds left, time to BOOM BOOM SHAKE THE ROOM!" and with a last spurt of honey mustard it was over, and I lay panting in a pool of my own foie gras.
"Now..." I pleaded. "Now am I Australia's next Masterchef?"
Matt smiled, a smile made of equal parts lasciviousness and macaron crumbs. "Not yet," he growled. "Because now...we're going to have sex."