The Katering Show: how do I eat at a fancy restaurant?

The Katering Show's Kate McCartney (top) and Kate McLennan
The Katering Show's Kate McCartney (top) and Kate McLennan Photo: Supplied

Got your noodle in a knot over whether to parboil your potatoes or reheat your rigatoni? Stars of the Katering Show, intolerable foodie Kate McLennan and food intolerant friend Kate McCartney, tackle your vexing culinary questions. Our serving suggestion? Take their advice with a generous pinch of salt and send your questions to editorial@goodfood.com.au with The Katering Show in the subject line. 

1. I used my flatmate's avocado and even though I replaced it the next day, he won't stop going on about it. What do I do?

Thanks for your fax, Hayden. Clearly your housemate is pregnant and most likely bought the avocado on the advice of a pregnancy App that told him if he didn't get his daily intake of Omega 3s his baby would be born without a face.

He's just doing his best Hayden; he probably has pelvis pain and chaffing and six separate haemorrhoids, yet he still managed to waddle down to that wasps nest of an organic shop to buy an unripe avocado on a credit card he definitely shouldn't use, because that's what you do when you, and you alone, are responsible for the viability of a bunch of developing cells. Presumably he waited for it to ripen over a 4-day period, only to discover, upon his return from a mutual masturbation class masquerading as prenatal yoga, that you, Hayden, had polished it off in a game of "Hipster cafe role-play" on your Tradie's Day Off.

You need to apologise, Hayden. You need to buy your housemate a McDonald's strawberry sundae - even though the App says he probably shouldn't have them - and you need to watch him eat it without asking him to share because you need to show that man that the selfish ransacking of your precious baby's face-forming nutrients was in no way a precursor to how you'll behave in your role as an active birth partner, father and lover.

Bread: too delicious to give up, unless you really, really have to.

Bread: too delicious to give up, unless you really, really have to.

2. I'm trying to give up gluten, but it's just so difficult! I love bread. Any tips on substitutions?

Hi Poppy-Francesca. Let's do a test: If you eat gluten will your insides turn on you like a cat presented with ear medication? They won't? So you're going gluten-free because of a fad, wellness industry diet, are you? You are? Ok.  

Let us shout this once at you: GOING GLUTEN-FREE ISN'T A FAD DIET. If you're not actually gluten intolerant, cutting out gluten from your diet will just deprive you of nutrients, like iron, and bundt cake. Plus, because you actually have nothing at stake here, it won't matter to you if you do sneak a bowl of fettuccine carbonara at a 24-hour pasta bar.

But everyone in the world will see you eat that classic Italian dish, Poppy-Francesca, and they'll then assume that actual gluten intolerant people are making up their legitimate medical condition too because they're bored of the 5:2, LIKE YOU ARE, YOU HYPHENATED LIAR.

This is exactly what happened with Muslims. We cannot wildly over-reach this point enough. A bunch of ISIS nutjobs commandeered a perfectly good religion - even though they have nothing to do with said perfectly good religion -  and now all Muslims everywhere are being unfairly charged with their crappy behaviour. You are not actually gluten intolerant, Poppy-Francesca. 

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You are just loudly proclaiming you can't have gluten for your own ulterior and stupid motives. You are being a nutjob extremist. Stop nutjob extreming us.

No more bananas, please.

No more bananas, please.

3. My children keep taking two bites of a banana and then refusing to eat the rest. What can I do with all those bananas? I can't just keep making banana bread, I'm getting fat!

Michael, we all know that bananas are full of potassium and potassium is important for renal filtration, but there are other things that are full of potassium, like beetroot and commercial fertiliser.

So stop feeding your kids bananas, Michael. We don't know your kids that well, but even we can tell that they don't like bananas, as evidenced by the fact that they consistently refuse to eat bananas. In fact, how long have they been trying to tell you just that?

When was the last time you talked to your kids, Michael - not about chores, not about your crushing expectations of them based upon your own failures- but about them?

Do you even know that your daughter has been ditching her ballet lessons to go cross-country ski-ing with her friends? Have you even realised that your son is gay, and in space? Jesus Christ, how have you not noticed that your gay son is in orbit?

You said you'd be different from your parents, didn't you, Michael? So how did this happen? When did you become your dad? The good news is - look at me Michael [McCartney draws Michael's gaze to her own] - it's not too late. Just be with your kids.

Really be with them - book a road-trip to Adelaide; bond over a comic recording of a fictional sports commentator; hit a kangaroo; put down a kangaroo - Mikey, the healing starts with you.

Healthy alternative: A daily green smoothie can give you a much-needed nutrient lift.

It's not easy being green. Photo: Steven Siewert

4. I really want to get in on the green smoothie trend, what's the best green smoothie to make?

Karen, you've asked the right people because we feel VERY passionately about the diet trends that white people embrace because they're bored at work and have used up all their leave.

According to the Instagram feed of @nutritionfaerie, green smoothies cleanse the body of toxins, which is great if you don't have kidneys or a liver. They're also a super fun way of combining a whole lot of ingredients that taste terrible on their own into a drink that tastes even worse when they're mixed together.

@nutritionfaerie suggests that you blend up everyday household ingredients like matcha powder, Lacinato kale and whole green coconuts but we'd advocate that you go one step further and use items like the sputum-soaked cover of a breastfeeding pillow or a bucket of your next door neighbour's pool chlorine.

These ingredients don't necessarily have any health benefits, but if you drink them you will be able to tell if your liver and kidneys are working, and more importantly, if there's a severe problem with your brain.

It's a little bit fancy.

It's a little bit fancy.

5. When I'm at a fancy restaurant, how do I know which knife and fork to use, and does it really matter if I get it wrong?

Look Vivian, play this scenario out till the end. Pretty Woman lied to you.

If you don't know how to locate - and then use - a tiny silver shrimp fork, that rich businessman isn't going to save you from your wretched life of cheap wigs, precarious footwear and Jason Alexander's unwanted sexual advances.

He's not going to stand over you and watch you sleep then proclaim his undying love for you after only 5 days, if you can't tell the difference between a soup spoon and an ice bucket. We'll keep pressing the point Vivian - because we're really enjoying this analogy - he's not going to save yourself from your life via a pretty gross plot - but a good shopping montage - if you can't throw a butter knife across a room and have it land between the eyestalks of a Chesapeake Bay lobster.

So for the love of Prince, Viv, watch a dining etiquette tutorial on YouTube and get yourself learned - Kit De Luca's tuition fees at the Los Angeles School of Makeup aren't going to pay for themselves.