The Priority kitchens are heating up!  Not only with the redolent odours of simmering, braising, double-boiling and barbequeing, but also with mounting tension as we near the Grand Finale of the Great Priority Cook-Off.

The first semi-final, on Monday October 15th, saw intense competition among Gerlynn, Constance and Nolan. Joseph, tragically, was a no-show; he had failed to recover in time from his earlier wrist injury and was unable to wield his spatula with the extreme prejudice required on such an occasion.  So, with no further ado, Joseph was eliminated from the Cook-Off at the semi-final stage.  Heart-broken fans told your reporter that they will never forget Joseph’s wonderful pinoy dishes, that added such a fresh range of flavours to the Cook-Off.

Our three remaining competitors showed nerves of steel as they presented their dishes to a full house of Priority food aficionados.  The baying crowd savoured Gerlynn’s red-hot pepper crab pasta, Nolan’s fried rice ikan bilis and Constance’s soothing peach slices in strawberry jello.

Each chef showed an acute strategic understanding of their audience’s taste preferences.  Gerlynn responded to Priority’s clear relish of hot and spicy dishes; Constance went with her winning formula of beautifully presented cool desserts, and Nolan stuck to his theme of local favourites.  And when the last platter had bee

n licked clean and all the crumbs had been swept away, it was Nolan who won through to the final, by a mere half point over Gerlynn!  For the record, Nolan scored 46.5 points, Gerlynn 46 and Constance trailed with 38.5.

Our three remaining competitors showed nerves of steel as they presented their dishes to a full house of Priority food aficionados.

What we learn from this is that while we thoroughly enjoy the cuisines of the world, the Priority team is Singaporean at heart and we can’t resist our local dishes.

Will that hold true for the second semi-final?  The match-up for Monday October 22nd sees hot favourite Kunalan take on William, Kairavi and Angelia, with the prize a place in the final!

With the exception of a single no-contest resulting in a walk-over for his opponent, Kunalan has scored a perfect string of victories, based on an unwavering commitment to the Joys of Curry.  Kairavi has earned her chance at undying fame through her constant presentation of great-looking, great-tasting vegetarian dishes. William and Angelia have both traveled slightly different culinary roads so far, presenting a mix of local and foreign favourites.   This coming Monday, much will depend on their dish selection. If they go local, will their dishes be classic enough to take the prize, or will they choose to present some irresistible delight from Italy, Mexico or even the UK?

Time will tell, food fans!  Until Monday, this is your Food Editor signing off.  Happy Eating, and see you next week with

all the news from Semi-Final Two!!