Take on the Takeaway
Take on the Takeaway is a challenge and cookery programme combined. In each episode, a guest chef takes on a takeaway to see if they can be beaten in terms of price, speed and taste. The programme airs on a daily basis.
In this episode we met Patrick and Shirley from South London. They have a busy lifestyle and order takeaways 3 or 4 times a week from their local Caribbean takeaway. Ainsley Harriott is the guest chef who takes on the challenge of cooking traditional Jamaican fare of Jerk Chicken with rice and peas and plantain (which is the couple’s favourite dish).
First off is the price test. Ainsley buys all of the ingredients that he needs for the challenge at a cost of £13.58 to feed two people. The takeaway costs a total of £18, so Ainsley wins the first challenge.
The next challenge is a race against the clock – which Ainsley is used to after hosting “Ready Steady Cook”. Ainsley needs to prepare the meal using fresh ingredients and his time is compared with the time it takes for the takeaway to prepare, cook and deliver the food. Dean from the programme is acting as “delivery boy” and will call Ainsley once the takeaway is ready and he is setting off.
The challenge starts with the order being placed and Ainsley preparing the food. He is at an instant disadvantage as he needs to prepare his own marinade for the chicken and the takeaway have pre-marinated chicken. Ainsley cooks the chicken using a traditional oven, whilst the takeaway barbeque the chicken and chop it up (when cooked). Both Ainsley and the restaurant use fresh ingredients – rice, kidney beans, coconut milk, whole chillies, onions and plantain for the meal. However, the restaurant is slower – 6 minutes 35 seconds behind, which gives Ainsley time to prepare his own salsa and Guinness cocktail.
The final challenge is the taste test when Shirley and Patrick eat the meals totally blindfolded and score the meals. Shirley starts with high marks and gives 9/10 to the takeaway and Patrick awards it 7/10. Both award 10/10 to the second meal and are amazed to find it is the meal that Ainsley cooked, meaning he has won all three challenges.
Ainsley’s parting advice was for the couple to reduce the number of takeaways that they order and cook their own food – a cheaper, quicker and tastier option.