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'Come Dine With Me' Special: Preview - the Contenders

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The main courses will be out in a minute....

Everyone's seen the Channel 4 blockbuster 'Come Dine With Me', haven't they?

The series where strangers selected specifically for their ability to annoy each other take part in a series of drunken dinner parties during the course of a week, then score each others' efforts?

Well, even if you haven't you probably get the gist by now.

Inspired by this concept, Cookery Corner has recently taken part in a series of dinner parties held by a group of close friends, who also all happen to be couples.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, Cookery Corner will review each attempt, and bestows upon the winner the accolade of Cookery Corner 'Come Dine With Me' Champion!

I begin this series with a short introduction to each of the participants. All of the names have been changed to protect the dignity of those concerned. And they aren't real pictures, either, in case you were wondering.

So, without further ado....


Tracey Portrait

Help, I can't put my shoes on!

Contestant 1 - Tracey

Tracey is the driving force behind 'Come Dine With Me'. Her competitive spirit is outdone only by her appetite for destruction. Forthright, funny, forceful and with an unnervingly large capacity for drinking wine, when things turn into a drunken mess and ambulances have to be called, it's usually something to do with her.

Where cookery is concerned, Tracey is always well organised and willing to try something new. She will see herself as the main contender.

Partner: Stew

Rowland Portrait

Erm, Rowland, yesterday. Honest..

Contestant 2 - Rowland

What more can you say about Rowland that hasn't already been said? Although as your gracious guide through the fearsome forest of foodstuffs that is the internet you probably know all about me, I will attempt in any case to describe myself.

Witty, erudite and charming, Rowland is like a modern day Oscar Wilde of the kitchen. Rowland always finds it difficult to turn down the next drink, therefore is usually paralytic on purely selfless grounds, which makes him popular with his peers.Well, until he throws up on the carpet anyway.

As a food professional, it is probably unfair on the others that Rowland be entering the competition at all, however he has decided to handicap himself by picking some ludicrously complex dishes that he's never cooked before. Bravo! He'll probably still win though.

Partner: Demerera

Gill Portrait

Oh dear...
looks like he's spotted the canapes..

Contestant 3 - Gill

Consciencius and friendly, Gill is never afraid to offer helpful words of advice and encouragement in moments of trauma or strife. He is also a prodigious foodie - well prodigious mainly in terms of quantity consumed admittedly.

Gill remains an enigma when it comes to his talents in the kitchen. Rumours abound regarding a worrying lack of experience standing in front of a stove - then again even the best chefs take a step back and rack up the beans on toast, when they're off duty. Low expectations could lead to generous scoring if Gill pulls a rabbit out of the hat.

Partner: Tina
Brother: Stew

Stew Portrait

Let me tell you about how
to make PROPER Moussaka...

Contestant 4 - Stew

Stew is the man to go to if you need to know something. Anything from roasting a pheasant to re-building a laptop, he's your man, and what's more he's never afraid to help out if it's needed.... or not, for that matter!

Stew is passionate about food, in fact the relationship is almost pornographic. He's unafraid to take risks and is capable of the spectacular, which means that Stew could be a contender if he manages to pull it off on the night.

Partner: Tracey
Brother: Gill

Tina Portrait

Oh, go on I'll just have a glass...

Contestant 5 - Tina

Tina is the architypal dark horse. Mild mannered, sensible and thoughtful by day, derelict drunk by night, she's certainly not a lady you want to leave alone in a room with Tracey and a few bottles of wine.

Tina exudes competence in the kitchen, and her desire to impress should ensure that no stone is left unturned in pursuit of the perfect evening. She ought to be a high scorer provided her high standards don't precipitate something going horribly, horribly wrong

Partner: Gill

Demerera Portrait

Calm, cool, calculating...
The perfect cooking machine

Contestant 6 - Demerera

Demerera is a formidable lady. She knows what she wants, she knows how to get it, and she's certainly not interested in changing her mind... well, unless you give her chocolate that is. She also has the least convincing alias, on account of the fact that nothing whatsoever rhymes with her name.

Organisation will be the watchword - Demerera's evening should go like clockwork, but will her food have the x-factor? Plus, as that end of term feeling sets in for the last dinner party, will she be able to control her rampant guests? Ah I'm clutching at straws here, she's going to win, of course she is.

Partner: Rowland