Tuesday, August 15, 2006
[Ta Kung Pao, The Sun & Wen Wei Po 16/08/06]
"Beautiful Cooking" held its finals on Monday and invited back the highest scoring contestants from the previous rounds for the final competition. The leader of the scoreboard and favourite to win Louisa So did not disappoint and was crowned "Beautiful Cooking Goddess". On the other end of the scale, Ella Koon beat Fiona Sit and Kary Ng to become the "Beautiful Cook from Hell".
The recording started at around 8pm and the finalists Louisa, Stephy Tang, Eunis Chan, Vanessa Yeung, Ada Choi and Amanda S, split into two groups for the first round of the contest. Louisa, Stephy and Eunis had to cook an octopus dish, whilst Vanessa, Ada and Amanda made a dish of sturgeon. The respective winners from each group then went forward for the final contest for the title. For this great event, guest judges were Alan Tam, Nat Chan and Pang Kin San. Amanda wore a low cut top to the show and seemed rather uncomfortable throughout the evening. When Alan noticed this, he suggested that she should just let herself go and not worry about revealing herself. On her previous visit, Amanda exchanged her kisses for points, but this time, even the chef spat out her food and the other guests were quick to criticise. Having received complaints from viewers previously for not wearing anything under her top in the previous show, she apologised and said that she had a bra on this time. She explained that as a model, she doesn't need to wear one, but she is still learning about Chinese culture and values. In her group, Vanessa emerged as the winner with her "Fragrant Garlic Double Dragon" dish.
Stephy seemed rather clumsy when she chopped up the octopus and when Eunis paired up her octopus with a bed of noodles, Nat made a joke at Ekin Cheng, saying they should give this to Gigi Leung to eat [Ekin's nickname is 'Noodle']. When Alan laughed that Gigi doesn't eat them any more, Nat suggested: "Maggie Siu then!" making the audience laughed. Louisa emerged as the winner of this group. The three lowest scoring contestants from the previous rounds Ella, Fiona and Kary returned for a "Cooks from Hell" contest, cooking crayfish and seeing how clumsy they were, Alan reminded them that they had to urinate them first, but Kary did not know how to do this and chopped all the tails off them first.
Fiona worked hard at her cooking on the night and when she tried her own food, she burst into tears and even her mother cried when she came forward to try the food. Mrs Sit said that this was the first time she had ever tasted her daughter's cooking and it tasted good. However, when Nat came to taste the food, he laughed that only her mother would be able to bear it. Alan then said jokingly: "I want to cry too!". This group was won by Kary, who had previously almost set the kitchen on fire, with Ella being the worst and dubbed "Beautiful Cook from Hell". Kary took prize money of $20,000 for her win, but she says the happiest thing for her was to be able to clear her name and to emerge with a positive score, which shows an improvement as she smiles: "I can marry now!" The judges dished out their fair share of jokes as they tried the terrible food as Alan laughed: "This is retribution sent to me from heaven because I have eaten too much in the past." When their dishes were offered out to the audience, they returned untouched as no-one dared to try the food.
In the final round, Louisa went head to head with Vanessa and the two had to cook a soup, a main course and a dessert. Vanessa made fish tail soup, fried prawns and baked egg, whereas Louisa cooked seafood soup, French style baked oysters and a special dessert. Louisa's dishes won unanimous support from the judges and she took the Goddess title, together with the $100,000 prize money. Louisa admitted that she never imagined she could win a competition with her cooking and said excitedly: "I am extremely happy because this is the largest prize I have ever won and it is like winning Miss Hong Kong. I will take my friends out to dinner and I plan to publish a book about cooking at the end of the year to share my knowledge with the masses." Runner up Vanessa won $40,000.
[Ta Kung Pao 16/08/06]
This year's Miss Hong Kong winners Aimee Chan, Janet Chow and Koni Lui were invited onto Nancy Sit's radio show yesterday to be interviewed and Nancy presented them with cookbooks as a souvenir and added that she hopes to film with them in the future and play 'sisters' with them, but she does not want to play their mother!
Having previously been a winner of "Miss Exhibition", Koni says that she has met Nancy before and says: "I was representing the electrical goods company that Nancy is the spokesperson for and we have met each other a few times. She praised me for improving in Miss Hong Kong and making a step forward." With Nancy giving her a cookbook, she says that this is very useful because she likes to cook. Koni's voice was a little husky yesterday and she says that she has consulted a doctor for assistance, but he refused to give her an injection to help. She says "It has been tough for all sixteen girls over the last three months and we have been training and rehearsing hard, so not being ill during this time is already very good."
Aimee and Janet are also good cooks and Aimee says that her speciality is desserts. Janet laughs that her mother has never been in the kitchen and she has had to cook for the family since she was young, so she has great culinary skills. She can cook Chinese and Western foods and her most impressive feat was cooking for twenty people by herself. The last three days has been hard going for the three winners, but they all say it is nothing compared to the training. Janet laughs: "It is not hard work at all and quite relaxed. Just being made up, having your hair done and chatting. (Have you been in touch with the other contestants?) At the moment we have just been using SMS." With more magazines reporting about Aimee's suspected cosmetic surgery, she responded to this saying: "I have already commented and I will not talk about this now. The most important thing is to keep a happy mood and not let myself be unhappy."
After the girls finished their interview, they joined TVB Chairman Sir Run Run Shaw, where he presented them with their prize money from the company as a token of encouragement.
[Ta Kung Pao 16/08/06]
It is Niki Chow's birthday on the 30th August and she will be holding a summer camp with her fans to celebrate her birthday, as she has to work on the day itself.
Yesterday was rumoured boyfriend Kevin Cheng's birthday and with Kevin having indicated that Niki had not bought him a gift, he also said he would not be buying anything for Niki. She immediately asked the reporters for help, saying: "This way, I don't need to pay anything and he still has his name in the papers. Remember to add 'Happy Birthday' in the report, that way I don't need to buy him a gift." Asked if she would like the press to print an anonymous greeting to him under the name of 'the one', Niki laughs that she doesn't mind: "If you put it on a full page, I don't mind. As long as I don't have to pay, then one unit is still good."
Asked whether she will celebrate his birthday with him, Niki says she has not thought about it. Has she been invited as a guest on Kevin's forthcoming mini-concert, she hesitated before a moment before replying: "Yes?" When it was mentioned that Kevin had indicated he had invited her on as a gust, Niki says: "If he says so, then it is!". The press pointed out that this was Nic Tse and Cecilia Cheung's catchphrase and asked if this meant they were really dating, but Niki clarified: "He is having a concert, I am a guest. If he says so, then it is." If Kevin wants to kiss her, will she accept this too? She laughs: "If he wants to try this, then I don't mind, but I will avoid him!"
Niki says this is not the first time. The last time Kevin was urged to kiss her, she turned him down immediately and although this time he will be the lead in the show, if there is a similar request, she will still not go with it.
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