It was always going to be difficult, what with the roaring success of date #6. I’d had a pretty dream run so far, so one of them had to falter eventually. He was enthusiastic, which I appreciate, but he booked in the date in for 7.50am, complete with live cameras, lights, microphones and burgers. The nation was watching. How would he fare? Date #7 was Wairarapa beef burgers, live at The Eating House with Breakfast TV’s Lucas de Jong.
Lucas de Jong is Wellington’s “man on the ground”, gracing our nation’s TV screens each weekday, make-upped and crossing live to the team back in the studio. Live television is an interesting beast; obviously you have to be able to think quick, act suave and consistently come across well. Lucas signed up for a date, bless him, and god knows he tried. Sort of. Although a Prime Wairarapa beef mince patty with gouda cheese and pickled zucchini is not what I would expect to be excited by at 8.30am on a Wednesday, it ended up being the highlight of a date which can only really be described as a bit bizarre.
If there’s one basic rule of being on a date, it’s for god sake pay the girl more attention than anyone else. Don’t ignore her to talk to your mates. I’d heard treat ‘em mean keep ‘em keen before, but the cameraman got a lot more of Lucas’ time than I did. Those in the studio did too. He confessed there were actually about 8 people on this date, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and remained optimistic.
I was a couple of (delicious perfectly made Allpress) coffees down when I was placed under strict instructions to not look at the camera. Our burgers arrived and the cameras were rolling, and although I’m up for a lot of things on first dates, force-feeding myself a cheeseburger on national breakfast television was not about to become one of them. He did his piece to camera, I sat there like a mute pudding.
Lucas is a very friendly and outgoing young man, and once the cameras stopped rolling I decided that a beef patty could indeed be the breakfast of champions. The smells were enticing on an empty stomach, and having stared awkwardly down at the plate for nearly 20 minutes, that first bite was a dream.
Once the cameras were off I finally had a chance to hit him with the hard questions; a role-reversal if you will. I began with the basics: is chivalry dead?
“Well, you don’t want to overdo it that’s for sure. You definitely want to play it a bit cool.” Aaah, playing it cool. And how do you do that? You become mates before romanticising the pants off them, apparently. You meet at a party, you get her number off a mutual friend, you get a text conversation going, and then you ask them out via text, being sure to avoid first-date movies: “the death of a good date.” Somewhat wise words. We both bemoaned the lack of dating culture in New Zealand, and on his own relationship (sorry ladies, he’s taken) he admits, like all good kiwi couples, it started with a slur. At his university hall. The rest is history.
He regained date-focus off camera and I managed about a third of my burger. My workmates ate the remnants microwaved at morning tea at declared it a solid 9/10. The pickled zucchini slices are a joy, and lift this classic beef and cheese and mayo combo to a tasty, well made, excellent burger option.
Bonus points for being the first date to shove his burger in my face. Thanks Lucas!
The Vital Stats -
Burger: 8/10 - a classic done exceptionally well. Date: 6/10 a solid pass and points for enthusiasm at that time of the morning.
Thank you to Mel and the team at The Eating House for hosting me, my date, the cameraman, the camera, the chaperone….and for the delicious coffees and burgers on date #7