What can being a contestant on MasterChef earn you, apart from several weeks on national television getting your food judged by three white guys? Apparently, it can also buy you a room in St Kilda’s Lady Grange packed full of C grade celebrities, food bloggers and miscellaneous riff raff, too.

Review: The Rusted Nail, St Kilda

Well, that’s what Scott Yeoman’s recent launch for his new catering venture The Rusted Nail tells us, anyway. You remember Scotty, right? He was a contestant in 2014, with a touching back story (you need to have one to get past round 3).

Basically, he had been a happy go lucky carpenter (like Jesus!) until his injuries overtook him and he turned to his love of feeding people to make a crumb (like… Jesus?).

But he wasn’t about to forget his tradie roots, oh no. Starting with a name like The Rusted Nail, Scotty says he’s poured his heart and soul into making something that really shows off his unique background of using power drills with his more refined culinary prowess.

Sounds interesting, right? I mean, imagine the potential. Perhaps some quirky serving platters or fun uniforms for the wait staff that match the motif? Or food that plays on true blue, rustic Aussie cuisine?

Don’t be ridiculous. Instead, Scotty decided to take a leaf out of his carpenter buddy Jesus’ book and mimic his ability to feed a huge crowd of people with just some fish and a loaf of bread. Well, to be specific, ocean trout and prawn crackers.

If you’ve ever been to a catered canapé-type event, you’ll know that basically it’s a whole lot of standing around pretending to care what people are saying to you but mostly keeping an eye on that swinging door to the kitchen. Because once that door opens and a waitperson comes out, it’s all hands on deck snagging whatever they’re dishing out.

I started out with the usual enthusiasm, and was excited to try the satisfying meld of ocean trout tarter served on a crispy prawn cracker. But twenty minutes later when more platters of the same food was circulating? Not so much. And the third time? I think I know what fish and spring onion tastes like by now, guys.

Review: The Rusted Nail, St Kilda

The infamous ocean trout tartar on prawn crackers. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Blode)

Just when I was about to Google whether there was a legal limit to how much ocean trout could be consumed by one person, they brought out a new, exciting dish that WASN’T PRAWN CRACKERS. These paddle pops looked fun, fresh, and, most importantly… sorry, what’s in them? Smoked eel and… cured ocean trout…


Review: The Rusted Nail, St Kilda

Something different! Kind of…?

Scotty’s plan to get ocean trout on the endangered species list must have been on track because he decided to treat us with something different: this beef tataki!

Review: The Rusted Nail, St Kilda

I’m sure it’s a trap, this beef tataki must have ocean trout hidden in it somewhere… (Photo Credit: Jeremy Blode)

Then he (probably) looked around at everyone breathing a collective sigh of relief that we were no longer solely draining the ocean of a complete species of fish, laughed maniacally and said “send out more ocean trout!”

OK, so that might not have actually happened, but the point is a few minutes later those familiar little prawn crackers were being handed out in front of me again and I looked around for a candid camera.

Honestly, at this point if I had caught Gary, George & Matt giggling in the corner I wouldn’t have even been surprised. Some sort of ‘final MasterChef challenge’ to see how many times you could serve the exact same dish before a guest threw a platter across the room in a rage.

By the time the ocean trout and prawn cracker was circulating once again half an hour later, I was halfway out the door to order a fish-free McFlurry from McDonald’s on the way home.

The good news in all of this is that if you think I’m being a bit harsh, or you’re tickled pink by the idea that you can judge a MasterChef contestant’s cooking skills for yourself, The Rusted Nail is now ready to meet your catering needs across Melbourne.

To book them, head here: http://therustednail.com.au/

For a bit of extra fun, include “overt repetition” as one of your dietary requirements and then imagine Scott Yeoman standing in a room wall to wall with barrels of ocean trout silently sobbing as he tries to think of an alternate dish.

Read an ‘alternative’ take from the night here and make your mind up for yourself….

When Mel isn’t filling her passport with stamps, she’s letting Melbourne’s multi-cultural food scene bring the world to her on a silver platter (or whatever strange hipster dinnerware every second cafe and restaurant seems to use). She loves the full spectrum of cuisines you can find hidden in this city’s cobbled laneways, from coriander-infused Asian fusions to artery-clogging American burgers and chicken wings.