Stefan Gates teaches parents to cook a restaurant-standard, two-course meal in 24 hours. Disaster Chef Michelle from Liverpool attempts chicken tikka masala.
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Meet the Disaster Chefs. They're the parents who are rubbish at cooking.
They make things like this, and this, and this.
And foodie fanatic Stefan Gates is the only person who can help.
He's got just 24 hours to help them master a two-course meal
in a professional kitchen for some fierce critics.
Will they raise like a souffle or flop like a pancake?
Will it be Yumm or Yuck?
Start your blenders!
Today's Disaster Chef is mum-of-four Michelle from Merseyside.
Her ten-year-old daughter Zeta loves singing, dancing and acting.
But I think the fear in her eyes
when her mum approaches with food is real!
Stay back, I don't want it. Go away.
What? Your dinner's ready.
She was born to be a bad cook.
Mum Michelle can't even make toast.
I do burn the pans and burn toast and what have you.
Michelle is a force of nature in the kitchen.
She does what she wants - forget the recipes.
Last night, she just put a load of random stuff in a pan,
and, oh, it looked awful.
Mum, what are you cooking?
Vegetables, mushrooms and bla-di-bla.
I do a lot of cooking in our house,
because I have more time, I think.
The problem with Michelle is that she's always on the go,
and it doesn't give it the time that it needs.
I think my cooking's fine, actually.
Is that meant to be, like, some sort of stir-fry?
I don't really know. Just chucking it all in.
My dad is like, really, really, really good at cooking,
compared to my mum.
Healthy competition. Nice.
They always say, "Mum, let me dad do the cooking,
"cos he's better than you and it tastes nicer."
And I agree.
For some reason, he thinks he's better than me,
I don't think he is at all.
No-one's safe from Michelle's cooking, not even the dog!
Sometimes we give him the leftover food that my mum's made and,
well, he actually threw up from one of them once.
He was sick as, well, a dog.
But there's one dish Zeta would love Michelle to cook,
and that's a curry.
She's attempted to make curry for me before, but it's not nice,
it has no taste, or no flavour.
So Zeta's keeping Michelle out of the kitchen
until she can cook flavoursome, fabulous fuel
for her stage and screen career.
What's going on?
Oh, please save me from this Disaster Chef! Please.
That's a wee bit much, Zeta.
Time to call in meal master and all-round good egg Stefan Gates
to stir things up.
Can he turn Michelle from a lesser to a "grater" cook?
Oh, stop, stop. This is...useless. Who writes these lame jokes?
It's just getting cheesy.
Well, thanks very much, Stefan.
You know, you've never once offered me anything to eat.
I'll be fine!
Hi, Stef, come in.
Hi, Stef, you all right?
I hear we've got a bit of a situation going on here.
Tell me, how bad your mum's cooking is.
Well, it's really bad, she made me porridge,
and I don't think it's food.
What? That's not porridge. Look, look. It's completely solid.
I don't think it's food either, Zeta.
It's like some scary monster from the Planet Zarg.
Oh, don't eat it, Stefan. No, no!
That is rubbish.
Right. Well, let's have a little look at Michelle's cooking.
There's a technical term for this.
Chefs call it bleuughhggh!
Really got my work cut out here.
-So you reckon your cooking's pretty good?
Well, I want to see for myself.
It's time for Stefan to see an egg-xample of how bad
Michelle's cooking really is.
It's The Rookie Challenge.
To make the perfect French toast with bacon,
Michelle needs eggs, bread, butter and bacon.
Start frying the bacon.
Crack the eggs, give them a whisk, bread in the eggs,
butter in the pan, bread in the pan, let it fry.
Flip it, fry some more, add the bacon, serve it, enjoy.
You've got exactly, five minutes to make this dish. Three, two, one.
And she's off. And remember, if you're cooking at home,
get permission from your adult.
-And it should be delicious.
Cool, calm, collected, in control. That's what we like to see.
What's the cheese for?
What, the cheese that looks surprisingly like butter?
Oh, is that butter?
Hey, I often mistake butter for cheese.
What... What's she doing?
I like it, a new technique,
buttering the bread rather than putting it in the pan! Mmm!
That's the crust!
-Watch out, it's going to get messy!
-This is looking bad.
Oh, give the bacon a bit of room!
30 seconds left. Three, two, one.
Step away from the food!
What is this? It's like bacon soup!
Is that... That is your best offering.
I'd just like to show you, what this delicious dish ought to look like.
Brian, in you come!
Lovely watch, Brian. Thank you very much.
So that is the perfect French toast.
-It looks the same.
-It looks the same, does it?
Yeah, if you were in a dark room with the lights off!
-I think what you can say is that that's rubbish, can't we?
What do you think about the difference between these two?
I think I'd like to eat that one but definitely not this one.
That was revolting.
I've never seen eggy bread anything like that before.
It was more like vomi-bread, but there was a little bit of nice,
crusty brown stuff on one side, so maybe there's a glimmer of hope.
We're going to need it.
Michelle, congratulations. You truly are a total and utter Disaster Chef.
But, I'm here to change all of that.
That's because tomorrow, if Michelle accepts the challenge,
she'll have to cook two courses in this swanky country house,
for three mystery judges,
and face a vote on whether her food is Yumm or Yuck!
Are you up for this challenge?
-Michelle, are you up for this challenge?
Excellent! If you succeed, then that will be fantastic.
If you fail, you have to wear the Disaster Chef hat, forever.
Now we're going to go off and decide what the menu's going to be,
we're going to go shopping. You can clear this all up. Let's go.
Stefan's got his hands full this time.
So what would be your dream meal?
I think I'd like an Indian.
An Indian. That's quite tricky, spicy food for your mum.
Let's give it a go.
But what does Michelle want to get out of the Disaster Chef experience?
I am absolutely sick of the children
and John trying to say that I'm a bad cook,
so I would like to get some positive reviews at the end of it, really.
I just don't really think I'm going to eat that.
I have no idea why your husband and kids say you're a bad cook,
but have Stefan and Zeta found any magical ingredients
to make Michelle a good cook?
Well, I think we've got everything.
I thought we should just get one more exotic ingredient. Gold leaf.
Gold leaf, where are we going to find some of that?
A-ha. I've got a few ideas. Come on.
No, not on the streets.
And look! It's a gold leaf!
That's not real.
And it doesn't grow on trees.
That's it, just leave, won't you?
Dig down deep.
Or even panning for gold.
Gold nuggets. Look at that.
That's fool's gold, Stefan.
No. Let's try somewhere else.
I don't mean to speak out of turn, but have you tried the supermarket!
Guess what I found?
MUSIC: "Gold" by Spandau Ballet
# Gold. Always believe in your soul
# You've got the power to... #
Yeah, that's enough, thanks.
Stefan? Stef, Stefan! Hello?
So, with gold in their pockets and a spring in their step, they're home.
OK, what have you got there?
Seeds, sea-salt flakes, double cream,
plain chocolate, pure original Basmati.
What on earth could Stefan have in mind with that assortment?
Let's find out. It's time to reveal The Menu!
But first, a game of chicken.
And, there we go.
She'll have to get used to handling that tomorrow because The Menu is...
For the main course, you'll be making Posh Chicken Tikka Masala
with pilau rice, and for the dessert you'll be making spiced poached pear
with gold leaf and oozing chocolate souffle.
What do you reckon, how's she going to do?
I think, she'll...
Diplomatic answer, Zeta. Luckily, Michelle's going to have some help.
It's time for Stefan's Crash Course.
So, to make the perfect chicken tikka masala,
Michelle will need to get a bowl.
Put the spices in it. Mix in garlic, ginger, and yoghurt.
Give it a whirl. Add chicken. Mix it around.
Leave it to chillax. Make the masala sauce.
Add boiled water to the sauce. Fry the chicken.
Stick the rice on a plate.
Stick the chicken on the plate,
stick the sauce on the chicken, garnish, pukka!
Let's get cooking.
It's time to start the marinade, and Michelle needs to grate some ginger.
Now just please watch your fingers, Michelle. Watch your fingers!
Please don't grate your fingers off, that's all I ask.
She's dealt with the tough task of adding some yoghurt admirably.
But when it comes to chicken, she can be a bit of a, well, chicken!
Stop, stop, OK. The way to cut food is not to go like this.
OK. You hold it, but hold it very gently and firmly.
You're in charge of it, OK?
After clucking... I mean plucking up some courage,
it's into the marinade with the chopped chicken.
OK. The biggest problem I've got here,
is that Michelle is clearly terrified of food.
She's sort of dealing with it at arm's length,
she doesn't want to touch it.
If I can get her over this fear of touching food,
maybe miracles could happen.
Michelle's chopping again. Oh, I can't look, I can't look!
Oh, watch those fingers, please watch those... Argghh!
OK, stop, stop, stop. OK. Can I just...
That was great.
I think fingers are overrated, personally.
Handy for picking your nose, though.
After a bit of grating and a bit of blending,
the sauce is cooking away, and Michelle still has all her fingers.
Next up is the rice.
But this isn't any normal rice, this is pilau rice,
so called because it's what they stuff pillows with.
It's an Indian speciality, which makes me think it's probably time
for a Bollywood dance beak.
BOLLYWOOD MUSIC PLAYS
Are they Morris dancing?
MORRIS DANCE MUSIC PLAYS
Oh, no, it's the well-known Liverpudlian tea-towel dance.
Yeah, that's enough applause, time for the pudding.
Michelle has to make poached pears with a chocolate souffle.
For this she'll have to get a saucepan, put in sugar,
spice and lemon, pour in some water.
Heat. Peel some pears. Stick 'em in the pan.
Simmer, dish up the pears. Heat the syrup up.
Paint some gold leaf onto the pears.
Pour over the syrup, add the chocolate souffle,
add some creme fraiche, whoo-hoo!
These pears need spices.
There's Posh, there's Scary, there's Baby,
oh, and we saw wee Ginger already.
A light crushing and they're popped into the syrup
for poaching the pears.
Chuck 'em in the saucepan.
The pears need peeled first,
and that means a sharp thing in Michelle's hand again!
And you can do it as slow as you like.
Excellent, you're doing brilliantly there.
There's Zeta, just checking Mum's still got all four fingers.
Watch out, cos this is very hot.
So that's our sugar syrup.
Now you can very gently put the pears into the syrup.
So, with the pears on, next it's souffle time,
and this is going to be a chocolate souffle.
While Zeta melts the chocolate,
Stefan is cracking up at Michelle's technique.
Carefully! It's a gently-gently.
You've lost it! You've lost it, all right. That'll do.
Michelle clearly believes in tough love with this souffle.
I can see the love. No, with love!
Against all odds, it ends up in the dishes and ready for the oven.
Now it's time for Stefan to get all arty with us.
Now this is the secret ingredient. This is pure gold.
# Gold... #
It's so thin, that if you sneeze on it, it will float away
and it's impossible to get hold of it.
Well, Michelle will be great with that! Ha!
You just want a tiny little sliver like that.
And if you touch it on, it'll stick to it.
And Michelle gets the gold!
OK, out with the souffles and onto the plate.
Drop it on the plate there.
Just a little bit at a time. OK, stop there.
Poached pears with gold leaf, and a delicious souffle.
That's looking great,
but Michelle shouldn't count her chickens just yet,
as she's still got to cook them.
It will spit a bit, so you do need to be careful.
The last thing to do is plate up the main course.
And that is the "chick-end"... Who writes these lines?!
That's it. I've done everything I can today.
It's over to Michelle, and she needs to pull this off,
not just for herself, not just for Zeta, but for me!
My reputation is at stake here, so if she crashes and burns,
I crash and burn with her.
Michelle's family are getting stuck into her cooking,
and, for the first time, everyone loves it.
But is it going to get the "Yumms-up" tomorrow
from our Disaster Chef judges?
Just 24 hours ago, Zeta's mum, Michelle,
accepted the Disaster Chef challenge.
It's completely solid
She's been feeding Zeta her own unique brand of burning,
I mean cooking, for years.
Chucking it all in.
But to get one over on dad John,
and to have Zeta prefer her cooking, she wants to improve.
So Disaster Chef master Stefan Gates has spent the last day
trying to turn Michelle's cooking around.
Urgh! OK, stop, stop, stop.
Today, she's going to be cooking in this big posh house.
Well, its kitchen, to be more precise.
She's hoping her two-course meal will be voted Yumm instead of Yuck,
by our three mystery judges.
What can possibly go wrong?
Right. This is it!
In just a few minutes, Michelle will be trying
to put everything I taught her into practice,
by cooking in this professional kitchen
for three very distinguished judges.
The question is, have I done enough to help her impress them, and Zeta?
Well, I don't know. Let's go and find out.
Michelle and Zeta have arrived. I'm terrified already.
Wow, this place is huge.
It looks like Buckingham Palace. I can't believe the size of it.
And when one is in a posh kitchen,
one must use these to turn all of that, into all of this, innit.
One must also dress poshly and that,
so a big posh chef's outfit for Michelle,
and a posh waitress outfit for Zeta.
Mum, you look ridiculous, really funny!
You look gorgeous.
No time for chat.
Michelle has three hours
and needs to start prepping the marinade for the chicken. Go.
Three, two, one, get cooking!
One thing I know
is that you shouldn't use a grater when flustered.
Oh, watch the fingers!
Mum, I think you need to calm down and take a deep breath.
With the adrenaline pumping,
Michelle is going great guns with the marinade.
Stick to the recipe and everything will work beautifully, OK?
Going to leave you to it, so you can be stressed on your own. Come on.
Yes, Stefan, it's time to let Michelle spread her wings
on the masala sauce.
Michelle seems to be over her nerves and hasn't lost any fingers...
That's the masala sauce on, but what it really needs is water,
so it looks like this.
There's the water, but where's it going?
It needs to go in the sauce, Michelle. In the sauce!
Stefan's back and he's brought good news.
I think it's time to reveal who your judges are today.
Yes, the people who are deciding Michelle's fate have arrived.
is only bloomin' Beth Tweddle,
Britain's most successful ever gymnast and Dancing On Ice winner.
Throughout my career I've been obviously judged for my gymnastics,
with skating, so I know exactly how she'll be feeling, very nervous,
but, at the end of the day, if you enter a competition,
you are putting yourself up for that criticism.
is top Indian chef and curry king Sudha Saha.
Not to put you under pressure when you're cooking a curry, Michelle(!)
Indian food cooking is very, very hard,
because someone has to understand the spice well,
and there's so many spices going on around,
and if someone doesn't understand the spice,
it's not going to come right, so it's very, very technical.
is someone who knows first-hand just how band your cooking can be.
It's none other than your bezzy, Lynn Waites.
Let's hope she won't be waiting too long for your food today.
Even though Michelle's my friend, and we've been friends for ten years,
today, if it's yucky, it's yucky!
Oh, she'll eat anything!
Mind you, she does like Indian curry.
The judges are each going to have a vote of a Yumm or Yuck
on Michelle's cooking.
It's best of three, so she has to get two out of three Yumms to pass.
But if she gets two or more Yucks, it's back to the chopping board.
Less than two hours to go.
The masala sauce is cooking away, but Michelle needs to be
delicately crushing some spices for the pear pudding.
Oh, actually, I don't know whether I was supposed to crush them.
Crushing is right. Smashing them to smithereens is not.
The bits should be big enough to be fished out later.
Pudding's on the go,
now Michelle needs to check her main course sauce.
Do you think the lack of water might affect it at all?
There's a surprise, it's all drying up.
Quick, add some yoghurt to it.
No, don't add some yoghurt to it, add some... Let me think.
What would make it more watery? It's a tough one.
Mmm. Sounds a bit like an otter, comes out of a tap.
Yeah? What do you think? Yeah? Just have a think, Michelle.
Bit worried about the Indian connoisseur.
I'm getting a bit stressed about this sauce.
It doesn't look, kind of, quite the same as yesterday.
Now the pressure is on, and Michelle is running around
like a headless chicken, trying to cook a headless chicken!
OK, let's get cooking.
Where do we start, chicken or pears, chicken or pears?
Yeah, go for the chicken, Michelle. No, no, read the recipe again.
Yeah, chicken again.
Maybe pears, yeah, the pears. No, back to the chicken.
Good idea. Swap things round.
Put the chicken in, no, change your mind, back to the pears again.
Good idea, Michelle. Read the recipe again. That's excellent.
Chicken or pears, chicken or pears.
As the judges enter the poshest dining room in the world ever,
Michelle must get cracking on the pudding, now!
That's the pears on, but the main course still isn't ready.
How's it going?
Not, not good.
Erm, the sauce, I don't know if I've put...enough water in.
The almonds. Forgot the almonds.
Want to see panic close up? This is it!
I think the one we made yesterday looked a bit better.
That's what we like, Zeta, words of encouragement.
I'm sorry, Mum, but time's up
and you need to get everything on the plate.
Time's up, rice is down,
and looking away doesn't mean it isn't happening, Stefan.
So, 24 hours after she failed to make French toast,
Michelle's had to make chicken tikka masala
with pilau rice. It looks not bad, to me.
Oh, this looks nice.
And now it's about to be eaten by an Olympic gymnast,
Michelle's best mate, and a top Indian chef.
That's what I call a tough crowd.
OK, shall we try?
Yeah, let's try.
Go for it.
The rice is cooked nice as well.
The rice is lovely, isn't it?
Wow. It's looking good so far.
I'd like more sauce.
Yeah, I was thinking that.
The chicken when you've got the sauce on it is fine,
but when it's not got the sauce, it's a little bit dry.
But for Sudha, it's quality not quantity.
Sauce cooking is fine, because I'm very impressed with the sauce
because the one thing I'm impressed by is that the spices are cooked.
And in the kitchen, Zeta agrees.
I think it's definitely better than the chicken she usually cooks.
The thing that makes the chicken really nice is the sauce,
so I can tell that she's done well on the sauce.
So the most important person in the house approves.
But what does the one professional on the panel think?
So what do you reckon, would this,
stand up to restaurant standard, or...?
I would not...
It's good, but not restaurant quality.
Michelle hasn't got time to think about it now.
It's onto the souffle mix for the pudding.
I think the chocolate and egg whites should be more mixed than that.
Now what's this sort of fur all over them?
That was her Angry Spice over-crushing earlier.
Shall I scrape it off?
What do you reckon?
Just wash the crunchy bits off!
Who's looking forward to dessert?
Oh, I can't wait.
I'm not too sure about it, I'm a little bit worried about this one.
OK, that's the syrup poured, and there's the gold.
# Gold... #
Oh, not again!
Time to get the souffles on the plate and go.
Looks fantastic. What do you reckon, Zeta?
For pudding, Michelle had to make poached pears with gold leaf
and a chocolate souffle.
Mmm, the souffle's a little bit sunk.
Oh, thank you, that looks amazing.
At last, all the plates are out.
Little bit dry.
It's not to my liking.
It's not looking like a perfect ten from Beth. Oh, dear!
And Sudha isn't happy either.
For me, the pear is not done right, like a raw one,
so it needs some more time to cook.
Pear's a bit hard, and it's very dry, the souffle, isn't it?
Yeah. Souffle's not right either.
I always say I'd rather not have food that's hard and dry.
Would you pay for that in a restaurant?
I wouldn't either, in a restaurant.
Not an entirely sweet reception for the pudding from the judges,
but what does the most important critic think?
You shouldn't need to use a knife for this.
I think she could have maybe cooked it for a bit longer,
so it would have been a poached pear instead of like a raw pear.
You know what, having a little bit of gold scattered on something,
maybe that's enough to distract people
from the fact that it's not perfectly good.
I like your tactics, Stefan!
It didn't really look like a leaf. Is it meant to?
No, it's not supposed to look like a leaf,
it's made from gold leaf, Beth.
But too late. Time for the verdict!
Less than 24 hours ago,
Zeta's Disaster Chef mum Michelle's idea of cooking
was slapping it all on a pan and hoping for the best.
But after a lesson yesterday
from our resident food know-it-all Stefan,
today she attempted a two-course meal to restaurant standard
for our panel of three judges.
Olympic somersaulter and celebrity skater Beth Tweddle,
top Indian chef Sudha Saha,
and, finally, bezzy mate Lynn Waites.
Can Michelle get the two out of three Yumms she needs to pass?
The main course went down well, but the pudding was a disaster.
So are these judges going to give her Yumm or Yuck for her efforts?
Having your cooking judged by a chef, a celeb and your best friend
is guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies,
so some of Michelle's family and friends
have turned up for moral support.
OK, this is the moment of truth.
Judge number one.
First to judge is Michelle's best mate, Lynn Waites.
She waited a while for her dishes today,
but will food mean more than friendship?
Your verdict, please.
Michelle, I know I'm your best friend,
but I'm here to tell you the truth, and from me, it's a...
Yes! Great result, there. But was she just being kind?
Next up is the expert.
Sudha. Your verdict, please.
Indian chef Sudha didn't seem too enamoured
with the curry or the pudding,
so is his vote going to spice things up?
Well, it's a very good attempt.
I've been surprised the spices are cooked right in the sauce.
But...it's not a restaurant standard.
Oh, dear. It was all going so well, and now it's even Stephens,
everything to play for.
Last, it's Dancing on Ice winner and Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle,
who was less than impressed with the pudding.
She won bronze in 2012, but with the crucial deciding vote,
is she going to give Michelle a gold today?
Your verdict, please.
Michelle, I absolutely loved your main course,
but I hated your dessert.
So, from me, it is...
It's gold for Michelle!
Amazingly, she's passed by the skin of her teeth.
Do teeth have skin? Never mind.
She's now the queen of the kitchen,
and like every queen, she needs a crown!
Brilliant, you have been amazing!
Now she realises you've got to follow recipes and the techniques
and do it by the book, rather than throw it all in yourself,
and hopefully it'll be better for us.
Considering, she doesn't even cook at home,
I think the kids will now get some edible meals out of it.
I think it's been a really good task for her,
as I only ever get chicken nuggets and chips
every time I go to her house,
but I think she's done fantastic.
She hasn't got any background of cooking,
and she has done quite a good job.
Hopefully, from now on, I can cook food that my family will enjoy.
What do you think, Zeta?
-I think you'll be able to.
I'd just like say...
She did it!
I can't believe it!
Or maybe I can, I began to see confidence oozing out of her
and the fear receding.
And that's what you need - a little bit of confidence.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Food fanatic Stefan Gates is on a one-man mission to try to stop the UK's mums and dads ruining mealtimes, but he has just 24 hours to teach Disaster Chef parents to cook a restaurant-standard, two-course meal in a professional kitchen for three mystery judges - including actor and CBBC presenter Joe Swash.
Disaster Chef Michelle from Liverpool thinks she can cook and is fed up with the family telling her she's rubbish, but Zeta is even more fed up with her mum's rotten dinners. She loves Indian food so Stefan conjures up a magical menu of posh chicken tikka masala followed by poached pears with gold leaf and chocolate souffle. Will Michelle master the techniques Stefan teaches her in his crash course, and will her dishes pass the all important yumm test with the judges?