Stefan Gates teaches parents to cook a restaurant-standard, two-course meal in 24 hours. Michelle from Ruislip attempts fresh pasta followed by a rack of lamb with pesto crust.
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Meet the Disaster Chefs, parents who are rubbish at cooking.
They make things like 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 rise like a souffle or flop like a pancake?
Will it be Yumm or Yuck?
Start your blenders!
Today's Disaster Chef is mum-of-two Michelle, from Ruislip in Middlesex.
The one thing that makes energetic daughter Charley
freeze on the spot, is two little words.
My mum can't cook.
Mum Michelle is a culinary calamity.
Mum, is it meant to look like this?
And Charley's had enough.
My mum's tried making a pancake but it fell on the floor,
so I had to take over and I cooked me and her another pancake.
Michelle's meal times mean microwave meals, or meat-zzas,
I mean, pizzas.
Everything Charley has said about my cooking is true, I'm terrible
at cooking, I avoid it where I can. Takeaway, or I go to friends
or family to cook, anything to avoid having to cook myself.
So Dad's roped in to do some of the cooking...
Pour in the pan, please.
Charley has learnt everything from me,
which I've learnt from my father.
It's just a shame we can't pass it on to Michelle cos she's that bad.
Once she made some toasted sandwiches,
but she actually toasted the cable of the toaster that was
running behind it, filled the house up with smoke, and a bit of mess.
But when Dad is away, it's Mum who cooks that day.
What's she like? She put that piece of wrapping in it.
OK, we need an egg.
Egg-xelent start. It's on the floor!
In just 24 hours Michelle will need to feed
three mystery judges restaurant-standard food,
from a professional kitchen.
It's really important that I get better food from my mum,
cos otherwise we'll be eating takeaway for the rest of our lives.
What we need is a handsome, suave,
sophisticated food fantastic to save the day.
While we try and find him, Stefan Gates is on hand to help us out.
He's got just 24 hours to get Michelle to cook like a pro
and save mealtimes.
-Hi, come in.
Come on, Stefan, there's a Disaster Chef waiting.
Charley, tell me, what's your mum like when she's cooking?
-She's a disaster.
-She's a disaster?
Can you show me, though, an example of the sorts of food that she makes.
Here's some lumpy gravy.
What is that?
Is that... Have you scrapped that off the street outside?
It's very confusing on the packet how much to put in.
It's confusing on the packet?
You should have made it yourself from scratch.
-Let's have a little look, OK.
-Oh, no, I feel sick.
It's not so bad.
It's like somebody's doing a pooh into a bowl.
It's bad, but Stefan needs to find out just how bad it is.
It's the Rookie Challenge! Today it's pancakes.
To make the perfect pancake, all you need is flour, eggs, milk.
Whisk it, fry it, flip it, fold it, add sugar, add lemon,
and you're done.
You've got exactly five minutes to cook them, starting...now.
This is easy! All the ingredients are there.
Nice approach. Bung 'em all in and see what happens. She's a maverick!
Think we'd better put our ponchos on. There you go, there's yours.
Get a pan on the heat, Michelle!
Safety ponchos on, Michelle starts to whisk, even though
all she's got for protection is a jumper.
The tension's rising.
Remember, if you're cooking, take care,
and make sure you always get permission from your adult.
Does it go any faster? I've got milk...
Two minutes left.
..flour and I'm not using butter cos I don't think we need it.
Mmm, that sounds lovely.
No-butter pancakes, I'd rather eat my feet.
-One and a half minutes.
Bit of an oil slick, that.
Charley, do you love pancakes?
-Oh, look it's bubbling.
-Hurray! I want proper flipping going on.
That's not how you flip a pancake! You've gotta chuck it in the air!
You've got 30 seconds left.
Here we go. O-ho! Something happened.
Unfortunately she's used such force that the pancake is back
cooking on the same side again. Now that takes talent.
Three, two, one, STOP!
OK, let's see what you've got.
That looks almost pancake-like. It's not cooked.
Let's have a look at what it should look like.
Thank you, Dave.
Mmmm, one's definitely yum, and one's definitely yuck.
I think you can guess which.
That is a perfect pancake.
Crispy, little bit of brown marbling all over it. Absolutely delicious.
Similar colour there, a little bit of it.
Not exactly twins, are they?
What do you think about the comparison between those two?
This one's like a doughy car crash and this one is perfect.
That was pretty rubbish.
Charley was deeply unimpressed with the pancake but I have to say
I've seen a lot worse, so maybe
there's a little spark of talent in Michelle, and we just need to
ignite and she will burst into an explosion of brilliance.
Or maybe not.
Congratulations. You are clearly a complete and utter Disaster Chef.
I have a challenge for you.
In just 24 hours, I want you to cook a delicious two-course meal,
in a professional kitchen, for three incredibly discerning judges.
You prepared for the task?
So, with her Disaster Chef hat firmly on, tomorrow Michelle
will have to cook in a professional kitchen for a panel of judges.
And face a vote on whether her food is Yumm or Yuck.
If you pass the challenge, then you'll be covered in culinary glory.
But if you fail, you'll have to wear the Disaster Chef hat for ever.
Right, shall we go and choose the menu?
-Yeah, come on.
Oh, and by the way, you've got to clear that lot up.
She'll have to chip that pancake batter off with a hammer.
It does give you time to think
about what you might need to cook tomorrow.
I would hate to have fish, any meat, any unusual vegetables,
anything that needs timing, anything that...
Anything? This could be a long day.
Charley loves Italian food so Stefan has set up his own
Italian Restaurant in a prime location,
right next to a zebra crossing.
Are you ready?
He has to find three Italian foods which meet Charley's approval.
You can do this, Stefan, off you pop.
Charley doesn't look too convinced. The first ingredient is....
It's a yes to pasta.
Just where exactly is he getting this food from? A-ha!
And it's cheese!
Come on, Stefan, hurry up!
Ah, a baguette.
This is French. No!
Oops, wrong country, Stefan. Quick, find something else.
Come on, slow-coach. Last dish, and it's spaghetti!
Hang on, that's not spaghetti, that's candy laces.
It seems to meet approval from Charley, though.
Stefan, your work is done.
Bravo! Time to put the ingredients together and make a meal.
It's Italiano Bravisimo.
I've got some, olive oil, cheese...
That's Parmesan cheese - that's really Italian, isn't it?
Oh, I hope the menu's cheesy pesto oily something. That's my favourite.
Look out, Michelle. Catch!
-So do you know what this is?
Pasta. She recognises that. Good start.
But now it's time to revel the menu.
This is what you're going to be cooking. You'll be cooking....
Fresh tortellini pasta with a spinach and ricotta cheese filling.
Rack of lamb with pesto crust, roasted rosemary potatoes
and a cheesy aubergine mini-bake.
That looks lovely, I would love to be able to cook this.
-I'm going to show you how to make these perfectly, OK?
OK. Do you think you can do this?
Trying isn't good enough. She needs Stefan's Crash Course.
To make the perfect pasta, put some flour and eggs in a blender
until it becomes dough, and knead for ten minutes.
Roll it out, cut into discs, place a dollop on each one,
fold and serve with a sauce. Lovely.
Charley, you crack the egg and pop that into there.
Pasta isn't hard, you know.
Egg, flour, food processor and it's nearly done.
The difficult bit is the dancing.
-Just and egg and flour and that's...
The pasta dance, all right, how does it go?
Oh, Stefan, you're such a mover.
Liking your work there.
Seriously, if she remembers the moves, she'll remember
what she's meant to do...hopefully.
Use the base of your palm to push it down.
And then pull it back over itself like that,
and then push it down again.
And keep doing that. Fold it over and push.
Fold, and push.
-Fold and push, oh, yeah!
-Fold and push!
Everybody fold and push, fold and push.
Michelle seems to be taking the pressure well,
but Stefan won't be able to help her tomorrow,
she'll have to dance her way out of trouble on her own.
This odd-looking contraption is for thinning out pasta.
Michelle's doing well but there's something missing.
Surely someone's made up a dance by now.
Something about rolling or something. Come on, Charley!
# Let's roll it, let's roll it let's roll it
# The pasta!
# Let's roll it, let's roll it let's roll it
# Pasta! #
The trouble is, no amount of Charley's dances are going to
cure the fear in Michelle's eyes.
Now we need some filling.
Just throw some spinach and spring onions into a pan.
Put the cheese in the bowl and mix it all together.
Lay it out there.
After pushing that blob of pasta through the machine a few times,
we now have some huge sheets. Making the tortellini is easy now.
Just cut out the shapes, a blob of filling, fold it...
# Let's fold it, let's fold it... #
Sorry, got carried away. And it's done!
And that is your tortellini. Very good.
Slow and steady.
Slow and steady, exactly. That is beautiful.
She's made it look easy.
But tomorrow with the pressure of the judges
and the professional kitchen, will she remember it all?
Hey, what's next, Stefan?
Two beautiful racks of lamb. There you go.
The lamb is fried, then pesto is mixed with breadcrumbs,
rubbed over the lamb, placed in the oven and comes out like this.
Mmm! The lamb looks lovely, and it's quite easy to make.
Michelle looks like the perfect chef, getting everything right,
thanks to Stefan telling her everything, of course.
Just takes a few minutes on either side.
We're not cooking them, we're just searing the outside.
Just tip all that in there.
Now, don't be concerned at home.
This dressing isn't bogies or mouldy cheese, it's pesto sauce,
which is really quite delicious, and not at all bogey-tasting.
Smother it on the lamb and voila!
Blimey. Look at those glam nails.
Not very practical for cooking, are they?
But you'll need to get your hands dirty
if...you want it to look like this.
After two hours the lesson is over.
OK, Michelle, this is it.
24 hours, three judges, two courses, one professional kitchen.
Can you do it?
-I'm going to try.
-That's not good enough. Can you do it?
Yes! Can she do it?
As long as she doesn't just dance and does some of the mixing,
blending, rolling, pushing and pasting, she'll be fine.
24 hours ago kitchen calamity Michelle
was brilliant at serving daughter Charley with tasteless food.
# I can't bear it no, no, no! #
Charley asked Stefan Gates to save her mealtimes,
-by giving her mum a cookery Crash Course.
Coming up, Michelle will be hoping to cook up
a storm in a professional kitchen, just like this,
to make a restaurant-quality meal for three mystery judges.
She'll be hoping to get three Yumms and no Yucks,
and prove she's no longer a Disaster Chef.
That is beautiful.
It's the big day, and it looks like Michelle's slept in that hat.
She's on her way to our super-posh restaurant.
Oh, look, fancy glasses and napkins.
Good job I'm wearing a ballgown for the occasion.
Ah, the gentle hum of the extractor fan, music to my ears.
But all that is about to change, because in just a few hours
Charley's mum needs to cook an amazingly delicious
two-course meal for three very, very fussy food heads.
Will she pull it off? I don't know.
You should know, Stefan, cos you've taught her to use all of those
to turn all of these into this!
But first things first.
It's time to change into some fresh chef's whites.
And Charley becomes her waitress.
Hey, hey, hey. Look at you!
You look fantastic. How does it feel?
-OK. Are you ready to get started?
Right. Three, two, one. Get cooking!
First off, Michelle needs to make the sauce for the main course,
which means chopping onions.
In a very strange way.
-It's a whole new technique called it the whack-it approach.
At least the onions haven't made her cry.
The same might not be said for the judges when they've eaten her food.
That's nice, Michelle, hit it so hard it all goes on the floor.
Stefan's so proud.
One piece escaped her Karate Kid moves, I feel I should rescue it.
You can't pick the ones off the floor and use them,
they're going in the bin.
We're off! So, all of those amazing techniques that
I taught Michelle yesterday, she's thrown away.
She's thrown on the floor.
I taught her how to cut an onion absolutely perfectly.
No, not a sign of it.
But she still managed to chop an onion, so maybe it'll still work.
Next it's time to make the pasta.
Michelle looks like she's done this before.
She's very confident all of a sudden.
Evening out the measures, cracking open an egg.
That was an actual real egg.
Just tip it in.
It's just a food processor Michelle.
We've seen what you're like with the onions.
Not quite sure how long this takes.
The pasta mix looks good.
Just a minute or so of blending should be enough.
It looks ready to knead.
She's got the fold, and push. Fold, and push.
Which is so important when it comes to making pasta.
But this is amazing. She's using the pasta machine like a pro!
A bit of help from Charley and she's rocking.
I'm tearing up a bit here.
Fold it. Do it one more time.
She knows to fold it once, slightly adjust the width
of the pasta machine, then pass it through
until the pasta is long and thin.
# And roll it, and roll it...
# And roll it, and roll it... # Sorry.
-It's all ready for me to cut now.
-You happy with that, are you?
Not quite sure how I'm going to get so many out of it. Maybe.
12 discs from that stretched and thick piece of pasta,
shame there's no dance for that.
Oh, no, Michelle, that's not going to help.
-Yeah, love it.
Michelle's made it even smaller by cutting it in half,
but I think it needs to go through again.
See if I can make this one bigger myself.
Oh, stop, Michelle.
It's too thick, it's like putting a newspaper through it. Stop!
It's even smaller.
It's the incredible disappearing pasta trick
as performed by Michelle.
Right. Fold it once, and then pass...
You folded it twice, it's huge again.
Right, see how this works out for you.
It's chewing it!
I know, it's eaten it.
Right. OK, have to do it all again.
It's all gone a bit wrong.
Come on, Michelle, you can pull this one out the bag.
Better? According to whom? Are you sure that's better?
Oh, no, that's awful. OK, they can have one each.
She forgot everything that I taught her about rolling pasta.
We gave her as much help as we could, but she kind of threw
all that away, so now she's got these really, really thick discs of pasta
which may not cook well enough.
Who knows, she might get away with it by the skin of her teeth
but it's not looking good.
Michelle needs to get moving.
The judges have arrived and they'll be looking for perfection.
But Michelle has one fear.
My worst nightmare would be
if one of the judges was a professional chef.
Obviously they're going to be very critical of my work.
Critical of your work? Whoo!
Speaking like a professional chef now, is she?
Also, a member of my family would probably be really embarrassing
because I've always avoided cooking for them,
so it'd be proof how terrible I am.
You've avoided cooking for them and they've avoided eating it.
Going to be hard to impress Charley. Very hard.
She's probably my biggest critic.
That's why you're here today.
To impress Charley and a panel of judges.
Going by what you've just said, you'd not like to face
a food expert, a chef or someone close.
Well, it's time to reveal exactly who's coming for dinner.
Famously feared food writer, blogger
and owner of a cosy scarf, Danny Kingston.
He says what he thinks and doesn't hold back.
Professional chefs, Michelin-starred chefs, they fear my reviews,
so she'd better look out, I'm not going to pull any punches.
Professional chef, cookery teacher and owner of a nice blue scarf,
I've been working in food for 30 years.
She won't be able to hide anything from me, it's as simple as that.
Now I'm really worried.
You'll also be worried about Judge number three!
Michelle's close friend Sue,
who's tasting Michelle's cooking for the first time today.
For me, if she tries her best, I will be happy.
But I will give an honest opinion as well.
No! No, not Sue.
This judging panel will be tough to please.
Each person will be asked to declare
whether they think Michelle's cooking, is Yuck or Yumm.
She needs at least two Yumms to prove she's no longer
a disaster in the kitchen.
Now that means getting everything spot-on.
Perfect pasta and lovely lamb.
All served at the right time.
She's now got less than an hour to go before it's time to plate up.
We've got a bit of a problem here
because we need four plates, and you only have eight tortellini.
I know, they are giant-size tortellini.
They're like little top hats.
Yeah, they're supposed to, that was the plan all along.
And in the oven should be the lamb and roast potatoes.
By my reckoning they should be ready about now.
Oh, see, I'm always right.
The lamb should have a nice crusty pesto glaze
and the potatoes should be crisp and golden brown.
What's wrong now?
It's not gone crusty.
Whoops, it's not crusty at all. What are you going to do now?
Couple of minutes in the grill and it will be perfect.
Perfect? Let's hope so.
The judges are taking their seats in preparation for an amazing
No, don't bother reading the menu, you're all getting the same thing.
And I hope you like pasta, because the starter isn't short of any,
unless Michelle thinks she can boil some of it away.
I'm sure they now look bigger than they did when they went in.
Michelle's challenge was to make tortellini pasta
with a spinach and ricotta cheese filling.
This is what it should look like.
And this is what Michelle's looks like. Two bulging tortellinis.
Maybe the extra filling will make for the thick pasta.
And then again, maybe not.
They're very big, so they only need two.
-They are big, aren't they?
A dab of sauce on each and they're nearly ready.
I hope she remembers a splash of olive oil too.
Now they look quite good.
Quite good except for that one. It's kind of like splodge cover-up.
Mm, splodge squidge.
Go for it.
No going back now.
They are heading to the table.
It's time to serve the starter.
Wow. Thank you very much.
Whoa, nearly disaster in the dining room as well,
but I think Charley rescued it.
I hope they enjoy them.
The pasta is served,
and eagle-eyed chef Rosemary has spotted the first mistake.
Unfortunately that pasta is incredibly thick. Shall we dig in?
I think we should tuck in.
I'm going to taste it without the. sauce
No, Rosemary! You need the sauce!
I think the filling is actually very good.
The filling is excellent.
But the pasta is so thick, it is horrible.
Do you know what I wish?
I wish Rosemary would stop beating about the bush and tell us
what she really thinks.
Sheesh! Tough crowd, this one.
Just remembered, I forgot the olive oil on the pasta.
I don't think the olive oil would have saved you, Michelle. Sorry.
So what do you think about the texture inside there?
I'm not completely happy but it's OK.
I hope it's better than OK
because the judges were not amused by the starter.
This needs to be amazing!
Look at you!
That is all of your food, on the plate, on time.
-And that alone is fantastic. Oh-oh!
Charley is back after the starter,
but those plates don't look that empty.
They didn't eat it?
There's quite a lot left on the plate.
They said it was good, but...
Can't tell you.
We'll need to wait until they reveal their verdict later.
For the main course, Michelle had to make a rack of lamb
with a pesto crust.
Roasted Rosemary potatoes and a cheesy aubergine mini-bake.
That's how it should look, and Michelle's version is pretty close.
Full marks for presentation surely, but what will the judges say
when they taste it?
Right, well, I think this looks wonderful.
Hurrah! Yeah, not so horrible now, is it, Rosemary? It's wonderful!
Come on, Michelle!
That is well cooked.
That is lovely.
I actually think you've actually cooked some proper meat.
-Do you like it?
That is perfectly cooked.
The meat is a triumph.
But what about the cheesy aubergine bake?
I'm not as keen on the bake.
Yeah, I suppose if we was going to be hyper-critical here,
it's the aubergine bake that just slightly lets the whole thing down.
The lamb, I'm sorry, if you'll just excuse me a second,
I'm just going to get stuck into this.
This time yesterday, Michelle couldn't even flip a pancake
and Charley dreaded meal times.
It was all microwave dinners and frozen pizzas.
Stefan stepped in and gave her a crash course,
so she could make a slap-up meal in a professional kitchen,
for food writer Danny Kingston,
top chef Rosemary Shrager and close friend Sue.
To determine whether her food is up to restaurant standard,
the judges will give her cooking a Yumm or a Yuck.
Two Yucks and she's doomed to being a Disaster Chef for ever.
Two Yumms and she can cast off that hat and will have proven
she can cook at last.
And Charley can look forward to some decent home-cooked meals.
Oh, yes, Michelle.
Your friends and family have arrived to see how you get on.
OK. Michelle? This...is it.
Judge number one.
Food writer Danny is first.
Your verdict, please.
Well, Michelle, you bowled me over with your lamb.
But your pasta...
The lamb has gone to plan,
but could the disaster with the pasta cost her?
It's a Yumm!
Impressing a critic is really hard, but she did it.
-No Yucks yet.
All you need is one more Yumm
and that's it. You've won.
OK? Judge number two.
It's chef Rosemary, who was scathing of the pasta earlier.
Your verdict, please.
Well, I'm looking at it also from a chef point of view.
The pasta was not nice, it was horrible,
and there was also disasters with the lamb as well on one side.
But on the whole the lamb was very good indeed.
But I didn't like your bake.
..it's got to be...
She liked the meat, but will she let the thick pasta get past her?
Yes! Two Yumms!
Yumm number two! Two out of three!
Way to go!
OK, but hold on, hold on, we haven't finished yet.
Fingers crossed, everybody, please. Judge number three.
Now what will Michelle's close friend Sue think?
Your verdict, please.
Obviously, as Michelle's friend I thought she'd done
very, very well, and like what the other judges had said,
the pasta was a little bit tough but the lamb was yummy.
So mine is a....
She did it. Michelle got three Yumms!
It's a clean sweep!
Well done. Absolutely brilliant.
See, I can cook!
I think it's time to change your outfit, so, Charley.
Look at that, you're a proper chef.
There you go.
Oh, it won't go over my bun.
Give her a massive round of applause.
It was delicious, I couldn't fault it.
Of course you're talking about from a chef's point of view
presentation, niggly little things, but this is a home-cooked meal.
This has bowled me over, really.
She's done really well so it's fantastic.
I am so proud. She done really, really, really well.
She's definitely got the wow factor in the kitchen now
and I'm looking forward to a nice hot cooked meal at home.
I think you're brilliant!
Sounds like a cue for a dance, Charley!
# You're not a disaster you are good
# You're not a disaster
# Better than you should! #
Wow! I can't believe it!
Yesterday Michelle was a total Disaster Chef, she was rubbish.
Today, with inspiration,
dedication and masses and masses of hard work, she pulled it off.
I can't believe it. I'm so chuffed.
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.
Charley from Ruislip has had enough of her mum Michelle's burnt oven pizzas and microwave meals. She loves Italian food, so Stefan conjures up a magnificent menu of fresh tortellini pasta followed by a rack of lamb with pesto crust. Will the crash course in cooking help Michelle to the two yumms she'll need from the mystery judges in order to pass the challenge? Stefan's reputation's on the line, so it's going to get hot in the kitchen.