The chefs from the north west battle it out with their desserts, and the one with the lowest score will be going home.
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It's decision day on Great British Menu.
All week, three of the North West's leading chefs,
Lisa Allen, Johnnie Mountain and Bruno Birkbeck
have been striving for the chance to get their dish served at the ultimate street party.
On yesterday's programme, they locked horns over the main course...
Did you pinch my oven, Bruno?
..and new boy Bruno scored even with overall points leader, Lisa...
Can't let my dad down. It is all to play for really.
..leaving Bruno in second and maverick Johnnie trailing by two points in last place.
Right now, Bruno's in my vision and I'm going to take him down.
Scoring the chefs all week is taskmaster Marcus Wareing.
Now it's their last chance to impress,
as only the top two will face the judges tomorrow.
None of them are across the finishing line. Somebody today is going home.
Today it's desserts, and the three dishes in the running for a place at the People's Banquet
are a trio of rhubarb and custard puds,
a riff on a classic raspberry and chocolate pavlova,
and a tiramisu with a retro twist.
I think it's going to be tough.
They're going to be chasing me and also each other much more.
This year, each chef has sought inspiration for their dishes
in their own community, meeting local heroes
who use food to build common ground and bring people together.
-Shall we have a little taste?
-How was your food?
For us to put one of our dishes in front of them on a banquet is a massive reward for us.
As the chefs embark on their desserts, they know it's crunch time.
Can they convince Michelin star holder Marcus that their food is fit for the People's Banquet?
This is the final thing.
This is still anyone's race, and it will get hot in there.
In first place with a total score of 25 it's former champion Lisa Allen,
whose experience and discipline throughout the week has given her a commanding lead.
Now, she's determined to stay out in front with a show-stopping pudding.
The dessert I've chosen to do is a traditional dessert with a little bit of me revamping it.
Familiar, but give it a bit of fun and excitement as well.
-What's the dish?
-Right, I'm going to do a take on a pavlova.
So I'm doing a raspberry and chocolate pavlova with little ice cream pots
with sheep's milk ice cream and nuts in.
And some raspberry jelly on the side.
A little bit of theatre again because it should bring you back to that old pulling a pot together,
getting some ice cream and some pavlova.
I think I've done it quite cleverly because it's on a big plate and all joined,
but you can just put your knife in and pull them away.
So Lisa is staying true to her strategy
of re-imagining street party favourites,
but will her dramatic pavlova secure her top rank in the competition?
Lisa's dessert is about skill, making meringue, getting layers right.
She can't afford for a disaster.
She could lose this as easily as she could win it.
Next up is Bruno Birkbeck, a first-timer with everything to prove.
He's had a week of highs and lows, winning two impressive eights from Marcus,
but criticism for his fussy, fine dining approach.
Only two points ahead of Johnnie, he must deliver a generous dessert today or face going home early.
Hopefully, the dessert will have a little bit of a wow factor.
It's more a bit of a gimmicky dessert, you know?
Rhubarb. What are you doing?
-We're doing a rhubarb and custard today.
-OK. It's local rhubarb, I take it?
-Basically, that's Yorkshire, so it's just across the way.
A little rhubarb and custard tart
and then a rhubarb cheesecake with a Grasmere gingerbread base.
My mother's recipe. That's going to go into a cake box.
I remember when I was a young child, you know, you go to the cake shop, you get a box.
So I'm going to put that in a box and the box is going to be passed around the table.
So will Bruno's nostalgic selection of rhubarb and custard treats
be the stellar dish he needs to get him in front of the judges?
No plates, you know. He's really got a grip of the brief now.
It sounds a simple dish, but sometimes the simple things
are very hard to get right. Who knows what can happen?
Finally, at the bottom of the leaderboard with 19 points is last year's early user, Johnnie Mountain.
Desperate to do better, he has pushed his limits all week with an unpredictable global menu,
and there's no playing it safe for the final course,
as Johnnie needs to earn at least three points more than Bruno to stay in the race.
Going into the dessert course in third is usually a problem for any chef,
but I've got something really magical in my bag.
-What are you doing, Johnnie?
-This year, I'm cooking a Viennamisu.
Sorry? A what?
It's a classic version of a tiramisu, slightly changed.
-It's Italian, so I've gone to Italy now.
-Tell me about these. This is for?
These are the colourants for the pulled sugar that I'm attempting.
It's not going to be one, it's three pulled sugars.
It's Italian so I want to make an Italian ribbon.
Why have you stretched yourself so much here?
If we just copied everybody else then it would be very boring place.
If I can pull this off, it's, "Oh my God!"
You're sitting in third place at the moment. You're not out of this.
-It can be won.
There's two people going through and one going home.
Who's it going to be?
Italy, the final destination for Johnnie's jet-setting feast,
and he's again gambling on a risky strategy to save him.
Johnnie's got three different sugars.
He's got to bring them together as one.
It's a skill, it's an art.
It's a craftsman that does things like that,
and Johnnie doesn't quite strike me as the master craftsman.
With all three chefs vying for the top spot
and everything riding on their dessert, a simple error could mean leaving the competition for good.
-What are you doing?
-Raspberry and chocolate pavlova
-with raspberry jelly, old-fashioned style.
Marcus will be scoring each dessert on taste, execution and whether it's good to share.
He expects nothing less than the best, having served his own custard tart
at the Queen's 80th birthday banquet.
This is a skilful exercise, desserts.
It is the Achilles' heel of most chefs. We have to have accuracy, it just needs to be brilliant.
Most under the cosh is Johnnie,
who despite working on his menu for months, is still on the verge of repeating last year's early exit.
Down to 84. Come on!
-Do you feel under pressure now?
-I'm rubbish at pastry.
You're rubbish at pastry so you pick a dessert like climbing Mount Everest?
With so many points to gain, Johnnie is putting it all on the line.
He's making the crisp, tempered chocolate layer of his Viennamisu
just one of five tricky elements he'll have to pull off.
-112 down to 84.
-That's a task in itself!
It is. One of the tasks!
He's hoping his daring dessert will keep him in the competition.
Which elements aren't risky? They're all risky!
I'm trying to step my game up,
and I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone.
Newcomer Bruno has relied on cheffy tricks and fancy presentation to carry him through so far,
but with a place in Friday's judging on the line, he's taking a more homespun approach.
That's my mum's gingerbread recipe, so it's quite hard.
Hopefully the ginger comes through and goes with the rhubarb.
It's Bruno's first time on Great British Menu so it means a lot to him,
and I hope the pressure doesn't trip him over.
Close rival Johnnie's looking for any slip-up from Bruno to knock him off his game.
Bruno's under pressure!
I'm only two points behind. If it all works for me and one or two little things go wrong,
then two points might be coming back my way.
In the pavlova corner, seemingly unflappable Lisa's racing through her prep,
boiling raspberries in lemon juice and sugar for a puree,
while Johnnie is attempting a tricky pate a bombe filling for his Viennamisu.
To make this light and airy mousse, he must first boil sugar syrup at exactly the right temperature.
-What's this for?
-This is to start my pate a bombe.
Just to put myself under pressure, I need to get this damn thing made first.
But eagle-eyed Marcus has noticed an error.
-That's what it is. It's the
-pan, isn't it?
-In his rush, Johnnie has carelessly used a dirty pan.
-Can we start again with the sugar, please?
It's in the base of the pan, that.
The pan wasn't quite clean enough so he's just started again.
That's a good sign. Normally, Johnnie just carries on.
That knocks me back.
400 grams, 400 mil as soon as possible.
Eager to pack a visual punch, all three chefs are decorating their desserts with pulled sugar.
-Sugar, is it?
-Yeah. What do you use in your recipe?
Mine's just to add a bit of crunch.
It's a bit darker than that. I love them knots in it, yeah.
Across the kitchen, Johnnie has just started on his three sugars
which he hopes to fashion into an Italian ribbon.
It's a technique so precise he's brought in his own heat lamp to work under.
-What's happening, Johnnie?
-Pressure, Marcus. It's quite complicated.
I'm up against it. I knew I was putting myself up against it.
I can't walk away from this.
You know what it's like with pulled sugar. Doing one pulled sugar's is difficult.
-So why are you doing three?
-Why do we swim the Channel?
We don't swim it if we can't swim.
Why he's doing something so complicated,
so technically skilful is absolutely crazy.
Despite earning praise for the rest of her menu last year,
Lisa's dessert was panned by the judges and she doesn't want to make the same mistake twice.
Makes me really nervous today, cooking the dessert, because last year,
the judges didn't give me a high score at all, they didn't like it.
This time she's pinning her hopes on dainty individual pavlovas,
stuffed with chocolate and raspberries.
The idea behind it is I can get more garnish in.
Put some chocolate sauce and chocolate puree.
When they cut away, it's joined together and is garnished as a big one. Makes it easier to cut away.
Lisa's just made her meringues.
In my mind, a pavlova is a big, round dessert.
It just doesn't seem big and bold enough. I don't know.
It just doesn't seem right.
The chefs' brief this year has been to cook up spectacular sharing platters for the People's Banquet,
a magnificent street party celebrating food's power to bring people together.
Lisa travelled to Eccles to attend a Lancashire Day party
to get inspiration for her dessert.
I'm a born Lancashire lass so for me to be able to come here and actually get some feedback
from fellow Lancastrians is fantastic.
I love the idea of Lancashire Day.
I remember when I was younger, cakes local to the region, hot pots,
different things that really brought your community alive.
Lisa's meeting Ann, the driving force behind the event,
and she's come armed with her own pudding to contribute.
Hello, Lisa, welcome.
Ann and her friends have been busy cooking up local specialities
for the traditional heritage lunch open to the whole community.
This is where it all happens.
-What's on the menu today?
-Well, we start off with either black pudding or black peas.
And the hot pot with the cow heel.
And we have two choices of pudding, rice pudding that's done in the oven with the skin on top.
-That's the best way.
-Manchester tart that I've already started here.
And we'll see what you're going to make us.
Careful, now, don't drop it, please.
With Ann's husband's help, they take the food to the church hall,
where the locals have gathered for a slap-up feast.
Beef and lamb. That's everybody's now.
Before she tests out her dessert, Lisa's keen to find out how these luncheons help bring people closer.
What do you think about the theme and how people get together?
It's a good social event.
Communities these days are getting split asunder with one thing and another,
and to do something like this and get it all together,
I think it's important.
It's a good way of socialising and getting to meet people.
-How was your food?
-Yes, very good.
I'll have a taste in a minute when I've finished talking!
-It looks like it's time for dessert.
-I know, and I'm dying to see yours.
Right, this is Lisa's contribution to our Lancashire lunch.
It's her version of pavlova.
Please don't eat it all because I'm dying to have some myself!
Will her meringues brings smiles and cheers or collapse under the expectations?
This is a big difference from your hotel to our little church hall, isn't it?
-Just a bit!
-That looks like a real royal feast.
I'm not a sweet man myself, but I could demolish that.
To the Queen. Duke of Lancaster.
Before she goes, Lisa's got a surprise for Ann and the rest of the Lancashire lunch-goers.
I just want to say a big thank you to Ann and all of you today.
It would be absolute honour, IF I was to get one of my dishes through to the banquet
which is a street party for the Great British Menu, if Ann and all of you be my guests at the party.
I'd love to be one of your guests. Yes, thank you very much. APPLAUSE
'Ann, she's an incredible lady.'
It makes you want to work even harder knowing that you can invite people
to the banquet and make their day and their hard work more special.
In the kitchen, three chefs are battling for two places in front of the judges tomorrow.
Lisa Allen's serving a cunningly constructed
chocolate and raspberry pavlova with sheep's milk ice cream.
Bruno Birkbeck's out to impress with a cake shop inspired
selection of three rhubarb and custard desserts.
And Johnnie Mountain's going for broke with a Viennamisu,
topped with a fiendishly tricky pulled sugar Italian ribbon.
Former champion Marcus Wareing will determine which two chefs to save and which chef to sent home early.
The pressure's big. They're all very busy, they're all very, very focused.
They can smell the finish line. They know it's just around the corner.
Hoping to be the first over the line is firm front-runner Lisa Allen,
who's un-moulding her retro raspberry jellies.
Also on course is Bruno Birkbeck, who's keeping a careful eye on his rhubarb and custard tartlets.
But for Johnnie Mountain, nothing is going right.
Already pushed for time, he spoons a coffee reduction on to his sponge base
and starts piping on his mascarpone pate a bombe.
-Johnnie's having a few problems at the minute.
He might have bitten off more than he can chew.
-What are you going to do?
-I'll have to do it again.
This is it. The curtains are going to be closed on him and he will be going home tonight
as the man kicked out of the Great British Menu for the second time running.
You've thrown it away, you're starting again.
-You are up against the clock. There's no two ways about that.
Johnnie's best hope of a place in front of the judges is to knock Bruno off second spot.
-How are you, Johnnie, mate?
Bruno's scores all week have suffered from his restaurant-style presentation,
but today he's relaxing his approach.
I'm not too sure about Marcus. Hopefully, he'll like it.
Sounds like there are lot of fun elements coming in from Bruno
but he's really under pressure. He's got a lot going on.
But Johnnie's not the only threat for Bruno.
He's just spotted that Lisa's had the same idea of him,
serving little tubs of ice cream with wooden spoons.
And she's gone one better, packaging hers with custom-made designs.
I remember when I was little going to an ice cream van. You get a lid you can pull off.
They also remind me of ones at the cinema.
Me and our lass used to go in the back row of the cinema, get those little pots there as well, like.
-The back row?
-That's it. Many memories, you know.
But it's Johnnie who's feeling the strain most.
With time against him, he's finally got around to pulling his sugar by hand.
The only problem is, this is about 130 degrees.
Have you got the recipe?
-Bruno's keeping it cool.
If he has any sense, he should start putting the knife in Johnnie right now. Pile the pressure on him.
-Kick him while he's on the floor.
-It is hot.
-That's the northern in you, fella, coming out.
You won't be able to do anything with them hands for a few days!
Fortunately for Johnnie it's Lisa who'll be serving first,
and true to form, she's calm and collected at the final curtain.
-What's this here?
-It's praline paste, that.
-That is gorgeous.
-She fills the meringue with raspberry and chocolate sauce,
pipes on hazelnut cream and adds the jellies and tops with pulled sugar shards to complete the dish.
Those two pots on there, if you just bring those up.
Are you happy with the presentation?
Yeah, I think so. Centrepiece goes in the middle of the table and they help themselves.
-So the idea is for me to cut straight through?
-Are you happy with the meringue?
-Yes, it's gooey in the middle like a marshmallow.
-Looks like a proper jelly.
-Lisa, come with me, let's try.
Lisa believes her reworked pavlova is perfect for a celebratory street party. But will Marcus?
You've just put your dessert on the table, is it good enough?
-Think you're going to get your way to the next stage?
-I hope so.
Pavlovas can be quite heavy. I think this is very light.
I've kept it quite dainty and quite quirky. It's something I would be happy to serve.
I like the way that she's kept the raspberry jelly quite tart
so it helps to cut through all the sugar.
The meringue is soft in the middle.
I wanted that marshmallowy, because I think that's what pavlova is, isn't it? A marshmallowy chew.
Sheep's milk ice cream. Really delicious.
It reminds me of when I was a kid with that little pot.
You'd be very happy to see that go through the banquet hall?
I think it's quirky and people should recognise it. "I could get one of those from an ice cream van."
It must be good anyhow, we've polished it off!
I might just take that back to my station!
I'm incredibly nervous now, you know?
It's that crunch point where one of you is going to get kicked out.
And it's not a good feeling cos I really want to cook for those judges tomorrow.
Next to the finish line is Bruno, sitting in second place, two points ahead of Johnnie.
His cake shop-style confection includes a rhubarb sorbet,
a rhubarb cheesecake with a ginger base, his mum's recipe,
and, finally, rhubarb and custard tarts.
-Bonny little boys.
-Yeah, bonny little tartlets.
So, yeah, you just open them up.
The idea is you pass it round the table and everyone takes one of them,
or if they want a tart and a little bit of cheesecake they can do.
It's almost sort of cake shop-like, isn't it? Is this your mum's recipe?
The ginger, quite crunchy at the bottom there, so you need to...
Get a chisel!
Very good. That's the one. Have a do.
-Are you happy with that?
Is Bruno's trio of eye-catching desserts more than the sum of its parts?
-This is the dish that will get you through.
-Yeah, this is the dish that will get me through or,
maybe, see me go, you know? So...
It's like afternoon tea for ladies.
It is. The colour, it's very feminine.
-It is. For a big boy!
-For a big lad like him!
-The biscuit, chewy, isn't it?
-A little bit chewy, but it is a little bit crunchy, as well.
-I think it's lovely...
-But, personally, I don't get any rhubarb.
I don't get rhubarb. I don't get any sharp taste.
Is it going to really stand out at the banquet if it gets there?
It's got the little gimmicks, and, you know,
the cake box, and everybody can have a little "ooh" when it comes up.
Then you've got the sharing element as well. It fits the bill for me,
but, you know, it's up to yourself.
Johnnie, are you threatened by this dessert?
I am, big time.
With four courses served, Bruno's chance of meeting the judges is now in Marcus's hands.
I think I've done enough to get there.
Between me and Johnnie, I cooked well and a little bit better than him.
For final chef Johnnie, it's still an uphill battle with his pulled sugar to sculpt
and his Viennamisu to build from scratch.
Time against him, Johnnie layers his coffee-soaked sponge base with the pate a bombe mix,
sour cherries and chocolate.
So, layers of sponge chocolate...
Finally, Johnnie finishes off his delicate Italian ribbon centrepiece.
It's too complicated. He's just trying to do too much.
-Can I just say that, Johnnie Mountain, you are a nutcase!
-How many times have you practised that, Johnnie?
-This is the first time I've ever done it!
-Look at that!
Despite the epic setbacks, Johnnie has managed to complete
his dessert to plan and on time, but is it enough to save him?
-That looked tough. Was it worth it?
-You know if you put something
on the plate in front of you and YOU know it's not right,
-then it's pointless me doing it, you know?
-You're going home.
-Can I get a little jug of my coffee reduction?
Where's my coffee reduction, please?
In his dash to the finish, Johnnie has forgotten to serve one vital element of his dessert.
-Sorry, Marcus, I wanted to serve this with just a little bit... Yeah.
Will Johnnie's last-ditch craftsmanship be worth all the pain?
That guy's gone down on Great British Menu history for producing sugar like that!
Good wow factor, isn't he? It's what they're looking for.
-Centre of the table, it's a masterpiece.
-What is it?
It's a tiramisu, but it's a Viennamisu to me,
so I threw a bit of retro '70s and '80s in from that classic dessert.
Yeah, I love it.
So you've got the sponge and that's soaked in the coffee reduction they put on the plate.
-You've got cherries that give that real nice sharpness to it.
Chocolate, which gives the crack. And then the cream to finish.
The coffee syrup is, yeah, lovely.
I think without it it would be a little bit dry, but with it, it's superb.
-Is it the one for the banquet?
-I think it could be. Can you imagine upscaling that...
Fantastic. You know, you could make it as wide or as long as you want.
Marcus saw the trouble that I was in and I don't think he believed that I could pull it off,
so being able to put it in front of him made me the proudest chef,
certainly within this competition.
The chefs have cooked their hearts out.
Soon they'll learn who's lived to fight another day and who is going home.
They've both given me a run for my money
and it's really daunting waiting for those scores to come out.
I've been sent home before in this competition.
If I get sent home again at least I know that I put everything in.
I've cooked my socks off all week, you know?
And definitely, definitely, don't want to go home.
-It's time for Marcus to deliver his final verdict.
-Lisa, in my mind I had this thought of a big pavlova.
But, when you presented it and I went through the process of serving,
it was a very accomplished dish and I thought the eating of it was absolutely delicious.
-It was singing summer.
Bruno, I loved the idea.
Very cake shop like. And I thought the sorbet was delicious.
Beautiful colour when you opened it, but the cheesecake didn't really get much flavour of rhubarb
and I also felt that the biscuit underneath, obviously, was hard.
As an accomplished dessert, for me it felt a little bit disjointed.
your dessert sounded very quirky, you put it together very nicely.
You didn't give in and I thought the sugar work was brave.
One final thing that you did was that coffee sauce.
If you'd have forgotten that, that coffee flavour
would have been missing within the layers of the tiramisu.
So, which two chefs will be cooking for the judges tomorrow?
With the score of nine for their dessert,
the highest-scoring chef of this week
-is you, Lisa. Congratulations. Well done.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
That leaves you two.
And only one of the two of you can go through to tomorrow.
For your rhubarb and custard...
..I'm going to give you five.
OK. Thank you.
..for your dessert...
..I'm going to give you eight.
Well done, Johnnie.
Johnnie, you got over the barrier you never thought you'd get across.
You should be proud.
Johnnie's huge risk has paid off and, against the odds,
he's up against Lisa in tomorrow's judging.
Sadly, Bruno will be packing his bags.
I'm upset, you know? Without a doubt.
But I am happy that I've cooked to my best.
Well done, big lad. Johnnie.
What can I say? You know, I'm absolutely overwhelmed.
I may fool around and I may be a joker, but, you know, I've got a lot of emotions inside.
It's just a front that I put on. I'm the proudest man alive right now, I really am the proudest man alive.
Tomorrow, Lisa and Johnnie have three tough judges to satisfy.
I think all the flavours are absolutely amazing, I really do.
I think you're rather too easily pleased and too easily made happy.
With a place in the final at stake, it's time to get serious.
Gloves are off! Me and Johnnie Mountain.
I'm going to give him a run for his money.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Great British Menu continues and in this programme one of the three chefs from the north west is going home.
The nation's top chefs are being challenged to cook for the ultimate street party, The People's Banquet. They are battling to create spectacular sharing platters, dishes that will get everyone talking, proving that food has the power to bring us all together. If they win, their dishes will be paraded down the ancient cobbled streets of London's Leadenhall Market and served at a magnificent street party; a banquet for the people and inspired by the people.
It's the last chance for the chefs from the north west to impress as the one with the lowest total score from across the week will leave the competition. Bruno Birkbeck, Johnnie Mountain and Lisa Allen deliver their desserts but which dish will earn top marks; rhubarb and custard, tiramisu influenced vienetta or raspberry and chocolate pavlova, sheep's milk and nut ice cream pots?