It's decision time for the two chefs remaining from the south west. Now they cook their entire menus for the judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton.
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It's judgment day on Great British Menu.
Only one contender can win a place in our national finals.
Three of the Southwest's top chefs have been locked in a battle
to get their dishes onto the menu for the People's Banquet.
It's going to be a real close call, a real close call.
-There have been some mouth-watering successes...
..and a series of disasters.
-I've burnt it.
-But former champion Michael Caines would only accept the best.
Commiserations, John, you'll have to say goodbye.
Today, Andre Garrett and Paul Ainsworth will cook their entire menus again for the judges.
This is a dish that's come from a skilled chef who hasn't understood the brief.
There can be only one winner.
Three new palates to cook for and, yeah, let's bring it on.
It's a competition, someone has to win. I hope it's me.
I'm determined to be Southwest champion.
Regional finalists Andre and Paul have cooked hard
to get this far and they are ready for a showdown.
May the best man win.
Paul's big, fun platters have won him solid scores all week.
And having got this far, he's determined not to let his guard down.
It means absolutely everything to me to now have the chance
to get one of my dishes to the banquet.
Michelin star-holder Andre has had ups and downs so far,
but sneaked into first place in yesterday's heat.
I'm looking forward to the challenge. I want to win, I want to get myself to the national final.
And I want to get a dish onto the final banquet.
Our judges, Matthew Fort, Prue Leith and Oliver Peyton, won't to know
who's cooked what or which dishes make up each menu
until after they've measured every platter against their exacting standards.
I think the chefs that we've seen so far have really
way exceeded my personal expectations in terms of quality, fun and interest.
And also they've been so imaginative about presentation.
But I want more, I want it to be a surprise,
I want it to be something I've never seen before.
I'll tell you what we're really looking for today - the almost impossible combination -
glamour and gastronomy.
As battle commences, Paul kicks off with a reminder
that veteran chef Michael Caines criticised Andre's starter.
-Any changes today?
-No, nothing... Well, Michael said maybe I should show a little bit more pork.
-Other than that, no.
-Is it a soup then, Andre?
Because Michael sort of mentioned... What was it?
Not a soup where it's all blended up. It's my idea of a broth.
It's Andre's broth of spring vegetables with cured pig's cheek
that the judges will taste first today.
His rival Paul's serving a twist on a popular takeaway using
a Cornish duckling,
and he's making sure Andre doesn't forget which starter won the heat.
I'm not going to change anything on my starter.
It was my highest-scoring dish. Today I just need to make it even better.
Duck's a little bit quirky. It's going to be interesting how their taste perceives that.
It's going to be an interesting day.
I'm a little bit worried by it but I've upped the amount of pork I'm using.
Hopefully, that can raise the standard of that dish
and the score that I had before.
Andre is putting all his Michelin-starred skill into it.
But, as he starts to plate up,
he can only hope that Paul doesn't trounce him again.
The broth's ladled into cast-iron cocottes, the mini brioche are out of the oven
and Andre's dish is ready to go.
Hot breadbox. Two butters. Plates straight down in front of the judges.
-Are you happy?
-Yep. It's you next, mate. Pressure.
Will the judges be impressed by Andre's refined fresh broth?
Well, there's one mouthful anyway.
It's ham, I think, so I guess that will be pea soup.
A bit of this. This looks like summer vegetable broth or stew.
I'm not going to give you a huge amount but I think that looks rather pretty, don't you?
It does, it looks beautiful.
What I love about it is that this soup isn't too fancy. It's simple.
The flavours are wonderfully true, aren't they?
A beautiful flavour on the stock.
I don't get it. I think it's a very competent piece of cooking.
It just feels like restaurant cooking to me.
I don't think it's evoking the sense of occasion that we're trying to achieve.
It's a wonderfully understated dish.
I think all the elements are beautifully cooked.
Personally, I think the broth is slightly underseasoned.
I think the potatoes are OK.
Everything just reaches muster for me.
The broth, I agree, is a little underseasoned, but the ham is beautifully cooked.
It's very, very tender, not too salty. It's just delicious.
But if you remember, I said I wanted to see glamour,
something surprising and new.
-It's none of those things.
But it is beautiful.
So the judges liked it but it didn't take their breath away.
This could be Paul's big chance to seize an early lead with his starter.
Duckling with pancakes, asparagus, rhubarb and Scotch eggs.
But first there's some very bad news about his fish course.
Paul, you sardines are in.
There was a storm in Cornwall and the only sardines available were poor quality.
-What's going on, mate?
-The sardines are terrible.
I'm going to have to do something else. They're shocking.
So Paul has to plan a new fish course
while still cooking a very complicated starter.
Andre decides to add to the pressure.
You've got a lot of food on that starter. You want to keep their appetites up
for my fish course.
Or do you not think it's worth it?
That's the one course I really feel threatened by, your fish course.
You're only threatened by the one course then, Paul, yeah?
Paul's talking the talk but he knows he needs to get the flavours
and seasoning perfect or the spectacular presentation of his duck will count for nothing.
OK, lads. Lovely. So, how I'm looking at it now, yeah?
Fish course done, and despite the difficulties,
Paul's feeling confident.
I just think that I have got the edge. Mine's a lot more exciting and a lot more fun.
Will the judges agree?
That's what I call a first course.
It's a sort of take on a Peking duck, isn't it? But why the Scotch egg?
-There's a real sense of intrigue to this dish.
-Shall I shred this?
-Go on, shred it. Oh, doesn't that look good?
-It just pulls off.
-I'd quite like a bit of that skin.
-You know what? It's not crispy, it's soggy.
It probably tastes nice.
-It's got five spices on it.
-Mm, very nice little pancakes.
The combination of rhubarb and duck is just brilliant.
This pancake-filling business is real sharing food, isn't it?
I'm just trying to picture it at an occasion like this.
Do we think that Peking duck a la Cornwall is the right thing?
Southwest - it may not just be Cornwall.
I think the egg with the smoked duck around the outside is really lovely.
If you found those in a pub you'd wolf down one after the other, wouldn't you?
No problem at all.
There are lots of things to commend it. Honestly, I would really like to see the rest of the menu
before I make a final judgment.
So a lot of positives there, but the jury is still out.
Which makes the fish course even more important.
Luckily for Paul, he's managed to replace the sub-standard sardines.
-They're nice mackerel, that'll get you going.
-You've got one shot.
-We both have mackerel and oysters.
-In very different styles.
Paul must now adjust his recipe to suit the taste of mackerel rather than sardines.
He can only hope it won't throw him off course.
It can rock you. Your mindset can go because you had to change something.
This is where the showing of the true chef comes through.
At least Paul has a little time to rethink his dish
because Andre will be plating up his mackerel caviar with seashore salad and shellfish first.
In the heats, veteran Michael and his fellow chefs were impressed
by his ingenious tins of faux caviar.
It looks like the real deal but is actually mackerel
topped with tapioca,
dyed with black squid ink.
Hands calmed down a bit? It's still nerve-racking, isn't it?
Yeah, pretty much.
Andre's feeling the nerves like I am. It can affect you if you really let it get to you.
There's no time for nerves now as Andre arranges seven different
types of seafood on his sharing platter and senses dish to its fate.
This goes down the centre between them all, this is in between two, and that's it.
Is this what the judges are looking for?
-It looks to me as if we're being bribed.
-It's not the real thing.
-But it's really clever, isn't it?
-It looks clever.
-I think this is rather addictive, actually. I could easily have a lot of that.
-I like that.
Actually, the fish in the scallop shell is very nice.
It's also very easy with scallop to completely ruin it
by any major flavouring.
Let's see what we've got on top of here.
A bit of apple, a bit of sea kale, this is sea pursalane.
And this is a little seviche. It's not been cooked at all.
Cockles, octopus, scallops and razor clams.
It's a great conversation piece.
I think at a banquet of this sort of occasion people will be
talking to each other about what's this, what's that?
On that level, I think it works extremely well.
Do you know, I think that at least half the people at this banquet will not eat raw fish.
The oysters are raw and they're warm, which is a nasty combination anyway.
My suggestion would be to drop the oyster and find something that people do love,
like shrimps or prawns or something like that.
-Which we could have cooked.
-Which we could have cooked.
-Right, yeah, OK.
Just a tiny niggle in an otherwise rave review.
Paul is really going to have to excel with his fish course.
Paul, are you OK with this change of fish? Worried in any way?
I'm confident. Not even Mother Nature's going to come between me and that final.
Paul's serving a platter, too,
including sea bass baked in paper, tins of mackerel
with bread and butter, oysters and fennel.
He's balancing the flavour of mackerel by instinct, which is risky.
He's cooking the sea bass in copies of historic newspaper.
It might be novel, but getting the cooking right could be tricky.
The last touch is mackerel on toast in sardine tins.
OK, lads, quite heavy, this one, right? As I'm looking at it, please.
Just right in the middle.
So will Paul's sharing dish keep his hopes of reaching the street party alive?
-Would you like a sardine in a can?
-I think you may find it's a little mackerel.
-All right, would you like a mackerel in a sardine can?
-I'd be delighted to have mackerel in a can.
I love all this. Witty and fun and unpompous. I love it.
What's the fish inside the paper? I want to read that paper.
-I don't think you're meant to be reading the paper.
-It's part of the fun, isn't it?
This is a piece of sea bass, I imagine.
-And sea kale.
-Very nicely cooked.
The oyster, it has that lovely, clean salad underneath,
which is just brilliant.
And it's deep-fried, you know, which is so homely.
If you don't like an oyster, that is an oyster for the people who don't like oysters.
You're going to hate me for this, but I think there's too much cooking going on.
I love the tin, I like the mackerel, I'm just concerned
that it's a lot about cooking rather than the occasion.
It feels like a restaurant dish that's been put on
a big piece of slate, rather than a dish conceived for this occasion.
So Paul's dish has split the judges.
The chefs don't know how any of their dishes are being received,
but they're still both determined to win.
I'm just going to absolutely give it everything and nail the next two courses
and give everything I've got.
One is going to go forward as champion, one is going home disappointed.
And I don't want that to be me.
Halfway through and both chefs are hoping the main course
will clinch it for them.
Paul's up first with pork head-to-toe including pig's ears,
cheeks and belly and fake trotters, made of pastry and black pudding.
Paul, we got equal scores for the main course. What do you think?
I thought I had you on the main course.
I am glad you like the fact that you thought you might have done me over on that one.
I liked your pork course, it was a real chef-y dish.
You got your own back, you nailed me on dessert, didn't you?
Although their mains scored even in the heats,
the rival dishes are very different.
Andre's is a refined piece of French-style cookery,
while Paul's is much more quirky.
I think mine's a really good sharing dish that one, my main course.
Mine differs in a sense there's more going on
and perhaps maybe more excitement.
With six different variations on the piggy theme to get perfect,
Paul's in danger of keeping the judges waiting.
-Paul, it's four minutes over, mate.
-Yeah, it's all coming together now.
Yes, right in the middle. Thank you. Sorry I was late.
Will the judges like Paul's pork platter
or find it too much?
-It's a pig feast.
-It looks like a fossilised garden!
-It looks very interesting, I've never seen anything like that.
-No, I haven't.
I don't suppose the 100 people coming to the People's Banquet
-have seen anything like that.
-Look, we have a little piglet.
I think it looks like a trotter.
-It hasn't got a snout.
-It is a trotter.
And that is scratchings, really.
Oh, yes, very, very good. You get your own!
-That is good. Is that the ear?
-Yeah, I think it's a triumph.
Not much of the pig wasted here.
The chef has not made a pig's ear of this.
-Oh, look, and we've got more pig here.
There's bacon or prosciutto in the veg.
Would you be able to deliver all of these elements,
as perfectly cooked as they are here, to 100 people?
I think so as long as they don't mind if it's not dead hot.
I suspect they would lose a lot of their charm on that basis.
I don't think it's really thought out for 100 people.
I think this is a good dish for three.
If Paul's dish might be tricky for a banquet,
will Andre's prove more of a contender?
He's cooking rib of beef, pommes Anna and English peas
in a bone marrow and parsley custard.
Like all his dishes, he's designed this course to show off
his sophisticated cooking skills at the same time as meeting the brief.
So are you planning on getting your whole menu on the banquet?
I wouldn't say I was planning on getting my whole menu on
but nothing is impossible.
-No, certainly not.
-You've just got to get past me first, mate.
As the day goes on, the rivalry is intensifying.
Paul is keen to exploit any weakness.
Alongside the beef, Andre's dishing up potatoes
and a savoury custard including peas, carrots and herbs -
a plan Paul's doing his best to undermine.
It's quite unusual to serve beef without that gravy.
Yeah, I just wanted it to be that little bit lighter.
Andre's not about to change his dish at the plating-up stage.
The beef goes onto a platter to be carved at the table,
the vegetable custard into little pots, and he's ready for the pass.
Can Andre steal a march on his rival?
Has he struck the right balance between gastronomy
and a knock-out street party?
That is the best-looking pommes Anna that I've ever seen.
Thank you very much.
Is that a bit of truffle in the middle there or is it mushroom?
-Truffle, but it's pretty tasteless.
I'll tell you where all the flavour is. It's on the beef marrow.
-Do you think that's in order to give it a bit of flavour?
-Yes, it is.
-I really don't think that beef tastes very good.
This green sauce is really disappointing.
-What's the point of it? What's it doing here?
-This is very nice veg.
It's delicious because it's lathered in butter.
What a pity, because that potato is unbeatable.
But that's only one small part of this dish which is again
a highly technical exercise.
It's a technical exercise, this dish,
but to be honest with you it's not very good.
You've got rich beef with rich marrow, butter in the vegetables.
There's no sharpness there,
nothing to highlight it, nothing to pick it up. It all becomes...
This is a dish that's come from a skilled chef
who hasn't understood the brief. He doesn't know what party food is.
Or embraced the idea of the carnival atmosphere, that pageantry,
the theatre, the laughter,
the general bally-hoo that I'm looking for.
It's just disappointing but it's good cooking.
With neither chef getting unqualified praise,
there's even more resting on the desserts.
Paul's going first with his ambitious platter on wheels,
bearing candyfloss, toffee apple with marshmallow,
coconut custard, popcorn and doughnuts.
When he cooked this for Michael, the pressure got to him
and he made not one, but three big mistakes -
burning the chocolate, messing up the marshmallow
and having to bin a batch of doughnuts.
Those doughnuts look a bit better.
-But are you going to get three in that bucket?
-Done them round.
And the vanilla cream, you've made that a bit tighter this time?
This time the pressure's even greater.
While Paul's dodged the pitfalls and got all the elements right,
it's still fairground food and a huge gamble.
As I'm looking at it, please, a taste of the fairground.
What will the judges make of it?
-Is it a blunder or a brainwave?
That is festive. Jolly?
Oh, come on, that looks amazing. Cheer up, you misery guts.
I'm not sure about this.
I like this, there's popcorn, toffee apples, candyfloss.
I have a thing about candyfloss.
The last time I had some a tremendous gust of wind
came off the sea and blew it all over my face.
-Got to be an improvement!
I think that's delicious.
This pudding will set back the cause of British dentistry
by a century.
-It's a party - you're allowed a few treats!
-This is popping popcorn.
It's chocolate covered, a little bit of salt on there.
The spirit of the chef is alive and well in this dish.
I mean it's huge fun, but it's also, from a flavour point of view,
I don't like marshmallow but I now like marshmallow with toffee apple.
The two go together beautifully.
Even element of this, it is a bit of childhood,
but it's made with the same skill as everything else.
And care and classy gastronomy.
When it came in, just the colour palette was so elegant - pale, brown, white.
It's fun, I'll give you it's fun. But this is not gastronomy.
I think there is skill.
The custard and the popcorn are really great combinations.
Look, you've been asking the whole way through the meals today
to lighten up, have a sense of humour and you get that and guess what?
Yes, I'm having a bit of fun,
I don't want all my teeth to fall out as a consequence of it!
-Don't be ridiculous.
-You are being such a grump.
You're just both on a sugar high, that's all it is.
Yet again, the judges are divided. Can Andre win all three round?
He's serving a tart of poached rhubarb, egg custard
and white chocolate crumble, on a delicate pastry base.
Did you think Michael had a point, making it a bit thicker
so it's easy to get it out? Or...
I haven't made it any thicker. I believe that there should be that...
Yeah, I can't see a problem with it.
The tart will be served with side dishes of rhubarb in syrup
and vanilla cream.
Right down in the centre of the table, boom.
Will the judges see this as perfect to share?
Or is it too polished for a street party?
Oh, my goodness. I don't think that amounts to a row of beans.
You know, this is display for display's sake.
I think you're being unfair.
Do you know what this reminds me of?
Just take it off there, Prue, put it out of its misery up there.
-Get rid of that.
-Well, you can't cut...
-You can't cut it on there.
-Can I help myself to a little bit of...
-Thank you very much.
You can have your own pot of cream and your own little rhubarb.
-It's got custard and...
-Crumble, crumble with custard inside.
-Custard and jam.
I think this tart is absolutely beautiful.
Exquisite custard, lovely sharp rhubarb.
The crunch from the pastry underneath, really crisp.
-Very, very light custard.
It's rhubarb pie.
It may not be fireworks but, by crikey, it's good.
It's not very celebratory.
You know, it's too tart.
No, no, I think it's a bit too tart. What sweetens it up, is this.
I think when you add in this the syrup and everything,
it brings the sugar into it. I don't think it's a great tart.
Where's the sharing element?
Even these little individual bowls are the opposite of sharing.
Would you like another slice?
I'd quite like another slice, but I will resist.
Sorry, but I would love another slice, please, Prue,
and that's exactly how this pudding becomes a communal experience.
Come on, Matthew, you know, I think... I think you're...
So, you are having another helping, too.
No, I'm feeling like I need to.
With all four courses done,
all the chefs can do is contemplate their fate.
I firmly believe I can win this. But I'm not judging it,
so, I can still feel a little bit of nervous butterflies.
If, win or lose, I've done it, I'm here. So, I'm buzzing.
Do you know, there were moments today when I wasn't sure I was going to survive.
We've eaten a lot of very, very good, very beautifully cooked, very rich food.
I'm going to go out on a limb here, slim, and say that
I think today was one of the most gastronomic experiences we've had.
Because, technically, I think the cooking has been really superb.
Do you have any idea how the menus actually stack up?
No idea, you know, because actually, in a funny way, they're quite similar.
I mean, the style of cooking was very classic.
So, no, I haven't a clue who cooked anything.
I think we had better have a look.
Andre Garrett's put together a sophisticated
and luxurious menu to reward the guests.
While Paul Ainsworth's gone for more hands-on,
amusing dishes to get people talking.
The judges will only know who designed each menu
once they've chosen their winner.
Now we've actually seen the menus and see how they stack up.
Prue, have you made up your mind which menu you prefer?
I have, but with some difficulty, I must say. But I have, yeah.
-Oliver, what about you?
Well, I have too. So I think we had better get in the chefs
and put them, and us, out of our respective miseries.
At long last, the wait for Paul and Andre is over.
One of these chefs is about to taste sweet victory
and the other, bitter defeat.
Paul and Andre, welcome to the judges' chamber.
You both provided, I must say, some absolutely wonderful dishes for us to eat.
There was a lot of tremendous amount of technical skill on show.
But as you know, this is a competition
and only one of you can go through to represent
the Southwest in the national final of the Great British Menu.
After a great deal of debate, I have decided to go for menu A.
-Prue, have you decided?
-I have but it's menu B.
Well, Oliver, you have the deciding vote.
I've also gone for menu B, Matthew.
Well, we don't know who cooked menu B and neither do you.
So, Prue, if you pass me the...
So, the chef who'll be going through
to represent the Southwest
in the final of the Great British Menu will be...
I mean, I think that what you had probably the edge on
was the witty bit.
I mean, I love the Cornish duckling and the Scotch eggs.
It wasn't just an amusing thing, it was a perfectly gastronomic thing. It was amazing.
I think the key for me was the taste the fairground.
It was...really invoked the spirit of what this competition is about for me.
Well, I voted for Andre's menu
because I actually loved the fantastic lightness of touch.
-Yeah, I mean, I've never seen it so close in that skilled way.
-Yeah, I agree with that.
But sadly, only one of you can go through and,
Paul, we look forward to seeing you in the national final of the Great British Menu.
Andre, congratulations, I loved your food.
Disappointed not to win.
But I'm proud to be part of a strong Southwest semifinal.
I just want to, kind of, shout from the rooftops, basically.
It's the best experience of my life without a doubt.
-Here's to the Southwest.
-Cheers! Thank you, cheers. Well done.
Next week, three of Scotland's finest chefs
enter the fray as Great British Menu continues.
It's good meat at the top.
Fired up. Want to beat the other two. Want to get to the final.
I'm here for the long run. I just hate getting beat.
Nobody's safe, any single one of these guys
could win the competition or be going home early.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
It's decision time for the chefs from the south west. Only two chefs remain and now they cook their entire menus for the Great British Menu judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton. The judges aren't easily pleased and only first-class cooking will do.
Only one chef can make it through to the national finals to represent the south west region and get the chance to cook at the People's Banquet. If they win, one of their dishes could be paraded down the ancient cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market and served at a magnificent street party, a banquet for the people and inspired by the people.