The chefs from Scotland, Philip Carnegie, Tony Singh and Michael Smith, battle it out with their main courses. Which dish will take pole position?
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This year's Great British Menu has seen the Scottish chefs get off to a challenging start.
-Do you need more time?
-Maybe five minutes. I'll just try and salvage this.
Returning regional finalist Michael Smith, last year's loser Tony Singh
and new kid on the block Philip Carnegie,
are fighting for the chance to cook at the People's Banquet.
Yesterday's fish course saw Michael push out in front, leaving Tony and Philip trailing in his wake.
Michael, good dish!
8 out of 10.
Now ferocious former Scotland champion Alan Murchison wants them to raise their game.
I want to see a dish today that can take one of the Scottish chefs to the final banquet.
Anything less than that and I won't be happy.
Today it's the main course
and a determined Tony is taking no prisoners...
..risking it all with an ambitious dish, using a very surprising ingredient.
What are the judges going think of baked beans? Can you imagine?
Oliver Peyton and Prue Leith eating baked beans...
Today's the day...
to catch up to Michael.
This year's brief is the toughest yet with each chef seeking out local heroes
who work tirelessly to bring people together through food.
So don't hold back, just eat up.
Their challenge - to come up with perfect dishes to share.
The prize - the chance to cook at the ultimate street party
and invites for some of the incredible people they've met.
It would be an honour. I look forward to that!
This is a tough competition,
you work yourself to the bone, but to represent the people
who are going to be invited as guests of honour to the People's Banquet would be the icing on the cake.
First, they have to impress a Michelin-starred heavyweight with high expectations,
former regional champion Alan Murchison.
Only the best dish today is going to get high marks, mediocrity is not going to work.
Currently in first place with 14 points
is Highlander Michael Smith.
His classic Scottish cookery was pipped to the post by veteran Alan last year,
but he's determined to make his mark this time.
I might have a small lead just now but I don't want to lose that.
I've got to concentrate on the job in hand and at the moment it's concentrating on the main course.
Busy, busy box of goodies there!
So what's the dish going to be today?
The dish today, Alan, is barbecued Scottish lamb
with a summer slaw and some pink fir apple wedges.
But quite simple, there's not a lot going on,
so, hopefully, if I can, you know, evolve that into a dish that's fit for a banquet...
-that's really what I'm aiming for with this.
-Where's the impact coming from on this dish?
What's going to get people going, "Wow!"?
-Well, hopefully, in the presentation.
-The novel approach to this
should, you know, really get people talking
and inspire them to think, "Well, that's actually something I could do at home!"
Michael's platter of barbecued lamb sounds straightforward,
but Alan's already spotted a possible pitfall.
Controlling the barbecue's going to be his biggest issue.
Take his eye off the ball today with these different cooking techniques, he could slip down the rankings.
Next up with 11 points is Tony Singh
whose quirky cooking draws on his Scottish, Indian and Sikh upbringing.
His simple fish course dropped him from 1st to 2nd yesterday,
despite some fun props. So he's changing tack in a bid to cook for the judges.
Main course today. I'm taking onboard what Alan said yesterday.
I've got hundreds of dishes, dancing monkeys, pipe bands, everything... it's going to be spectacular!
Well, well, well, well... what's the dish?
Dishes, six, seven dishes today.
-Scran. Just a whole load of stuff that I like eating.
-Scran. What I've been brought up with, really nice things.
There's vegetarian, there's fish, there's something spicy, there's traditional...
I'm going to do stovies as well. It's just a whole mix.
-Talk me through this.
Whoa, whoa! Dinnae say you don't like baked beans!
-I'm not sure I can envisage it on a People's Banquet...
-Desperate Dan beans, will till you taste them!
Come on, Alan! It's Tony. If anyone can pull it out the hat again, it'll be Tony with the baked beans!
I'm not convinced about that.
Tony's taking another big risk today,
cooking seven childhood favourites in a bid to impress,
but has he overcommitted himself?
This is the People's Banquet, it's not Tony Singh's banquet.
He has to put himself in their shoes.
Good flavour combinations, let's hope they all work together.
Snapping at their heels is new boy Philip Carnegie,
a Michelin-starred chef who's looking to outshine his rivals with a technical menu.
He clawed back vital points with his fish course and needs a good score for his main to stay in the running.
Tough is the...that's a wee bit of an understatement.
It's a competition, everybody wants to win.
Hopefully, Lady Luck's going to be on my side today.
Got a dish that's going to nail it for us today?
Yeah. Today I'm going to be doing...
stuffed saddle of lamb.
It's going to be stuffed with the lamb fillets.
Bit of basil's going through there.
I'm just going to be flavouring up the potato puree with some goat's cheese.
And how are you going to serve this to give us a real impact on the main course?
I'm just going to be serving it up whole,
and I'll just take a couple of slices off first just for presentation.
-Cooking's key on this.
I mean, I took your advice, learnt my lesson a wee bitty.
I'm going to really concentrate on this because it's the key element.
Philip's going for the less-is-more approach today,
with a cheffy twist on traditional roast lamb,
an uncharacteristically simple dish with no room for error.
He's got to get the cooking 100%.
He's got one cut of meat, one real technique to just nail... He has to get that right today.
With returning regional finalist Michael out in front,
and the lowest-scoring chef leaving the competition tomorrow,
today's make-or-break for Philip and Tony.
Phil's only a point behind me,
so it has to be spot-on what I'm doing now,
because he could easily overtake me and going in last for the dessert course is never easy.
He's taking a big gamble with seven of his childhood favourites,
including his mum's potato-stuffed paratha,
a dish he needs to get spot-on.
-Doubling the pressure?
-I tell you, so much pressure...
You'll be in trouble if this goes wrong.
And Michelin-starred Philip's feeling the heat too.
Having burned his starter earlier in the week,
he knows he can't afford to make the same mistake with his saddle of lamb,
a lean cut he could ruin by overcooking.
Hopefully you'll get on OK with the oven today.
This is where this competition could be won or lost with this piece of meat, mate!
I've got some concerns today about my main course,
because after what happened to me about the starter, the cooking of this one is very key, so...
If that wasn't pressure enough, all three chefs are using lamb,
including leading man Michael,
giving veteran Alan plenty of room for comparison.
We're all using the same ingredient.
I mean, it doesn't get tougher than that!
We're all, you know, right in the thick of it today.
They're all desperate to cook at the People's Banquet.
Scotland has to get through to the final, one of us has got to do it.
-Cos it's been too long.
But they've got to get past Alan first and he's not easy to please.
They're halfway there now and they need to make sure the next dish they put down
is actually really setting the standards.
To prove he has what it takes, Philip's abandoned fancy fine dining dishes,
in favour of a classic saddle of lamb, but this new battle plan isn't without its risks.
You've gone very simple with this dish. The guys have got quite a lot of flavours going on,
especially Tony, you know. Tony's got quite a few dishes happening.
Tony, he can pull rabbits out of hats, so he's capable of anything that boy, isn't he?
-Yeah. I just hope you can pull the lamb out of the oven in time!
-Well, exactly, exactly.
Michael's serving his lamb over burnt-out embers in a specially designed indoor barbecue,
a presentation point that's caught Alan's attention.
-You've got a fire, Mike!
-It's all right, it's some oak chips.
I'm testing them out to see how dry they are.
Hopefully, that'll give off a nice bit of smoke.
Aaargh! That's lovely!
It's clearly got up Tony's nose, but it's the taste Alan's worried about.
OK. So how are you going to get the flavour into the lamb?
You run the risk of this barbecue being for show, don't you?
I'm making a dry rub just now which really enhances the flavour when it's done on the char grills.
Once you taste it, you should really get a nice charred barbecue flavour.
It's a tricky cooking technique and Tony can't resist piling on the pressure.
Are you worried that it won't permeate enough or you've tried it before and it's quite strong?
You know it's a barbecue, people don't expect it to be perfectly pink.
-They love just the fact they get that charcoal flavour.
-No, that's good.
But they don't expect it to be perfectly cooked...
One slight concern with Mike... I expect the meat to be cooked properly!
And that goes for Philip's saddle of lamb too,
which he's searing first, then roasting in the oven.
What temperature are you cooking it at?
-Good luck with that. Just keep an eye on it.
He's keeping things simple today...
unlike Tony, who's flat out, juggling mutton-and-potato stew and lamb and cabbage.
I want the meat to fall off the bones.
-So you're left with a stripped bone at the end?
-That's a definite.
But it's the controversial baked beans Alan's most looking forward to.
How are you getting on, Mr Singh? Are you stirring your beans there?
No. I'll do the beans next for you. How's that? I'll give you a shout.
You let me see that technique of opening the tin of beans and pouring it into the pan!
-I'll learn something today!
-It might not be what Alan's used to,
but it's one of Tony's childhood favourites and he's sticking by them.
Scran is a collection of my favourite things.
Will it be Alan's choice of food?
Hopefully, he'll like some of it. I don't think he'll like all of it.
It's different things, you can pick and choose.
His sharing menu has been inspired by his Sikh upbringing.
-One of the cornerstones of the Sikh faith is a communal kitchen.
-Any gurdwara you see round the world will offer you or anybody free food.
-It's to show equality amongst men and women.
-Food to the people.
It's for the people.
This year, the chefs have been challenged to seek out local heroes
who already bring their communities together through food.
A no-brainer for practising Sikh Tony
who headed straight to his local temple in Leith, Edinburgh.
I'm going down to the gurdwara, the Sikh temple, to get inspiration.
It's been such a cornerstone... it is a cornerstone of my faith,
but such an inspiration to me through my cooking career,
so I'm going back there to see what I can pick up.
Sikhs believe in treating everyone equally,
and every week the Guru Nanak Temple holds a langar,
a shared meal that, translated, means "food for all".
This is the thing that's given me inspiration,
this is the thing that's given me passion for my cooking.
If you don't know anything about the Sikh religion, langar is a communal meal,
made by sewadar, people that help, volunteers, and they do sewa, which is the volunteering work.
It's food to share on a giant scale, and today's helpers include Tony's mum
who's been bringing Tony here since he was a child.
-But nobody actually sits down and teaches you.
-There's no written recipes.
This is what we do. You come in and you do that.
Everybody comes in, chips in, and does it.
There's a lot to do
as the guests can exceed 300.
The amazing thing about doing langar is you can't taste anything until it's all made and blessed.
It's all strictly vegetarian
to ensure all people can eat together as equals...
..making it the perfect place for Tony to road-test the veggie part of his dish.
Oh, that was great.
It's great, it's always a winner.
Absolutely fantastic, really enjoyed it.
And Tony has a surprise up his sleeve for his Mum and auntie.
If I get through to the final, would you like to come,
-to the People's Banquet?
-Oh, yes, definitely.
It would be an honour. I look forward to that!
Hopefully, if I can get through to the final, it would be so good for my mum and my auntie to come,
because they do so much for the community, it would be fantastic for them.
Back in the kitchen, three of Scotland's top chefs are engaged in battle
over their main courses.
Returning regional finalist Michael
is looking to maintain his lead with a dramatic-looking...
Last year's loser Tony
is taking another risk
with seven dishes remembered from his childhood.
And Michelin-starred new boy Philip
is hoping to catch them up with...
Dishing out the points is former regional champion Alan Murchison,
a hard taskmaster, who holds their fate in his hands.
The dynamic in the kitchen is quite unusual, things have moved around.
Tony's under a lot of pressure,
Phil seems relaxed... well, relaxed for Phil, anyway,
and Michael's under control as normal.
Let's just hope Michael's not being complacent,
Phil's concentrating on other elements of his dish
and Tony's not bitten off more than he can chew.
With one contender leaving the competition tomorrow,
time's fast running out for the Scottish chefs.
Michael's impressed so far by putting a new spin on old favourites,
a tactic he's applying to his barbecued lamb today.
Is your lamb going to taste as good as it smells?
-I hope so, aye.
Tony lost out yesterday, so is throwing everything at his main course,
using flavours that might not appeal to everyone.
The spices are a little less in this dish, are they, or are you still going to have...?
I think we're building up slowly. This is some nice spicy ones,
some not so spicy...
And Michelin-starred Philip's braving the oven he burnt his starter in
to roast his saddle of lamb.
-So far, aye, so far. I mean...
-Keeping a close eye on her?
Oh, aye! Watching it like... watching it like my wallet, ken what I'm saying?
It's all going to come down to the cooking and the resting of this lamb.
That is critical to this dish working. Gets it wrong, he could be going home.
That's the fate Michael's hoping to avoid with his barbecued lamb,
a dish he's convinced will look and taste the part.
This is a dry rub.
It's fennel seeds, garlic, rosemary and a little bit of salt.
-It's evocative of a barbecue, it smells outdoorsy...
-It does smell outdoorsy.
So, hopefully, that, combined with all the other elements, should bring it all together, hopefully.
If he can deliver on the presentation,
combine the flavour profiles, the techniques he's applied so far,
this has got potential to be a really great dish.
But he needs to be careful that doesn't overpower the delicate flavour of the lamb.
Tony's also using strong seasoning that could trip him up.
-It's quite hot, aye?
-But that'll calm down.
-I get that.
He's making spicy beans using an ingredient not usually seen in the Great British Menu kitchen!
Mike, have you seen this new technique here?
-The beans? Aye.
-I don't even need to open the tin!
What are you calling this bean dish, then, Tony?
-Desperate Dan beans.
-This is what I imagine Desperate Dan eating.
That's some spice going on there.
I don't think Alan's a fan of the beans, eh?
It's not the only thing Alan's worried about.
He's brazing stuff, he's roasting stuff, he's got fish thrown in there
and then he's got baked beans! What are the judges going think of baked beans? Can you imagine?
Oliver Peyton and Prue Leith eating baked beans...
It's a big gamble and one Tony hopes will keep him one step ahead of rival Philip,
who's first to plate up today. He's busy putting the finishing touches to his goat's cheese mash
and saffron-dressed vegetables.
Two unusually plain side dishes to go with his stuffed saddle of lamb,
a risky cut he's resting prior to serving.
-All coming together nicely for you?
-Yeah, so far, so good.
-Happy with your lamb?
-But I don't want to tempt fate.
Time for the moment of truth. Will it pass muster with veteran Alan
and Philip's toughest critic, himself?
It's certainly nice and pink.
But will playing it safe today deliver those points he so desperately needs?
There we are.
-What do you think?
-I just didn't want to take much chances with it, so...
OK, let's plate up and try this while it's nice and hot.
A few onions...
OK, a little bit of...
lamb jus. We'll leave this for the boys.
It's the simplest dish so far from this Michelin-starred heavyweight,
but has he sacrificed too much for the People's Banquet?
Much simpler dish.
-It's a different Phil, isn't it?
Do you think he could have maybe kind of tried and pizazzed it up a wee bitty?
Well, I think it's very restrained and he probably could have made it a bit more wowee.
-The cook of the lamb, what do you think?
-No, I'm happy with it.
-And the flavour of the goat's cheese in the potato... unusual, not had that before.
-I'm not sure how it fits in with the rest of the dish...
-I was just going to say...
I don't think it goes with the dish.
Do you feel you've got enough saffron in there?
I didn't want to be too hard with the saffron to overpower the lamb.
I'm not sure about getting the saffron...
They're really nice greens, but I'm not getting the saffron.
I can't get the saffron either.
Do you feel this dish encapsulates a sense of occasion, you know, it's spectacular enough for a banquet?
-I mean, spectacular enough, yeah. It's all colourful, nice...
For me, it maybe just needs a little more pizazz on the presentation.
I feel my main course went really well today.
I learned from yesterday, took on board what Alan said. Yeah, I was a lot happier today.
Philip might have halved his workload but rivals Tony and Michael are still hard at it.
Michael's barbecued Scottish lamb is next and he's working up a sweat,
juggling pink fir apple potato wedges, asparagus and summer slaw,
and five different cuts of lamb
that require three degrees of cooking.
I'm not convinced this is going to be style over substance.
He needs to get that strong barbecue flavour going on.
He's got to keep an eye on it, that's for sure.
He's serving his lamb over burnt-out smoking embers in specially designed tabletop barbecues.
-With the clock ticking, he gets it on the grill.
-I'm ready to go now.
He tops up his potato wedges and carefully puts out the flames.
Wow, there's an entrance!
I'll serve up a couple of portions for the guys and then you and I'll go on a meat feast, I think.
Just get stuck in.
-That's what to say!
-I don't want to give them too much.
Let's go and eat. Let's go for it.
Will Michael's barbecue hit the mark with Alan and help him get through to the judges on Friday?
A lot going on here. Happy with the delivery, presentation-wise?
It's simple, but a barbecue is simple.
-What about scaling it up?
-I don't know, because he'd a bit of a sweat on there.
Aye. I was more concerned with it coming out. It looked good, but the smoke went out...
-Pretty dish for a banquet.
-It's got some wow factor. You know, I think for this brief this year,
you know, I've given it my best.
That was interesting what you said about because it's a barbecue
you can have that degree of cooking in it,
-but then it's a problem if somebody doesn't like it as rare as that.
-And what about the cooking? Would you change anything?
-As long as it tastes of what it says on the tin,
then I think, I hope that gives me a bit of flexibility.
A safety net, perhaps.
Are you getting the barbecue off it?
-Not really, to be honest.
-I'm not even getting the rub from it, though. It's lovely lamb.
So you're happy with the level of charcoal flavour, the sort of smokiness coming through there?
Yeah, I was actually evolving it while I was doing it today...
"Evolving it"? Is that making it up as you go along?
I got the dish up on time, all the components were there that I wanted.
Yes, I could refine it a wee bit, but, no, I'm happy with that.
Tony's controversial scran with baked beans is up next.
He's hoping his seven dishes will give him the edge over Philip and Michael,
but he's still making one of them, his mum's potato-stuffed paratha, a dish he needs to get spot-on.
It's so simple, that's why it's so difficult, you know what I mean? It's...
-There's a lot riding on this, is there, Tony?
-Oh, aye, definitely. See...?
He's starting to feel the pressure.
-Mum wouldn't do that!
With his first effort in the bin and time chasing at his heels, he quickly makes another,
then plates up his spicy salmon...
mutton-and-potato stew and honey-glazed pork belly,
the crowing glory for his contentious Desperate Dan beans.
Finally, he brings them together in a tower of tiffin lunch boxes,
another unusual prop, but will his risk-taking pay off?
-So this is your...?
-Served in tiffin.
So what dishes have we got here, Tony?
A wee onion-and-lime salad for everybody, mutton stovies finished with herbs...
Oh-ho! The famous beans!
Go on, then!
-It's almost like a takeaway, isn't it?
-It is a takeaway, isn't it?
-It is a takeaway.
A veritable feast. Shall we?
It might be Tony's favourite food, but how will those controversial beans go down with veteran Alan?
-It's a spread.
-It certainly is a spread. I think it's a banquet in itself!
Do you think the judges are going to get this?
You think they'll be confident putting this through for the People's Banquet?
I hope so, yeah. This is what people want.
They want different flavours, different textures. They are to try, to share,
-to try to experience something different.
-Inspiration's come from where?
Childhood, working with people, just the best things I like to eat, you know what I mean?
-That does remind me of childhood.
-There you go!
-I'm not saying it was a good thing!
-But it certainly does.
I tell you, Desperate Dan beans!
You've to educate and challenge people with every course.
-He's doing it with this one, isn't he?
Is this the result you were looking for?
Yeah, not too spicy.
-You could easily do without those beans and just have the pork belly...
-Yeah, that is an option.
What would your mum think of that?
-She'd be happy with that.
She'd be happy? OK, if your mum's happy, then...
-I think with some refinement it could definitely be a banquet dish.
I don't know about high scores, I don't know what he's after.
Hopefully I can get something and just nudge, keep my head in the lead from Phil.
With all three dishes tasted, the chefs must now wait for Alan's decision.
It kind of all rides on this next score. I mean, this is make or break.
Alan's given returning finalist Michael top scores all week.
I'm feeling the pressure, being in the lead at the moment, to be honest,
because the higher up you go, the further you've got to fall.
Something Tony knows only too well having tumbled into second place yesterday.
I think if you fall behind after the main course, it's really hard to come back,
and I'd hate to be the first chef home again.
Will Alan think any of today's main courses worthy of a place at the People's Banquet?
First man up today, Philip.
Philip, you did very well today. You were under a lot of pressure,
the last couple of courses have been tough for you.
I thought you delivered brilliantly on your lamb, I thought the cooking of the lamb was great,
and I know how hard it is to get a saddle of lamb right, so you did very well on that.
However, does it really have the impact that you would expect from a banquet, you know, a huge feast,
Michael, loved the subtleness of the smoke that came through there.
The rub was nicely balanced as well.
And for me it had the wow factor.
Going on to sort of things that maybe weren't as strong for me,
the coleslaw kind of got a bit lost, almost the poor relation to the lamb.
Tony...Tony, Tony, Tony...
This was a tough one for me.
This was never going to work, all right? It was never going to work.
And I'm devastated, because it was brilliant!
It was really, really good.
You got the impact right, it had the wow factor, it was true to your roots...
You know, there's going to be some negatives with it.
There were no earth-shattering techniques there, there was lots of good craft,
but there was nothing that sort of moved the goalposts.
And what order do we eat it? It was a little bit confusing.
Philip, for your stuffed saddle of lamb,
I'm going to give you...
..7 out of 10.
Michael, for your barbecued Scottish lamb...
..I'm giving you...
..8 out of 10.
for your scran...
I'm giving you...
..8 out of 10.
OK, guys. One more course left, dessert. Technical, complicated, you've got one chance.
It's very, very close here.
Best of luck, guys.
-And yourself, mate.
-That was all right.
I thought he was going to give you a 9 there!
I thought he was going to give me a 6!
So three courses down and Michael's retained the lead...
Tony's pulled it off with his beans,
and is 3 points behind.
And Philip 2 points behind him.
I'm going into the kitchen in last place, but I'm still going in fighting.
Only a few points in it, it could still be snatched from me, so head down and just motor on.
In tomorrow's dessert course, they'll be pushing themselves to the limit to get to the judges.
They've got one chance to do one dish. They've got to get it right or one of them's going home.
But is bringing a microwave into the Great British Menu kitchen a step too far?
We won't be calling you Tony Singh, we'll be calling you Tony Ping, if you get this to work!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
The chefs from Scotland battle it out with their main courses.
Philip Carnegie, Tony Singh and Michael Smith are determined to win but which dish will take pole position? Will it be barbequed Scottish lamb with slaw and pink fir apple wedges, scran, or stuffed saddle of lamb with saffron dressed vegetables and goat's cheese puree?