It's decision time for the two chefs remaining from Scotland. 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, the prize a place in the national final.
Three of Scotland's top chefs have battled for the honour of cooking at the People's Banquet,
a magnificent street party celebrating the power of food to bring people together.
Last year's regional champion Alan Murchison has been scoring their dishes all week.
And it's been a tough fight, especially for new boy Philip who in the end lost out to experience.
Philip, commiserations. Tony and Michael, well done, guys.
Today, Michael Smith and Tony Singh are going head to head
in front of the judges, each hoping to deliver a knockout blow.
I'm fired up now. I need to beat Michael and get one through for Scotland.
This is a tough competition. It's a fresh day. I've got to nail it.
-How are you doing?
Regional finalists Michael and Tony have cooked their hearts out to be here today
and a place in the Great British Menu final is now at stake.
-One of us has to do it.
-What will you do when you're goin' hame?
Michael Smith has so far led the way with simple twists on Scottish classics
and is determined to win, having tried and failed last year.
It's been a long week. I'm delighted to get to this stage, but I'll have to dig deep to impress the judges.
Hot on his heels is risk-taker Tony Singh whose quirky menu
has already taken him one step further than last time.
I really want to beat Michael. There's only one hurdle, about 20 feet tall. It's the judges.
Mind your fingers. Ooh!
Both chefs have menus designed for sharing at the People's Banquet
and have very different cooking styles,
but while our discerning judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton may guess who cooked what,
they won't know for certain until after they've given their verdict.
Scotland is one of the great reservoirs of great ingredients in the British Isles.
What we want is wonderful food to share,
but it's still got to be gastronomy, the chefs at the top of their game.
This is the Great British Menu
and the biggest challenge to the chefs is to produce amazing food for a banquet like this.
If a dish came on to the table and everybody didn't stop talking and say, "Look at that," they've failed.
Michael might have been here before, but a feisty Tony won't be giving up without a fight.
-One of us is going to be named Scottish champion after today.
I got in front of the judges last year, Tony. It's tough, eh?
I know what it's like. I'm going to use all that, hopefully, to my advantage this year.
Well, the only solace I get from that is they didn't pick you.
Michael's menu kicks off with simple baked cheese,
a fondue-like dish with cracker breads for dipping.
But Tony is setting things in motion today
with his deep-fried rabbit in a hat,
a humorous dish he hopes will get people talking.
Michael's dish is essentially cheese on toast.
Will the judges like that, up against a rabbit in a hat, a bit more fun, a bit more risky?
Hopefully, I'll nudge ahead.
Tony's menu relies heavily on props, a strategy that will make or break him today,
and Michael is quick to try and sow the seeds of doubt.
-You've got a nice shine on your top hat there. Is that rabbit coming from the Mad Hatter?
-It could be.
He can't afford to over or undercook his spicy crumbed rabbit
which has to be deep-fried at the last minute.
-Are you on time? Running a couple of minutes late?
-I'll be fine.
-Right on the edge with your rabbit.
-By my watch, I've got another three minutes.
-And how long has your rabbit got?
Ignoring Michael's attempts to derail him,
Tony serves up his Asian slaw, made with peanuts and a chilli kick,
fills his hat with crispy rabbit and without a second to spare, gets it to the pass.
OK, gentle folk, take that through for them. Tell them to get stuck right in.
-A couple of minutes late?
-No. No' by my watch.
Will the judges think Tony's rabbit in a hat worthy of a place on the banquet menu?
It's an upside-down top hat.
You know what? I think the best-looking thing in this little collection is the finger bowls.
-Perhaps it tastes better than it looks.
I'm going to use my fingers all together.
I must say, I have to take it back. This is really delicious.
I do think, if you're going to do this sort of thing, you don't leave bones in there.
-I think there's quite a lot of spicing there as well
which is also disguising any sort of delicate flavour that's going on.
That's the trouble. The dressing on both of these things is too powerful.
It's just loads of ideas and very badly executed.
I think it's OK, but I'm hoping for something much, much better.
Top hat maybe, but it's not top-hole.
Mixed reviews for Tony's rabbit. Will Michael's simple baked cheese get him off to a better start?
Both scored six for their starters in the heats, but Michael thinks his could push him out in front.
Tony's is fun, informal, it's finger food. Mine's slightly more refined. Hopefully, that gives me an edge.
He is serving his cheese with a tomato chutney, grape jelly and crispbreads,
but when it comes to presentation, Tony thinks his is streets ahead.
-You went for the... "Whoa!"
-Just upping the wow factor.
-As good as the hat?
-Do you think it can be improved?
-That's your interpretation.
It's a direct hit from Tony, but Michael is confident he is on to a winner
as he puts his baked cheese in pride of place and sends it to the judges.
Smell the cheese.
OK, put it down in front of Prue, please.
In the centre of the table, yeah?
Will the judges think Michael's baked cheese has what it takes to open the People's Banquet?
-I don't know what to say.
-I think it looks good.
-Shall I be mum with this?
-This is a cheese baked in a crust.
-Are you sure?
You don't need knives and forks.
-Of course, what you do...
-You dig in like that.
-It is a fondue and isn't a fondue the absolute classic sort of...?
-Let's all get together, have a lovely time.
-One trusts it's Scottish cheese.
-I'm sure it is.
I think the cheese is not particularly good quality. I think it's OK.
If you're going to all the bother of having a centrepiece cheese,
it needs to have a lot more character to it.
-The strongest flavour is the jelly.
-I don't think you want anything too strong.
I think this is a fun dish. It's absolutely suitable for a starter. All those things taste lovely.
My only complaint about it, and it's an easily fixed one,
is this is a little bit too much hard work.
Some praise, but hardly full marks for Michael.
Will the fish course produce a clear frontrunner?
Tony's roasted langoustines with chilli jam are up first
and again he's put quirky presentation to the fore.
This dish lost him marks in the heats
when Alan Murchison judged it too simple.
I took his advice. I'm making bread for my fish course.
-I see what you're up to. You think that's where you can catch up the most ground?
But Michael thinks the look of Tony's dish could be more of a threat.
I'm unnerved by Tony's presentation. The judges could go for it in a big way. It's got a lot of humour.
Or they might see it as style over substance. The prawns are delicious.
But I'm not sure if that covers all the bases that I'm trying to do.
Tony thinks his ingredients are good enough to do the talking
and together with his bread, tick all the boxes for this year's brief, but will the judges agree?
-Who's going to carry that?
-OK, gentlemen, strong shoulders you've got, no problem.
Do Tony's langoustines have the wow factor needed for the People's Banquet?
That's brilliant. That's very good.
What is this? "Fingers before forks"?
I think this is very practical. People could take these away.
-And it adds to the conviviality which would be great.
-It's good to see a seafood platter, no?
Oh, that's good. Look, absolutely perfectly cooked too.
You know what? This chilli jam...
that's plastered all over the top is absolutely delicious.
-Yes, isn't it?
-I can't think of anything wrong with it.
-We're just eating them without the bread.
The bread is completely unnecessary.
-It's to make the langoustines go further.
-They've just got to be more generous with the langoustines.
It's one of the first dishes where you get a real sense of Scottishness, a sense of occasion.
I can't see any reason whatever why this shouldn't be a dish for the banquet.
It's got everything. It looks great, it's my favourite food.
And it's a talking point. It's lovely.
-It's a proper celebration.
-It's got a sense of drama. Good.
Well, it's a big thumbs-up for Tony's langoustines.
Will Michael's fish course measure up?
He has elevated classic kedgeree
to a dish he thinks worthy of the banquet.
But Tony thinks he has totally missed the mark.
Kedgeree? When you put kedgeree up, the first thing that comes to my mind is breakfast. Yeah?
Tony is doing his best to unsettle his rival,
but Michael still thinks his kedgeree has the edge.
-How am I doing?
-He's serving it paella-style and also using three types of cured and cooked salmon,
vibrant Araucana eggs,
salmon skin crisps
and cheffy hollandaise foam,
but will the judges agree with Tony?
-Here we go.
-I still think it's neck and neck. You know what I mean?
Has Michael succeeded in making a simple Scottish breakfast dish grand enough for the People's Banquet?
-What is it?
Well, I think it's kedgeree.
-Yeah, you're absolutely right.
-Rice, fish, eggs.
And that looks suspiciously like salmon skin erupting from that thing in the middle.
-Yes, a huge delicacy in Japan.
Is this good?
I like the idea of skin and usually I like it, but I don't like that one.
-A piece of fish?
-A piece of fish, there you are. Your kedgeree, sir.
-Thank you very much indeed.
It doesn't smell of curry.
I want curry in my kedgeree.
I think it's perfectly cooked. It's a really beautiful, delicate dish.
But is it really a banquet dish? Kedgeree is either breakfast or it's a supper dish.
It's not exciting enough, it's not dramatic enough for the People's Banquet.
The main problem is it's not the langoustines.
-It's almost like a brunch dish in a way.
-Yes, that's the trouble.
I think he's done this quite gastronomically.
But it's not exciting. It's homely, it's comfortable, it's warm, it's nice.
It's something I'd get at my home.
I think it's a damn fine piece of cooking. Stop it, you snobs!
So Michael's kedgeree hasn't completely swept the board. Could Tony be pushing out in front?
Two courses down. Am I ahead?
Hard to tell. I don't know what the judges want.
I can't second-guess them. I'd hope to be in the lead, but I'm not sure.
I've been at this stage in front of the judges. Tony hasn't.
That could give me an edge possibly. I want to win, so that's my sole intention.
Time for their main courses - two completely opposing dishes that scored eights earlier in the week.
Michael's barbecued lamb
with potato wedges and slaw is up first,
served on an indoor barbecue to get people talking, with the help of an apron stolen from Tony.
-Do you think the super apron is going to enhance your barbecue skills?
-I hope so.
He is serving five cuts of lamb, a meat he thinks perfect for a summer banquet,
but Tony isn't convinced it will hit the high notes with everyone.
You've got lamb. If you don't like it, you're snookered.
Mine, you've got seven dishes. You can pick and choose. That's what's great about it.
But Michael is confident he is on to a winner and isn't going to let Tony tell him otherwise.
It smells like a bonfire, a wood fire on a lovely beach somewhere on the Isle of Skye.
With the clock ticking, he plates up his asparagus,
summer slaw and crispy potato wedges.
Anything can happen when you play with fire.
And loads his five different cuts on to his smouldering indoor barbecue.
It's a barbecue. They just get stuck in, use their hands, whatever they want to do, have a nice beer.
Can Michael edge out in front with his modern take on a summer classic?
-It's a barbecue.
-It's a barbecue and it's still going.
Hmm, that smells great.
We've got various cuts of lamb. We've got some chops, some kebabs.
I think it looks amazing. I really do.
This is one of the most appropriate dishes we've seen so far. It is fun.
Oliver, can I pass you the salad?
-Oh, I do love...
-Look at that!
-..kidneys and livers.
-Isn't that good?
But can you do that for 100?
The real question is, does the lamb actually live up to the billing?
The lamb is delicious.
-This is very exciting.
-The interaction of it. It's lovely.
A mixed grill of this quality, you just don't see.
Different styles of cooking, lots of different things happening, lots of visual appeal.
-What about the veg?
-I think the veg are a bit disappointing.
I think this seasoning issue... Very disappointing.
Can we say that it is gastronomy or is this a barbecue?
-It's great fun.
That's what we're looking for - a bit of fun, a bit of interaction, a talking point.
It's a joyous experience, all good things.
Michael's barbecue has gone down a storm. Will Tony's main course be as big a hit?
He's taking a huge risk, dishing up seven of his childhood favourites
in tiffin-style boxes, including spicy salmon,
potato and chickpea curry
and a controversial recipe using baked beans.
It's an ingredient unheard of in the Great British Menu kitchen and it may cost him a place in the finals.
-Are you still going with your baked beans?
-They're quite fiery.
This dish has Tony Singh stamped all over it
and the judges will no doubt recognise it as inspired by his Sikh upbringing.
Hopefully, the judges will like it because this is for the public.
The common man, made by the common man - me. I hope they love it.
Confident he is providing something for everyone,
he gets his controversial beans into one of many tiffin tins
with his mutton and potato stew and honey roast pork belly,
and finally delivers them to the pass.
OK, gents. It's sharing, it's tiffin.
Will Tony's mixed bag of childhood favourites hit the mark with the judges
and what will they make of his spicy beans?
How spiffin', it's tiffin!
-I do like tiffin boxes.
-Very pretty, isn't it?
-I'm going to give you one and you one, and you can do the work.
There we go.
-We are all sharing, chaps.
These look uncommonly like baked beans to me.
Yeah, they look like good baked beans.
Oh, that is delicious!
I can say without fear of contradiction these are the finest baked beans I've eaten in my life.
I'd probably leave the salmon out, just because it's confusing to have fish with meat.
What is very useful about this is if people do have different dietary likes and dislikes,
-everybody will find something.
-I think it's all a bit overwhelming.
-I think there's too much going on.
-You're criticising the chef for generosity.
No, I'm criticising the chef for having too many different types of food going on
and inappropriate to a four-course meal.
This is food produced by a community for a community.
That is in a sense truer to the spirit of the People's Banquet than some food we've been served up.
-It's a bloody tiffin box!
-This is food...
-It's hardly revolutionary.
It's to feed a lot of people. Why does it have to be revolutionary?
We've had barbecue, for heaven's sake! I mean, burnt meat goes back to the dawn of time!
Tony has no idea his main course has split the judges and his fate now rests with his dessert.
Michael is up first with another updated classic.
His dish relies on extravagant presentation
and one pipped to the post by rival Tony yesterday.
Bit of a sweat shop over there? A few bodies helping? Could you knock it out for 100 or would you need help?
It's always, uh... nice to be helpful.
But there's no room for niceties in this competition.
With the clock ticking, Tony spied a chance to pile on the pressure.
-You've got two minutes to go.
-What's your point?
-You're getting aggressive there, eh?
-You watch your digging at me, eh?
It's their last chance to impress the judges and Michael has planned a surprise. In the nick of time,
a bottle of whisky is hidden amongst the cream-filled meringues and his dish is ready for tasting.
Are you all right with it?
To have a grand finale, you've got to have a show-stopping dessert.
All the tastes, all the textures and fun-sharing elements were there.
Will the judges think Michael's meringue tower has what it takes to represent the region?
Oh, my goodness!
I feel intimidated.
Matthew, I feel very, very happy.
-It's a croquembouche with booze inside.
-No, I'll tell you what it is.
It's raspberry ripple with a Scottish tipple.
You can pull it off with your fingers. That's the great thing. You don't need to be dainty.
-And raspberry coulis. We've got raspberries-a-go-go here.
So you can take out the booze without...
-Go on, take it out and pass it round.
-There you go.
This is a fabulous pudding.
I love the drama of it.
-It is a spectacular sort of work of art.
-It just feels so British.
-I just love how this looks.
-There's not too much cream.
The raspberries and the raspberry coulis give it a bit of an acidic jerk.
There's not too much sugar been added to the coulis which gives it a tart... It leaves your palate clean.
And it would leave you very sort of light at the end of a long haul.
-This is a dish for sharing, isn't it?
It moves through all the sort of criteria.
Do you want a tiny taste?
Whatever it is, it's a bit of a tonsil-tickler!
Michael's meringues seem to have hit the spot,
but the judges are yet to taste Tony's chocolate revenge, a dish Alan put in pole position yesterday.
-Tony, how does it feel...
-What, to take you to the train station later on after losing?
His final showdown is a layered chocolate mousse
with technical garnishes and shortbread biscuits.
It requires a steady hand, cool head and an equally cool kitchen.
It's got to be spot-on.
If it isn't, it's very evident. If the judges aren't happy with it, it's really going to penalise him.
He's making a white chocolate bombe, a surprise element filled with raspberry puree
which, luckily for Tony, appears to be holding.
He places it on his giant mousse, topped by his fragile lattice and edible dipping shards.
Chocolate revenge. Tony's chocolate revenge.
# Dan-dan-da-na! #
Thank goodness for that, brother!
-Done it. It's gone.
Will Tony's elaborate dessert see him have his revenge on rival Michael?
There's a "mousse" in the house.
It's interesting, these daggers of chocolate.
I think we've got to break these off and, Prue, you're going to have to smash open an egg.
-That's good chocolate.
-So far, the chocolate's good.
-Oh, I've got to go "crack".
It's a football!
-That's for Oliver.
-Oh, look at that!
Is that drama or is it not?
-There you are.
Mousse, mousse, mousse.
All the energy and expertise has gone into the presentation.
The amount of time that's gone into the construction of this pudding
and then to leave it with three pretty bland mousses inside...
-What about these little shortbread biscuits?
-They're lovely and buttery.
The disappointing thing is the chocolate is amazing, the chocolate work is really beautiful.
Will you please not forget that we all were knocked out at it when it came in?
-It was very dramatic.
-It's like being visited by an ancient relative
you haven't seen for a great many years and you remember why.
With all eight dishes sent, there's nothing the chefs can do but await their fates.
It's a competition. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. You can never second-guess these judges.
They've both put their all into their menus, but only one of them can be crowned Scottish champion.
Now we'll have to wait for the judges to mull it over. This is the worst part of the competition.
With two distinctive approaches on display, the judges have an inkling which dishes belong to which menu.
Now it's time for their suspicions to be confirmed.
I like all my best dishes to be on one menu. They never are.
There are dishes on both these menus I would like to see at the final.
Michael has taken the traditional route,
putting a spin on Scottish classics to make them fit for a banquet.
Tony has done the exact opposite
and dreamt up fun, risky dishes, designed to get people talking.
The judges have an idea who is behind which menu,
but won't find out for sure until they've picked a winner.
There's a lot to digest there.
-Matthew, have you made up your mind?
-Yes, I have.
Good. So have I. Shall we call in the chefs?
For Michael and Tony, the wait is finally over.
One of these chefs will be back to fight another day, the other sent packing.
Tony, Michael, welcome.
Both menus, there has been fabulous food that we would be very happy to see at a final banquet.
But it is a competition and we have to judge
who is going forward to represent Scotland in the finals of the Great British Menu.
-Matthew, have you made up your mind?
-Yes, it's going to be Menu B for me.
-Menu A for me.
-Menu A? OK.
Well, I'm Menu B.
You're not sure who Menu B is, so let's find out.
So the chef going forward to represent Scotland in the finals of the Great British Menu is...
-Good luck, man.
A very interesting menu and I think it generally suited very well
the idea of a street party, a banquet and sharing.
-I just thought your menu was more suitable for the banquet than Tony's.
We loved the barbecue. It was funny and lovely.
If you had to change one dish, I'd suggest you drop the kedgeree and borrow Tony's langoustines.
-Pinch his langoustines.
-We were at sixes and sevens, which is always a sign of a healthy competition.
Tony, commiserations. Michael, we look forward to seeing you in the finals of the Great British Menu.
-I'm sure there's a drink waiting for you. Well done.
-Thanks very much.
-Well done, Michael.
I'm feeling a bit down, but I'm chuffed for Michael.
I hope his dishes get through. Team Scotland will be at the banquet.
It's Scotland's week.
I'm really pleased. I'm in the national finals with a Scottish menu.
It'll take me all the way to the People's Banquet.
Next week, three of Wales's finest chefs enter the ring
and it's dog eat dog in the kitchen.
Hopefully, you'll do a mistake and I won't.
I need to do my Glamorgan sausages.
-This competition means everything to me.
-I'm definitely up for the fight.
I'm absolutely 110% committed to winning this.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011
Email [email protected]
It's decision time for the chefs from Scotland. 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 Scotland 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.