It's desserts day in the finals of the Great British Menu, and the final chance for the chefs to impress the judges and win a place to cook at The People's Banquet.
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It's the final reckoning on Great British Menu.
This week, our eight regional finalists have pushed themselves to the absolute limit.
I've got the fear.
-Do you think you'll be on time?
Yeah, everything's getting covered in ash.
Some have reaped the rewards...
Lisa, Lisa, Lisa - top three again today.
Is there a petting zoo in there?! What's going on?
..while others have been bitterly disappointed.
My table's covered in blood.
-There was a bin beside you. That's where it belonged.
But the pace isn't going to let up yet.
Today, their desserts are under scrutiny, and it's do or die for some.
It's the last day, it's my last chance to get into the top three.
The knives are out...
Are you nervous? You've seen mine, you've seen Lisa's.
Is there anything else going with it, or is that it?
Are you going to put a flake in that?
Have you got the ice cream van chimes coming along?
..and emotions are running high.
I can't cry on Great British Menu.
Also today, the judges face a tough decision.
They must pick just four dishes to create the perfect sharing menu for the ultimate street party.
I vote for that one, I want that one.
You can see that being carried in.
There has to be a massive element of drama in Leadenhall Market.
Who will make the grade and who will be left behind?
If I got through to the banquet, I would be absolutely ecstatic.
I want to win this, and I'm desperate to win this.
It's day four in the kitchen, and the very last chance for our chefs to prove themselves.
Michael Smith and Lisa Allen are in the fortunate position
of having two dishes in contention for the banquet.
Hopefully today, if I put my head down, I can try and make it a third one.
Almost everybody else has one dish in a top three spot.
I want to make sure I get this dessert into the top three, so it gives me more of a fighting chance.
But for one chef, Andrew Pern, so far, success has eluded him.
It's the last day, it's my last chance to get into the top three,
so I'm going to go for it and do my bit for the north east.
Until the final menu is chosen no-one can rest on their laurels,
so it will be another gruelling day in the kitchen.
I'm expecting to see really amazing stuff today,
cos throughout the week it has just been getting more and more spectacular.
Our chefs aren't just competing for themselves.
All of them want to invite the people
they've met in their communities who inspired their menus.
I'm going to have another one, if you don't mind!
-You can always come back for seconds.
My heart's for Scotland, the wonderful people I met on the Isle of Skye.
That would be fantastic if I could get them all the way down here to that great occasion.
To make it to the banquet, the chefs will have to seriously impress the panel of judges.
Over the course of the week they've been helped by some of the biggest guns of the culinary world.
I would serve this to my two-year-old's party.
I thought it was very average. In fact, I thought it was poor.
Today they've enlisted the help of a fourth judge, a veteran of the competition,
who holds a Michelin star, an MBE, and is Britain's top female chef.
It's Angela Hartnett.
Thank you very much, lovely to be here.
Angela, it's pudding day, the last day, the most important course.
It's where everyone expects that wow,
that razzmatazz, and I think we expect a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It's a banquet, it's got to be amazing.
With Angela's formidable reputation,
there will be nowhere for the chefs to hide, and they're already feeling the pressure of her presence.
Having Angela on the panel is fantastic.
It's an honour to be able to serve food up to her.
I think Angela Hartnett will be very fair, but tough when she has to be.
First up today are brasserie chef Chris Fearon,
Michelin-starred Hywel Jones and first-time finalist Paul Ainsworth.
-All the best. End of a journey.
-It's the last chance saloon, lads.
Risk-taker Chris is first. He's making Lemonicious,
a special box packed with lemon and liquorice Battenberg,
lemon meringues, lemon ice cream and lemon shortbread.
The problem with Chris's pudding was this idea of Lemonicious.
The idea was good, but I just didn't feel he carried it through.
There was one thing in that box
that I will never forget, and that was the Battenberg.
Oh! It was the best Battenberg, wasn't it?
Yes, he's obviously a chef who has a great sense of humour.
Sometimes his technical skill hasn't quite lived up to the ambition of his cooking, I'd say.
After poor scores for two of his courses plus a slating in the chamber,
he's been feeling the stress.
So last year's champion, Tom, is giving him a pep talk.
Calm, controlled, collected, not throwing pans around.
I think I had a hard last two days.
There was almost an element of I wasn't enjoying myself. I felt bad about myself.
Today, Chris is determined to pull things back.
Chris, what have you got going on over there?
I've got a few things going on. I'm calling it Lemonicious.
-Yeah, I want to be a bit humorous.
I could call it an assiette of lemon, or textures of lemon, or compression of lemon.
But I decided just to be normal and call it what it is.
He's convinced that if he can hold his nerve
and execute this dish well, he'll be in with a good chance of a second top-three ranking.
What feedback did you get on your dessert?
Richard Corrigan called me the Charlie Wonka of Belfast.
-Is it Charlie Wonka?
-It's Willy Wonka, isn't it?
You know what I'm talking about.
Chris has been in a better mood today in the kitchen.
I think his spirits are high.
Chris is the only chef making a lemon dessert today,
and thinks this will help him stand out from the crowd.
I prefer to do lemon than strawberries and stuff like that.
-What do you mean, you prefer to do lemon?
-Everybody will do strawberries, won't they?
-Are you doing strawberries?
-Hywel, you doing strawberries?
-I am doing strawberries, yeah.
-Paul, are you doing strawberries?
-Er, no, not really.
Not really means you are doing something with strawberries in it.
Chris adds the finishing touches to his meringues,
places the desserts into the box before pouring his lemonade into bottles.
This first contender has the other chefs worried.
Chris, I didn't have him down as a pastry chef.
I saw him as a big, shouty, sweary, Irish chef.
Actually, today, he showed some fantastic pastry skills.
Off you go, careful with that.
Big boy, you be careful with this, too.
Having delivered his dessert, his confidence is riding high.
I think my Lemonicious was delicious. Very happy with that.
I think it's got a nice wow factor to it.
There's a fun element to it, there's a good sharing element.
It has to be up near the top, it has to be in the top three.
Will the judges agree?
I'd forgotten about this lovely little box, it's beautiful, isn't it? With a lemon tree on it.
I think it is fabulous. And I love inside you can see the descriptions.
I think it looks pretty.
-If you could get a lemon ice cream as good as that in Italy, you'd be really pleased.
It's sharp, it's got just the right texture, it's creamy.
And that meringue is right. It's toffeeish but not squishy.
I think it's too overwhelmingly lemon.
Slightly overwhelmed by the whole thing.
What you've got is a series of lovely textures,
different variations on lemon, but it actually leaves you quite clean at the end of the meal.
I think the weakest thing is this Battenberg, which you guys bigged up and sold to me.
It was far more flavoursome than before, but I think the whole thing is just...that he's trying too hard.
I think you're just anti... You would like something else to cut the flavour, take one away and change it.
You're far too soft.
-You're far too soft, come on!
-This quite simply won't do!
I must say, the spirit of misery that you import...
Let's just be a bit cheerful here.
You see a whole series of boxes, and actually, each one may be filled with the same element.
If some people like more of one thing than another, they can help themselves.
The only thing that's making me happy with this,
-is, I know that I'm right.
Oliver's not sold on Lemonicious. Are Chris's fellow chefs?
-It's very tasty.
Visually, it makes you excited, it makes you want to try it.
What do you think to the lemon?
I can't see why it's a problem.
It's very, very refreshing for the palate.
Brings it all alive again, doesn't it?
I think he will be a lot happier with today.
He'll be singing now, unfortunately!
This Lemonicious made me suspicious.
But really, it turned out quite delicious. It's a seven.
I really loved Chris's little box.
I thought it was so exciting, and what was inside was lovely, too.
And so I'm giving it a seven.
Chris Fearon's Lemonicious left me feeling bitter and twisted.
I loved the lemonness of it, and I thought the pastry was the best thing on the plate. I'm giving it seven.
So, a good score for Chris, but is it enough to get him into the rankings?
Newcomer Paul is up next. With one top three in the bag for his main,
he's desperate for another for his quirky Taste of the Fairground.
On specially made carts, he's serving
raspberry curd-filled doughnuts, toffee apples on marshmallow,
chocolate popcorn with coconut custard and honeycomb lollipops.
Paul's pudding, when I first tasted it, I felt the years roll back.
That's what it tapped into, those wonderful memories of childhood.
I can't believe you remember that far!
This pudding is what this competition is all about.
That popping popcorn, the peanut, it was amazing.
I loved it, I thought the whole... It comes in little carts, it's just like a toy.
The doughnut was delicious.
It was very beautifully done.
But there are technical problems.
For example, candyfloss. Candyfloss for 100?
Luckily, Paul has listened and has dropped the candyfloss, and he's feeling positive.
I think it's spectacular, it's a brilliant way to end a meal.
I think it's got substance running through it.
I'm hoping... I really, really would love it to be in the top three.
But Paul needs to work extremely hard to make sure every element is executed to the highest standards.
Andrew, who badly needs a top three today, comes over to check out his competition.
-What's this, a bit of booze going in?
-What is it, cider?
Yeah, cider toffee apples, basically.
-My take on a sticky toffee apple.
-What else have you got with that?
I've got a bit of everything, Andrew. Everything you can relate to the fairground.
-Is it Fairground Attraction?
-Just hope it's not Fatal Attraction.
Next, Paul moves on to making his honeycomb lollipops,
-which he's coating in chocolate and popping candy.
That is popping candy, you know, like the cracking candy you used to have?
That's amazing. It's all tingly.
I think I might have put too much in my mouth, chef, it's still going. When does it stop?
-Make it stop, chef!
-It's to put you off!
His intense concentration hasn't gone unnoticed.
He's just in a zone. He's not going to rely on yesterday's result.
He will push it all the way and look for a top three. He's a very competitive boy.
Paul adds the final touches to his cart then brings it all to the pass,
anxiously hoping his dessert will hit the top spot today.
There you go, lads. No plates.
I think I've pushed to the absolute limits,
I've given everything I've got, I've cooked with all my heart and soul,
and that was what I went with.
How will the judges rate his quirky approach?
I think you said it, it's a smile on your face, it absolutely looks brilliant.
And I'm delighted that Paul feels the same way about candyfloss as I do, because he's taken it off!
We've got honeycomb instead, which is great.
This is so clever. The honeycomb has a bit of white chocolate on one side with chocolate bits.
And on the other side, dark chocolate, with walnuts.
What I think is really wonderful about the marshmallows is he's put a bit of poached apple on top,
which gives it the sharpness that wasn't there in the original.
The popping popcorn is absolutely the best thing, it is just amazing.
I think this is a brilliant dessert. It fulfils it as a banquet. I love this honeycomb.
The doughnuts, he's obviously improved them, they're so much better, from what you said before.
It's very clever, and it's not too sweet, so he's listened.
The apple, it's cutting everything, you feel you could eat it and eat it.
Come to Daddy!
This is about as good as it gets. This is going to be one of my pudding memories, this one!
Hold on a minute, can I just...? You're in agreement?
Sorry, you're technically incorrect there.
Because Matthew is now agreeing with me.
-Oh, I see!
-Let's be clear!
But is it a taste sensation back in the kitchen?
Picking and choosing, isn't it?
Exactly, you've got the toffee apple there, and this there.
-Nice. Nutty. All the crystals just pop in your mouth.
-You can feel it dancing around in your mouth.
What else have we got? A little bit of marshmallow.
They're nice, aren't they?
I'm happily eating any component of it. I think it works great.
Together, it's all quite sweet.
If there was just something to cut through that sweetness, then it think it would be...
-That's the thing missing.
-It would be a contender, yeah.
I'm tempted to say that this fairground was child's play, but it wasn't.
It was a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed, brilliant on every level.
It's a nine from me.
I thought that little fairground cart was a thing of genius,
and I can just imagine what fun that would be at the banquet.
I'd love to see it there, and it's a nine.
It is the best pudding I've had in any competition, it is absolute perfection. Ten.
What can I say? I absolutely loved it, loved it, loved it.
I thought it was absolutely brilliant, therefore I'm giving it a ten.
A huge accolade for Paul.
Can Hywel perform as well?
In the regional heats, his cooking was impeccable.
But he often didn't hit the brief. Will it be the same again today?
He's serving rhubarb and strawberry trifle tart.
But his confidence has taken a battering after being ranked last for his main course.
-How is your dessert going?
-So far, so good.
I haven't made any blunders, yet.
-You've made it bigger, haven't you?
-Made it bigger.
One thing they said was that it lacked a bit of occasion,
so I tried to make it bigger, and I made a crackling that goes on top,
so it stands up, a bit more theatre when it gets to the table. So, final day.
Disappointing result yesterday, so the pressure's on today to really perform. I want to finish on a high.
Hywel assembles the rhubarb and sponge on his tart.
The other chefs are gunning for each other's dishes.
-Is there anything else going with it, or is that it?
-No, this is it.
So that's going to be one really, really good trifle tart, then, isn't it?
I don't like much messing about on a plate, you know. Stick to the main thing, and that's it.
Hywel has seen what Chris and Paul have done, and he's very deflated.
I think he feels he's kept it a bit too simple, and maybe he should have done more.
Then, as Hywel pipes his Chantilly cream over the custard,
his confidence is shaken even further by Chris.
-Is there anything else, any compote or anything?
-No, I mean,
all the flavours are in the tart.
I'm doing it back-to-front.
It's very different in style to yours and Paul's.
You need to have a wow factor, and I don't think it's going to tick that box.
There's nothing salivatory about that at all, in my eyes.
Hywel adds basil, pistachio nuts and shards of almond crackling to the strawberries and jelly
and then brings it to the pass.
There you go, guys.
This dish faced a mixed reaction from the judges in the heats,
and Hywel's not expecting any better this time.
I don't think my dish is anywhere near the top three today.
I think it's going to be low-scoring.
I tried to make it a little bit bigger, grander, more theatre,
but I know today that the dish doesn't meet the criteria.
I think the whole thing would look a lot better without all of this sugarwork on top.
The reason he's done that is because you complained last time it was boring.
I know, but, look, it looks better like that, no?
No. Put them back.
Put them back, Oliver.
The pastry's breaking quite nicely. It's cutting crunch when you do it.
Last time it was so undercooked, but this is good.
-Yes, it's much better.
-You didn't like it last time, Oliver?
-No, I didn't like it.
I think the quality... He's spent a lot more time on it.
And he's layered the rhubarb underneath it all, so the balance between the acidity,
the fruit and the creamy custard and the cream, is just much better.
I think it really is delicious. My only fear would be,
compared to the previous one, or even the previous two,
the sharing element is, you slice it, you pass the thing along.
You are looking for a sense of occasion,
and I think that's the fault in this dessert, brilliant as it is, executed perfectly.
To me, when I see something like that,
I just go "wow," because it looks like something I want to dive into.
It's a very beautiful looking pudding, minus the sugarwork.
I think at the banquet, there would be a slight sense of, "we'd better be on best behaviour."
Hywel might be surprised by those positive comments.
Will his fellow chefs be as generous?
-That's not the easiest thing to be serving.
That rhubarb's lovely.
And you can taste everything. You're getting the nut, the strawberry, rhubarb, custard. It's lovely.
But I don't think it's good enough for a banquet.
There's no wow factor.
This is a people's banquet, we were told to give it the beans.
It's a slice of tart.
Where's the interaction, you know? You can slice it, give him a slice, but is it theatre?
Hywel, what can I say?
He's a brilliant technical chef, but was that dessert fit for a banquet?
I don't think so. Therefore, seven.
This tart is far superior to the last one that he served up,
so for that reason it's an eight.
It was absolutely beautiful.
But it wasn't for sharing,
so I am giving it a seven.
This was not a pudding to be trifled with, and that was part of its problem.
It was just a bit too solemn for the banquet.
So it's a seven from me.
Will Hywel make the grade? Once the judges have ranked their top three desserts,
they must decide which dishes should be on the final menu for the banquet.
Michael's desperate to know what it's like to be chosen.
Getting one on the banquet is amazing.
The word amazing is just the way it is, because everyone works together as a team, don't they?
You have fun, you serve some great food, and you get a real enjoyment out of it.
-You bond together as one team.
-Scotland's not been for a while!
-To the banquet?
-Yeah. First series.
-Is that when it was?
-Mmm. So, hopefully Team Scotland are going to be there.
Now, the unflappable former champion Lisa and self-taught Aktar head into battle in the kitchen.
-Last course of the week.
-Yeah, this is, I guess our last chance.
Aktar was very disappointed not to get his main course into the top three yesterday.
And with just his fish dish in contention for the banquet, he knows his pudding must impress.
I really want to make sure today counts, because I want to make it to the people's banquet.
It's the only thing I've been thinking about for so long.
But he's up against stiff competition.
Returning champion Lisa's confident cooking has seen her in the top three
with both her starter and her fish course.
She's serving raspberry and chocolate pavlova
with wobbly jellies and pots of sheep's milk ice cream with nuts.
Aktar, sensing another strong dish from Lisa, tries to put her off her stride.
What are you actually doing?
Sheep's milk's so light, it kind of reminds me of Mr Whippy. I've gone for that.
Could you put a flake in that?
-Have you got the ice cream van chimes coming along?
No, I was going to send you in and you can be it!
I think everyone's nervous today.
The banter's going on, trying to put you off, it's all added pressure.
This dish did well in the heats, and Michael's feeling threatened by his fearsome competitor.
-How you doing, Lisa?
-Good. How are you?
More meringues! This is pavlova, isn't it?
-Yeah. Are you doing meringues as well?
There's quite a few! Meringues everywhere!
Lisa's dish and my dish are very, very similar, so that always makes it even tougher.
She is an awesome cook, she's also a past champion,
so that in itself could be enough to get her the result.
The other chefs also want to find out how much of a threat
Lisa's pavlova will be to their own chances.
-What have you got there?
-Like a hazelnut sugar.
Just looking at that sugarwork, it's already pretty wow, isn't it?
-You can see it's going to have a wow factor.
-She's done it again, ain't she, boys?
Lisa's has everything. It's a very, very clever dish.
For me at the moment, that's the one dish that's really rattled me, yeah.
Under the anxious gaze of her opponents, Lisa places her raspberries on the pavlova,
adds the wobbly jellies, then dresses it with the sugarwork.
Let's go, boys.
-There you are, lads.
Be gentle, don't wobble too much.
With three impressive desserts already served,
will the judges be as kind to Lisa's pavlova as they were in the regional heats?
I think visually, my dessert has got the wow factor, and hopefully it tastes as good as it looks.
I really don't like the look of this thing at all.
I don't know what she's doing. It's just...
Well, she's put some spun sugarwork on top!
But look, it's a mess.
It's like, "I know, I'll put on some sugarwork."
It is now that you've played around with it!
I think the jelly's delicious, it's really sharp,
But that's about as far as it goes, really.
And the idea is then obviously to help yourself with the ice cream.
This is very dinner party-ish, and then this is very fairground.
So I don't think it really works.
There's no excuse for the pot, really. It could just be in a bowl.
You notice as you're cutting it, you should have that crunchy thing to it, and there's not.
And then when you taste it, you see that it's chewy.
With every other one of Lisa's dishes, there was a clear sense of direction.
You knew what she was aiming at. You knew the result that she wanted to achieve.
This, you simply don't know.
You just wonder, what was going through her mind?
I think if that's the feeling you get when you come away from it,
then you feel this is not a pudding which has been properly realised.
Do her competitors agree with the judges,
or are they blinded by her reputation?
Whoa! The raspberries are really tart.
The jelly's very, very tart, too.
Very sharp, it goes straight to your glands.
The jelly, yeah, it is tart,
but I think it freshens the dish up so much.
And the ice cream's not overly sweet, either.
I think it's brilliant.
For me, I don't think there's one element of that dish which is not perfect.
For a chef of Lisa Allen's undoubted brilliance, this pudding was a serious disappointment.
Rollover pavlova for me.
It's a six.
I don't know what's happened. This was a complete raspberry,
it felt like the kitchen sink.
Bit of sugarwork, bit of jelly, pavlova, sheep's milk ice cream, a complete and utter mess. Five.
She will be disappointed, she can do so much better, but I'm afraid it is just a six from me.
Lisa's a great cook, but I begin to think she's no good at puddings.
So it's a four.
Aktar's next to be scrutinised.
Despite giving himself a mountain to climb
with his elaborate array of Indian-inspired desserts,
including chai panna cotta, coconut sorbet,
mango shirkhand and strawberry samosas,
he's overflowing with confidence.
The flavours are very simple, nothing too heavy, hopefully top three.
That's the plan. You've got to keep your chin up.
Aktar struggled with this dish in the heats.
Today he must make sure all the flavours are perfectly balanced.
What are you grinding in this machine of yours?
I am making mint sherbet to go with my strawberry samosa, so...
I had a taste of Aktar's mint sherbet. It blew the head off me.
It's very, very strong. You need to watch what he's putting on his plate when he goes to dress.
The judges criticised Aktar for serving his dessert in individual boxes,
so this time he's gone for one big platter.
His new presentation has caught Tom's attention.
-Yeah, I'm good.
This looks, er, very pretty.
I'm trying to do the whole Indian thing,
they like putting flowers on everything, put garlands on their guests, I'm sure you've seen it.
Is it not flowers because there's a female guest chef judge in there today?
-That might have something... I mean, the pink, you know!
Just trying to keep the ladies happy, you know!
Then Andrew, sensing competition with his own dessert, joins in.
-What's the box for?
-That's pink as well, chef.
That's for Pru. Pink's for Pru.
Ignoring the taunts, Aktar caramelises the sugar on the alphonso mango,
then places gold leaf on the chai panna cottas and lightly fries the strawberry samosas.
In a final bid for theatricality, he then adds dry ice before his platter is boxed and sent out to the judges.
And Tom is seriously worried.
You want to undo the ribbon of Aktar's and see what's underneath.
That, I think, is very clever, because it's a little bit understated,
it's not a firework show, but it makes you want to get in there.
What will the judges make of it?
-It is an absolute feast for the eyes.
The question is, is it a feast for the mouth as well?
Look at that, like a little brulee.
-You look at it and you think it's a brulee, but actually it's yoghurt.
I think the mango, you could put the mango through it.
In a way, it is a breakfast thing. It tastes nice but it could be better.
The pastry on the samosa is absolutely exquisite, it's so delicate, it's so fine.
The panna cotta has got a great wobble on it.
I really don't like gold leaf.
Gold leaf should be for books and ceilings as far as I'm concerned.
Where's your sense of celebration? You've suddenly become like a puritan monk.
This is four very separate individual items that I don't think work in harmony at all.
If you just put your spoon in that and that together,
or that and that together, they go beautifully!
Texturally, if I can be all cheffy about it, I think the panna cotta's amazing,
but all I've got in my mouth now is cardamom. It's too powerful.
-I think this is far too sweet.
-There are contrasts in here, they work off each other.
-You shouldn't have to tell people to have a bit...
-Excuse me, that was the way I ate it.
All it requires is a little bit of intelligence to eat this pudding.
The trouble is that neither you nor Oliver are prepared to show it!
While you two are bickering, I'm just quietly hoovering it all up.
A mixed reaction from the judges. Will this dish hit the mark with his rivals?
-Spoons. One for you.
-What shall we try first?
-What flavour was it?
-Coconut and lime, I think he said.
I like that. I've never had a strawberry samosa before.
The strawberry's not too sweet.
The pastry's really nice.
For me I'd say there's maybe a bit too much acidity in that sherbet for me.
And there's a lot on the plate. If it's too much, it just kills it.
-Go for it.
That mango brulee and cardamom is brilliant.
-Yeah, that's my favourite so far.
I thought it was a delicious pudding.
My only trouble with it was that you had to have all those four puddings to yourself,
because you needed to eat them together.
You couldn't pick and mix, you couldn't share, and so it's a seven.
Aktar's tuck box made me want to tuck in,
and I did with pleasure, and so I'm going to give it an eight.
For me, the wedding box did not live up to it.
It had all the expectation of being amazing but it really wasn't. For me, it's just a six.
I felt like Aktar was setting us a test of endurance here.
Oh, dear! Five.
Will this score be enough to get Aktar the top three ranking he desperately wants?
With five dishes served and three to go,
the chefs are speculating on what the judges might be looking for.
Who knows? I got it completely wrong yesterday.
-It's tough to call.
The competition all week has been extremely tough
and high standard.
We all want to get people from our community to the banquet. There's a lot riding on this.
-The dishes, the people, the whole lot.
Everything. It's massive.
The next three chefs into the kitchen are main course champion Tom Kerridge,
Andrew Pern, still to win his first top three, and first-timer Michael Smith.
-Here we go.
-All right? How we doing, chief?
-Baby ones are mine.
-You've got a meringue day.
-It's meringue central today.
-Meringues all over the place.
With around 100 perfect meringues to make, Michael's brought in some help.
-You need a big mixer for that.
-I've got one over here.
-That is a big mixer.
-Specially delivered from Scotland.
-That's a mighty friend.
Are you cooking for the banquet already with a mixer that size?
-No, it's for a banquet.
Scotland are back in the room!
Tom will be the first to the pass.
He's serving strawberries and cream pick your own
accompanied by liquorice-flavoured meringue,
strawberry sorbet and strawberry jelly.
It was completely style over content.
I thought he spent an awful lot of time looking at the theatrics of the dish,
but when it came down to the taste, the taste really failed on all levels.
That marks out the real key players.
Less is more, like we've said, but everything that is less has to be immaculate, spot on.
Pick your own, it's a fantastic idea, really.
All you have to do is dollop some first-class cream over it,
a sprinkling of sugar, and we're away.
Yesterday, this former champion's pork dish
outshone the others with incredible presentation, including hay bales.
Now the chefs are waiting to see what he's planning for his dessert.
Golden eagle going to fly into the judging chamber
and deliver your strawberries? THEY LAUGH
-What's going to happen today?
-Strawberries and cream.
To up his chances of making it on to the final menu, Tom needs to do well today.
And after yesterday's theatrics, the other chefs are keeping close tabs on him.
I think Tom's going to pull something out of his back pocket.
He's walking round saying, "I'm doing strawberries and cream,"
with a little grin on his face, so I'm assuming that we're going to see something pretty special, I think.
Last time, although his dessert scored highly in the heats,
it failed to win the judges over, so he's made some tweaks.
Gardeners' World just going past.
Another unassuming garnish from Mr Kerridge.
Not only is he making the judges pick their own fruit, he's serving the other elements
in strawberry punnets for sharing, rather than plating them individually.
Tom's dessert has got Andrew seriously worried about his own hopes of making the top three now.
He seems to hit the nail on the head every time, with getting everything right -
the vivid ideas, and that sort of entertainment which he brings.
As Tom brings his dessert to the pass, the other chefs feel the fear.
There we go, chaps. Go careful with her.
I'm telling you what, that is frightening.
-You have really pulled it out of the bag this time, big boy.
That looks amazing.
Tom also has very high hopes for his chances in this round.
I think my dessert should be in the top three.
I think it should. It looks great, I'm really happy with it.
-The garden's arrived!
I wish I could grow strawberries like that.
-Mine never look like that.
-There we go, some for you.
So, superabundance of strawberries.
I did want to have some PYO ones.
In this respect, it's an absolutely fantastic dessert.
It's very interactive, we've all had to share,
we've all had to do something for one another.
It's like being back in the playground, really, isn't it?
This is a pudding to play with.
I think it's great. The problem I have,
is I don't particularly like the flavour of most of it.
I think Tom has gone completely to town on the idea
and then the gastronomy is left behind.
I think with the jelly, it could be slightly looser.
I think there's an acidity that it doesn't need.
The other thing to me which has badly let the side down,
as far as I'm concerned, aerated cream has no place near even the most mediocre of strawberries.
The jelly I think is actually too strong.
I think he's got vinegar in there, there's some acidity that's coming through.
We've got a great concept here, but we haven't got,
I'm afraid, I think, a great pudding.
So the judges are still not bowled over by Tom's dessert.
Will his fellow chefs agree that it's a triumph of presentation over taste?
For visual aspect, he's won hands down.
-Got a bit of theatre there.
-Without a doubt.
-A little bit of sorbet.
It's really fresh, and a lot of flavour to it.
That's really good.
-Those meringues are great.
-You can't get fresher than that, can you?
That's interaction to you.
You're pulling them off, digging in here, get some more of that in you.
I love the pick your own element but I hated the fluffy cream bit.
Strawberries deserve better - seven.
I thought the whole pick your own thing was amazing and great,
but nothing tasted very good.
I just was disappointed in it. I gave it a six.
I feel a bit funny about this because Tom's responded to what we asked him to do.
He's made the whole pudding far more interactive
but forgot about the content of the pudding.
These strawberry fields are not forever, six.
Visually and conceptually, I thought it was absolutely spot-on.
He understood what he needed to do.
When he executed it, it was very poorly done.
For that, I'm giving it a six.
A disappointing score for Tom, then.
Scotland's Michael Smith is next to serve.
After a disastrous start to the week,
he now rivals Lisa with two top three spots.
He's hoping to make it a hat-trick with his
oatmeal and hazelnut meringues with raspberries and cream.
I mean business with the pudding.
There's a few hidden surprises in there.
I really want Scotland to finish with a big bang.
Michael's spent all afternoon making the many meringues needed to construct his tower.
Michael's been cooking some great dishes
and his simplicity is really, really fantastic.
As he carefully assembles his dessert, his rivals watch anxiously.
Is he about to pull another winner out of the bag?
Is he going to bribe the judges with the whisky?
Why not? A good idea if it works.
It's definitely going to be a spectacle on the table
because there's so much height on it and the way it's presented.
Could be the one to get three in the top three?
He's on a roll, isn't he? He had one bad day and that's it.
-He's kind of...
-Pulled it back big-time.
-Pulled it back big-time.
Michael finishes the tower with freeze-dried raspberries,
shards of honeycomb and raspberry paper.
But Tom is distinctly unimpressed.
Just to me, it lacked that magic spark.
It looked spectacular, but as I was looking at it,
it didn't make me want to dive in and start eating it.
Michael brings his meringue tower to the pass,
hoping it'll prove to be another show-stopper.
OK, just tell them to go crazy.
I think my dish should bring fun, it should bring a visual spectacle,
hopefully it's got all of those things.
After that, I'd really love people to dig in and stuff their faces.
-It's a Philip Treacy hat.
-An Ascot hat.
-Carmen Miranda hat.
-It's fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.
-I think it looks better.
I think part of the genius of this dish
is that you have to help yourself with your fingers.
Everybody's got to reach out.
It's not, "Can I serve you?" It's grab for yourself.
Thank you. If you'd be so kind as to remove the bottle from the middle.
Oh, you can pull it out, can't you?
Out she comes.
It is as I remember it, a monument of meringue.
It's far better than before. I can actually taste the oatmeal now.
There's far more flavour, far more flavour in the cream.
It's a much better pudding.
The oatmeal's right, it really enhances it.
It cuts that sweetness, it gives that nuttiness, it's very good.
What I really love about it, it has vulgarity.
It's not Eiffel Tower, this is the Blackpool Tower.
That's what it is, Blackpool Tower in meringue.
I just don't think you can fault it.
It is faultless.
Michael has really gone to town on the spirit of the competition.
I think there are more gastronomic dishes,
but I don't think it's un-gastronomic.
Anybody who finishes on this particular dessert
will go wobbling off into the night, having been seriously well fed.
A positive reaction from the judges.
Will his rivals go mad for his meringues too?
It's a great sharing aspect.
I think the flavours and the visual aspect's lovely.
The raspberry is very nice. It cuts the sweetness, doesn't it?
I don't know if the meringue is crunchy enough for me.
It's very chewy. It goes into a ball in your mouth.
Like chewing gum.
It's got no definite texture to it.
It's quite brittle, isn't it? I see what you're saying.
I'm not crazy about it. I'd rather have traditional meringue.
I've had half of one and I'm done.
The meringues were amazing,
it was genius with the whisky at the end.
For that, I'm giving it a nine.
It is a Mad Hatter pudding, great for Leadenhall,
slight question over the gastronomy but beautiful piece of work, eight.
My worry about it was, does it show the skill
and delicacy that we're after?
I think not. So I'm giving it an eight.
Michael's mountain of meringue, what a marvellous monument of a pudding.
This is a very competitive area,
there's been some very technical cooking.
This wasn't quite up there, so it's eight for me.
A very respectable result, piling more pressure on Andrew,
who has to get a top three ranking today
or has no chance of going to the banquet.
He's hoping his celebration of Yorkshire rhubarb,
including rhubarb jelly and custard, rhubarb schnapps
and rhubarb and pistachio filled Yorkshire puddings
will be the dish that gets him in the running.
Andrew's pudding was literally a case of
rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.
I hope he leaves it exactly as it was,
because if he comes in with anything different, I shall cry,
because that was the most delicious dish.
I agree with you.
If he touches this, I'm going to be really upset because it was perfect.
A thing of great beauty.
The fact that he hasn't made it into the top three,
I think will be really rankling with him.
I expect he'll be making a huge effort today.
Andrew's had a difficult week.
His first two courses bombed, and yesterday,
the narrowly missed out on a top-three spot for his suckling pig,
the dish he had high hopes for.
It's his last chance to prove himself, as Chris is quick to remind him.
-Are you nervous?
-No, not really.
-Have you seen Lisa's?
What do you think so far?
Good again, it's high standard.
Every course has been, like, one, two, three, four.
You can but try.
With so much to do,
Andrew quickly gets on with making his pistachio cream.
If you don't make a course then it changes the whole thing.
It's up to us to still push on.
The competition's not over till it is over.
In the heat, Andrew had trouble with his elderflower rice pudding,
and with so much at stake,
he can't afford for anything to go wrong today.
Have you made it any special way or just normal?
Elderflower cordial. It's got quite a lot of citric acid in it.
It kept splitting in the heat.
I've been adding it gradually so I don't have any dramas.
He then puts pistachio cream and rhubarb compote into his Yorkshire puddings,
hoping his dessert is good enough to get the high marks he badly needs.
You think this will get in the top three?
Yes, the comments that I got back from the judges last time were brilliant.
Hopefully, same again.
Andrew pours out his rhubarb schnapps
and puts it on his silver stand,
bringing everything to the pass under the gaze of the chefs.
There we are, sir.
That's what's known as a celebration of Yorkshire rhubarb.
He's been very quiet all day. He knew this was his last chance.
It looked like a lovely, sweet, tea room kind of dessert,
and if he's nailed that, that could be a top three contender.
Will this dish turn it around for Andrew,
or will the sheer standard of the competition push him down the rankings again?
I hope that's going to be my top three dish this week.
So, fingers crossed.
What do you think, Angela?
I feel that I've gone back into a Jane Austen novel.
I really do feel I could be having high tea somewhere.
It looks fabulous.
It's a very smart idea.
Not too sweet, distinct flavour of rhubarb
and perfume from star anise which goes particularly well with rhubarb.
I've just taken a bite of this little Yorkshire pudding
and I'd forgotten it's stuffed full of pistachio custard.
It's divine. So far, so good.
I have to say, I've eaten my Yorkshire pudding.
That's the best thing I've eaten so far today.
By and large, I'm against these mini desserts on a thing,
but I think he's really pulled it off here.
I'm quite excited to try everything because it sort of looks like it's going to be good.
I mean, I think rice pudding, rhubarb, I think great combination.
My only thing, it's hard. It's sticking in my teeth.
It's not quite cooked.
The balance between the sharp fruit and the creaminess,
which is an essential part of any English pudding,
that wonderful sense of indulgence is just right.
Oliver is silenced.
You cannot really get much better than that as testament
that it's good food.
I'm really happy with this dessert.
It's one of those things that, you know, makes the competition worthwhile for me.
So, are the other chefs convinced this is the dish
that will put Andrew back in the game?
-The pistachio's lovely, isn't it?
-Hywel, you've done a trifle, what do you think?
-I think it's lovely.
It's a nice balance, isn't it? The chunks of blood orange are lovely.
The blood orange is beautiful, works really well with the rhubarb.
The Yorkshire pudding's really nice, really beautiful.
Not sold on the rice pudding?
Has it got a slight bite to it?
I got a little bit of a bite, but it's a bit of a...
It's a preference thing.
That rice is just on the edge, I think.
This was an artist's palette of rhubarb, nine.
Do you know, the first time we got this dish, it was perfection.
And I just prayed that Andrew would do the same thing again, exactly.
And he very nearly did, but he missed it on the rice pudding.
That rice wasn't cooked.
So it's a nine.
Andrew has demonstrated an enormous amount of skill here.
He's taken one primary ingredient, rhubarb,
and treated it so beautifully.
Teeny-weeny hitch on the rice. Otherwise, a nine.
If only he'd cooked that rice pudding, I would have given it a ten.
Instead I'm going to give it a nine.
An excellent result at last for Andrew.
After eight weeks of furious competition,
the last dish has been cooked.
Very soon, the judges will be picking their perfect banquet menu,
but which three desserts will go into the mix?
If I was a gambling man, I would say Lisa,
then me, and I think Tom.
Tom has to get it.
Good evening, chefs.
And now I have to announce the rankings in reverse order as usual.
So, in eighth place,
I'm sure that will come as something of a shock to you, Lisa.
Yeah. It is a shock, but...
We felt there were one or two technical issues with your pavlova.
And you were marked accordingly, I'm afraid.
In seventh place, it's...
-Is that a shock, Tom?
-It is a bit of a shock, yeah.
We were absolutely thrilled when your stuff walked in. It was terrific.
Unfortunately, on the palate it wasn't so good. I'm sorry.
Not far ahead of Tom in sixth place is...
It was a great looker, Aktar.
And you must have thought you were on to a winner there.
I was trying very hard.
I have to tell you there was disagreement in this matter,
and I loved it.
But, you know, we sometimes disagree with each other.
Now, in fifth place is...
Is that relief or is that surprise?
I thought it was a really good celebratory dish and had interaction.
I don't think you should be so hard on yourself, it is just very tough today.
Thank you very much.
We've now reached fourth position, and the chefs remaining are Andrew,
Michael, Paul and Hywel.
But one of you, I'm afraid, is going to miss out on our top three slot.
And I can announce that in fourth place is...
Hywel. Which means in no particular order,
the top three are Andrew, Paul and Michael.
You can tell it's been a long week!
Please would you go back to the kitchen
while we carry out our deliberations? Thank you very much indeed.
Guys, well done.
It's a fantastic result for Paul, Michael and especially Andrew,
who's finally in with a chance to go to the banquet.
This dessert, I think, could be the perfect end to the banquet. I'm a lot happier now.
I've been on a rollercoaster this week,
starting at the bottom, fish course, top three.
Then main course, top three, pudding, top three.
I'm chuffed to bits with that.
When I heard my name, my eyes just welled up and I just looked at the ground and thought
"I can't cry on Great British Menu."
The three judges now face the toughest decision of all,
choosing the final menu for the banquet from the top dishes from each course.
Well, it's part two of D-Day.
We've done the deserts and now it is decision time. It is menu making.
I'm going to vote for that one. I want that one.
Michael has three chances to win his place.
Each day I seem to be getting closer and closer to that final banquet.
I'm almost envisaging the party in my head,
and Scotland's going to be there in some shape or form.
Paul and Lisa have two chances, and the others just one.
Yeah, I'm really, really nervous waiting for the scores. I'm churning up inside.
The chosen dishes will have to get the party started
and keep people talking.
There has to be an element of drama in Leadenhall Market.
There has to be this, you know, you have to take that out, for example. You've got to take it out.
If I didn't get into the banquet, I'd be really, really gutted.
But if I was to get into it, it would blow me away.
It would flip my whole life upside down.
Selecting the dishes for the perfect menu won't be easy.
Each course must complement the next.
To remind you, these were two outstanding dishes by any standards.
And the banquet must be the meal of a lifetime for all the unsung heroes
around the country who work tirelessly to bring people together
and have inspired the chefs in this competition.
You see that. You can see that being carried in, can't you? It being sorted out,
handed round, people helping themselves.
I would love to get to that banquet and take the guys in the community.
It would be an honour to cook for them.
I'm really nervous at the moment.
-I want this.
-We haven't got a main course.
I don't care. The pudding is most important.
That's the fish course, that's the fish course.
I absolutely 100% hope it's Wales.
-You love this.
-No, get off. You can't have it.
-I think we've got a menu now.
The majority rules, go away.
-Good luck, everyone.
Finally, after much heated debate, a decision is made.
This is going to make everybody,
everybody in Leadenhall Market at the banquet happy as Larry.
It has made me happy.
It's going to look great and it will look good when it comes in.
I just would like eight courses.
For the chefs, the moment of reckoning has arrived.
It's been a long, hard week, but we have made our decision.
It gives us great pleasure to announce the dishes that will
make up the People's Banquet.
So, first, the all-important starter.
Now, in contention we have
and Chris's chicken.
So who's it going to be?
Well, I can reveal that the chef going forward to the final banquet
for the starter will be...
Well done, chief.
-How's that, Chris?
-I'm completely overwhelmed.
Now, the fish course. We have had some amazing fish courses.
Aktar's sea bass,
and Lisa's sea trout.
Now, this for me really was the pivotal dish,
because it was the hardest thing to slot into the whole menu.
So, the winner of the fish course going forward to cook
at the final banquet is...
Aktar. Well done.
-So, come on. Tell us.
-I don't think it's cool for a man to cry.
There's nothing wrong with a good cry.
I tell you why, because the transformation of that dish was amazing. Beautiful.
And a wonderful contrast, we thought, for the main course.
There were three contenders for that.
There was Paul's pork,
and Michael's lamb.
I can reveal that the meat course
will be cooked by...
-You must be pleased.
-Yeah, I'm very pleased.
It was my one chance to get to the banquet with that main course
and I'm just glad you liked it. Thank you.
Finally, the pudding, which I think of as the party food.
And in the running we have Michael's mountain of meringues,
Andrew's homage to rhubarb
and Paul's taste of the fairground.
I can tell you that the winner of the pudding course is...
Well done, Paul. Congratulations.
We would like to say to each and every one of you
that we have eaten the most spectacular food
of any competition and that each one of you are amazing chefs.
Thank you very much.
So that final banquet menu will kick off with Chris Fearon's
highly original season shake coronation chicken.
Followed by Aktar Islam's exotic wild sea bass
with coconut gravy,
soft shell crab and raw mango chutney.
For the main event, Tom Kerridge's quintessentially British
roast hog with salt-baked potatoes, and finally a nostalgic sweet treat,
Paul Ainsworth's playful taste of the fairground.
Four outstanding dishes that celebrate
the joy of food for sharing.
Congratulations. Fantastic achievement.
I'm walking on sunshine and I can't feel my feet.
I am knackered.
I feel so happy and so amazed,
and I can't describe how happy I am
that I've made it onto the People's Banquet.
This is going to be a momentous event.
I've done two years in a row.
Two years in the row I've won the main course,
and it looks like and a bit of a dab hand with a piece of meat. That's quite cool.
You know, this has got to be the feeling of winning
a Michelin star or something. It's unbelievable.
And in the true spirit of the event, the defeated chefs have been invited to attend the banquet,
with, of course, a number of their inspirational guests.
-Please come along to People's Banquet.
-We need you.
We will be there.
The contest is over,
but for the winners, the real work is just beginning.
Cooking for the judges was tough but times that by 100-fold.
Getting a little bit nervy, a little bit jumpy.
Tomorrow, the success of the spectacular People's Banquet
is on their shoulders. Can they step up to the challenge?
-How many tables are missing?
-It's only counting.
If I'm here till 4 o'clock in the morning getting it right, then I shall be.
What are you sealing them for?
The possibility of disaster is quite considerable.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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It's desserts day in the finals of the Great British Menu, and the final chance for the competing chefs to impress the judges and win a place to cook at The People's Banquet. They all want the honour of cooking for the special guests at Leadenhall Market, and at the end of this programme the judges will finally reveal the winning four dishes which will make up this year's Great British Menu.