The winners of Great British Menu 2011 prepare for the People's Banquet, one of the most important meals they will ever cook.
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The big day is finally here on Great British Menu.
For nine weeks, the cream of Britain's chefs have been put through their paces.
-I need to do my sausages!
-No talking? You're getting aggressive, there, eh?
-They've been scrutinised...
-You're sweating. Happy with the colour of that?
-Where's the heads?
-Heads are out.
Do you know, that is truly disgusting.
I think it's absolutely dreadful!
Just four chefs have made the grade and the rivals
must now work as a team to deliver
a perfect Great British Menu banquet.
We've got one task, the banquet, and we've got to deliver.
Inspired by The Big Lunch, an annual event
that encourages people across the nation to cook and eat with their neighbours,
The People's Banquet will honour local heroes
who bring people together through food.
I want everyone to go, "Oh, my God,
"That is the most amazing thing I've ever had!"
The spectacular street party will be hosted by a surprise special guest,
and the judges will make sure there's nothing left to chance.
The food that leaves this kitchen has to be perfect. It absolutely has to be perfect.
Let's face it, the possibilities of disasters is quite considerable.
Will the chefs wow the guests of honour they've invited
with their season and shake chicken in a bag,
spicy sea bass and soft shell crab,
roast hog with potatoes baked in salt pastry,
and a taste of the fairground?
It's going to be a super-sized Great British Menu.
We've got about 40 of these to do, chaps.
The scale and volume of what we're about to do
is beginning to become quite apparent.
If I'm here till four in the morning getting it right, then I shall be.
Anything could happen.
-I think I might have messed it up, here.
-How many tables are missing?
-knows, it's only counting!
Come on, come on. Hurry up!
-Fast as you like.
-This is it now. You know, crunch time.
It's a couple of days before the banquet
and main course winner Tom Kerridge is going back to visit a group in North London
who really inspired him during the competition.
The Back To Earth food project,
based in the Broadwater Farm Community Centre,
provides affordable meals, warmth and companionship to local people.
Tom was so knocked out by the work that Lucy and the other volunteer cooks were doing
that he made them a promise about the banquet.
I would truly love it if you could be there.
-If I get there, you're coming!
When I first came here, I was inspired.
I came away enthralled by the hard work that these guys put in
for the whole community, and they do it for nothing.
And you just think it's a great opportunity for me
to get these people to the banquet.
It's a chance to repay them.
So, having been promised an invitation,
how would they react to Tom's news that they were actually going?
Hello, girls, you'd better get your glad rags on,
we're going to the banquet!
-Oh, my gosh!
I might need a bit of a help, and I know how good you are in here,
so if you fancy popping along early, I could do with an extra pair of hands.
And I promise you'll have plenty of time to go and put your big posh frock on
and do your hair and do whatever girls do to make themselves look beautiful.
We got a deal.
All the hard work that you put in for all these people, you know,
I'd love to give back to you by cooking for you. It would mean a great deal to me.
Oh, my gosh!
In Birmingham, Aktar Islam is heading back to see his friends and family
who've supported him throughout his career and the competition.
They've organised a party to send him on his way.
Aktar has done us proud.
The least we could do is celebrate with him for a drink,
and wish him all the best
for the banquet.
I thought it was a couple of beers with a couple of close friends.
I never knew I was this popular! HE LAUGHS
Many of these people have played a part in catapulting Aktar
to success on Great British Menu, and some, like his friend David Colcombe,
will be at the banquet to see his moment of triumph.
I'm very proud, very humbled to be there on Sunday,
and looking forward to it to see him actually produce
what he put a lot of hard work into.
Let's just hope he's on time on Sunday, that's all I'll say.
Otherwise, maybe I'll have to get in there and give him a hand myself!
Aktar has struggled to deliver on time during the competition,
and his fish dish for the banquet has to be perfectly cooked and on schedule.
So his friends are giving him the ideal gift -
a powerful alarm clock.
This is something that wants to be kept on the side, in the kitchen,
-and if you let me down, I'll kill you.
-I'm not going to let you down.
I can guarantee you one thing - I'll be bang on time.
Aktar has a small army of chefs to help him when he's cooking in his restaurant,
but he'll have to cope without them in London.
When I want something done, before I can think it,
they've got it done, and I'm going to miss not having them there.
It's going to be a tough one.
Back down in London, Tom has to get straight into the Great British Menu kitchen.
He's got his work cut out with his complicated roast hog main course.
The pork belly has to be cooked separately from the crackling.
The cubed fritters include four parts of the pig's head,
the trotters have to be boned and stuffed,
and there's also salt crust potatoes, salad,
gravy and sauce to prepare.
I'm here because I've got so much work to do.
The scale of this dish is massive.
Doing pigs' heads in this massive pot, here. I've got six pigs' heads.
I've got eight water baths all full of skin.
And I've had six boxes of pork bellies.
I'm a little apprehensive.
The sheer vast quantity of stuff.
That's the bit that's making me nervous.
And he knows what he's talking about.
Tom is the only chef in Great British Menu history
to cook the prestigious main course at the banquet twice.
I won the banquet last year.
I know how difficult the actual function
of sending 100 people's main courses out.
All four of us really, really need to be on our game to make sure that all four courses go out,
and go out as that chef wants it to go out.
It's the day before the banquet,
which will be held right in the heart of London,
just a stone's throw from St Paul's Cathedral.
Nestling amongst the super-modern skyscrapers of the capital's financial district,
Leadenhall Market dates all the way back
to the 14th century and is a superbly preserved architectural gem.
The ancient cobbled streets and vaulted glass roof
make it ideal for a street party,
and tomorrow, 100 people will be arriving to enjoy the meal of their lives
in this fabulous location.
You need top-notch facilities to prepare a first-rate banquet,
and the chefs will be using the vast underground kitchen
beneath the iconic Lloyd's building.
But there's one huge problem.
Although it's a summer banquet and Leadenhall Market itself is covered,
part of the route there from the Lloyd's building isn't.
If it rains, the food and the entire event could be ruined.
The judges have foreseen that very real danger,
so Matthew Fort is on site first thing to confront it.
I'm trying to work out how we're going to get the food
from the kitchen, in there, to Leadenhall Market, up there.
Hopefully, it will leave the kitchen hot,
and it's got to arrive hot at the street party.
Part of the walkway is actually covered.
If it is raining tomorrow, we've got protection.
But the roofing stops and we go out into the outside world,
and who knows what may be coming down then?
And here we hit the wide open spaces, and it's beginning to rain.
It is a worrying sign.
If the rain persists over the next 36 hours,
the chefs will be facing a nightmare.
It's exactly one minute 22 seconds to this point here.
The food has still got to get to the far end of the banquet, down there, which is at least another minute.
There'll be 100 people have got to be given their food hot.
And then, of course, there's the weather.
And in typical British fashion, the rain only gets worse.
It's 8am and the chefs are beginning to arrive.
This is a massive day for Belfast chef Chris Fearon,
who's more used to cooking in his brasserie than a banquet.
He won his way here with his innovative starter of
season and shake coronation chicken.
And his guests of honour will be coming all the way from his home
in County Down.
A few months ago, Chris met Pamela Houston
from a local community cookery school.
Got some fabulous fish here, today.
And he promised her a place at the banquet, should he win.
-I'd like you to come. Would you come?
-Thank you very much, that would be fantastic.
Having travelled from Northern Ireland, Chris has arrived early to get ahead,
but fellow chef Tom has already pipped him to the post.
-Morning, chef. How we doing?
-Yeah, I'm good, man.
-How we doing?
So what have we got here, Tom?
You have got a lot there, haven't you?
Bacon. Thank you very much.
Bellies. Trotters. Here you are, Muscles.
More pigs' heads.
At least you haven't given yourself too much to do(!)
The unfamiliar underground kitchen at Lloyd's will be their home from now on.
Tom and Chris get straight to work.
Chris is facing a mountain of chicken for his starter.
This is the first course to go in. It needs to be executed to perfection.
The people are going to have to go, "Ooh!" when they see it. I want that. I want to deliver that.
Tom gets started on his massive eight-part main course,
beginning with a line-up of stuffed trotters.
Pull the clingfilm so it stretches the trotter.
-There we go.
-OK. How many to do?
We've got about 40 of these to do, chaps.
-We better crack on, chef.
-Crack on, chef.
All the boys that are working here, I've pinched them all.
There are eight chefs all doing my prep work.
Until the others turn up, I'm the lucky one.
It's not long before the final two winning chefs show up.
Paul Ainsworth has made the long journey from Cornwall
and is surprised to see that Aktar's got here at exactly the same time.
-On time! It happens! Miracles, mate.
-How you doing, buddy?
-I'm good, yeah. How are you?
-Can't believe it.
-It's finally here.
-How you doing, chief?
-Hey, morning, chefs.
I wondered what time you would get here.
-How long have you been here?
-Bright and early, me and Chris were here.
Well, one thing's for sure, I'm not going to be late.
-THEY LAUGH Apart from this morning. Yeah.
-I'm not a morning person.
-If you're not fast, you're last. I've got everybody working for me.
-First come, first served!
Phil's doing me potatoes, I've got Matt over there doing bacon.
Apple sauce already on the go over there.
Trotters being vac-packed down there. We've got bellies going here.
Should've set this earlier, chef. LAUGHTER
After being rivals for months,
the four winning chefs now need to form a close-knit team.
Helping them is a brigade of sous chefs who need to be quickly brought up to speed.
Taking both sides off the fish, then the tail end off.
Aktar's fish course includes both sea bass and soft shell crab,
and the sauce alone has 16 ingredients.
Previously, cooking for the judges, that was tough,
but time that by a hundred fold, and this is going to be
one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.
Paul's getting started on his "taste of the fairground" dessert,
beginning with the coconut custard.
The combination of high gastronomy
with incredible presentation
made it a favourite with the judges, but now he's got his work cut out.
Today, scaling it up to 100 in another new kitchen...
Yeah, it's a massive, massive task.
Paul's journey to the banquet began down in Newlyn.
His grandfather, who Paul adored, was a fisherman,
so he was keen to meet helpers at the Fishermen's Mission,
run by Superintendent Keith Dixon.
It is a place to meet, it's a place where people can be accepted for who they are
and they can enjoy good food.
Ali Roe runs the kitchen at the Mission, and Paul was so impressed
with the work they do, he promised Keith and Ali a place at the banquet.
-Would you like to be my guest of honour?
-I'd be honoured.
-I don't want a kiss, it's all right.
Now, Paul's one of the winning chefs at the People's Banquet
and even he can't quite believe it.
Never in a million years did I imagine
I was going to go all the way. I really, really didn't.
I think my grandad would be really, really proud,
and I really hope he's looking down and he sees this,
cos he would be so proud of this, he really would.
Paul's success is also a win for Keith and Ali,
and they're so thrilled that they've arrived early
to wish him well.
-How are you?
-I'm very well.
-All right, then?
-What a surprise!
We've brought you these. We were wondering if you'd be able
to serve your "taste of the fairground" in these boats. Could you manage that?
Yeah, I'll do my best. Fantastic. It's great to see you as well.
Yeah, good to see you again.
-I'm so glad I got you to the banquet. I really am.
-Take care. See you later.
I was really excited to see the Fishermen's Mission at the banquet, but for them to come in the kitchen
and surprise me like that, it's emotional.
I don't know what to say. It's fantastic. I'm really, really touched.
With all chefs labouring hard on their prep,
Oliver Peyton arrives on site. As a veteran restaurateur,
he knows the presentation of the dishes will be key for the banquet.
It's an important part of this year's brief.
I want to make sure that everybody feels how the judges felt
when we picked those dishes.
I want everyone to go, "Oh, my God! That is the most amazing thing I've ever had."
I want everyone else to enjoy it as much as we have.
I think all these props are looking pretty good, actually.
This was the whole spirit of the competition that we talked about.
We wanted to see big boards being paraded down Leadenhall Market,
and this is it.
But there's one chef who's really struggling,
and with his dish first up, he has to impress.
It doesn't have to be all uniform and exactly the same. It's all mishmash, you know?
Some of the props are a wee bit naff.
It's like something you get in your shower.
It's very easy to win a competition based on presentation to three judges,
but when you're in a place like Leadenhall Market with lots of people coming,
transferring that detail is a different story.
Having got wind that Chris is worried sick about his props,
Oliver decides to step in.
-Hello, Chris. What's all this stuff?
-Yeah, I know.
-I'm struggling a wee bit with the props.
-These are props?
Yeah. I thought it'd be a good idea to mix it up a wee bit, but I'm really, really...
-I know. I think I might have messed it up, here.
What is this? Pine? Was that a sort of...
I think it was a moment of madness, to be honest.
-Some of this stuff is really not right at all.
-No, I know it's not.
-It's really not right.
This could be salvaged. As long as stuff doesn't fall off the back.
-Get a piece of wood, paint it up.
-I really want to do this justice,
and I think I've really messed it up, here.
I really, really am nervous about this.
It's getting late, and the other chefs are finishing their prep work for the day,
but Paul has one more task he has to complete -
the trickiest part of his dessert.
It's really important to do the honeycomb tonight
cos I've got a hundred of these to perfect on to the sticks.
The worst thing with honeycomb is when it's chewy on the teeth.
You want it to just... make sure that it's nice and...
just basically dissolves in your mouth.
But as he pours his first batch of honeycomb, his worst fears are realised.
Paul's overheated the sugar,
which means the mixture's too dense to rise.
Has that come out right?
No, you see it's lost a bit of height to it. It's just not right, so start again.
I want to make sure they're all perfect before I leave.
If I'm here till four o'clock in the morning getting it right, then I shall be.
Having never made his dessert on this scale before,
and with time against him, will Paul manage to deliver?
It's 6am on the day of the People's Banquet.
Early sunshine is bathing the City Of London,
and the beautiful old Leadenhall Market tucked away at its heart.
Hopefully, yesterday's rainstorm won't be coming back.
The chefs are facing one of the biggest challenges of their lives,
delivering four spectacular courses for this unique event.
-This is it, then.
-Here we go. Let's get cracking.
11 hours of hard labour lie ahead of them.
The banquet is a colossal task, and it will take every ounce
of their artistry, skill and stamina to pull it off.
Failure is not an option.
Brasserie chef Chris Fearon is more used to burgers than banquets,
but today, he faces the daunting prospect of serving the first course.
It's hard. You just need to pay attention to what you're doing
to get this correct, you know?
Each piece of chicken has to be done perfectly, and for a banquet this size,
I'll have a big red face over this stove trying to get each one right.
Self-taught chef Aktar is also feeling anxious
about his delicately-spiced sea bass.
As always, what's on my mind,
fish is a very difficult course cos you've got to get it bang on.
I know today there's no room for error. It needs to happen.
One way or another, we'll get it done.
Tom's serving the main course, and even though he's been here before,
he's beginning to feel the magnitude of the task ahead.
I think the reality of it, the scale and the volume of what
we're about to do is beginning to become quite apparent.
Paul never dreamed he'd make it to the banquet, but now he's serving the dessert course,
which must be a triumphant finale.
My nerves are definitely starting to kick in,
cos last up isn't always a good thing.
The chefs can't let their nerves get the better of them.
The special community guests,
who they've had the honour of inviting to the banquet,
will be arriving in less than five hours now,
and they can't let them down.
Keeping the kitchen on track this morning is Prue Leith's responsibility.
I'm going to do my damnedest to see that the food leaves this kitchen
on time and absolutely perfect.
-Good morning, chefs.
So, all right, guys, has anybody got any problems?
The oil. I don't want... There's a lot of spice in the batter,
so I think we have to cool it down and change the oil over
before Tom gets his pigs' heads in.
Are you frying up here as well?
-See, I've got doughnuts, and I don't want your spice...
-In your doughnuts.
-..in my doughnuts.
It might be a real problem if you're all using the deep fryer.
Doing multiple oil changes could throw everyone off schedule,
so Prue will have to find a way around it.
Aktar's facing a different challenge with his fish course.
It relies on a complex mix of spices which are difficult to scale up
for a whole shoal of sea bass and a hundred soft-shell crabs.
With spices, for example, if you're cooking for ten, it's one tablespoon of, say, chilli.
If you're cooking for 20, you can't just double it.
You can't do it like that. It doesn't work like that.
The spices work, it's so complex, so, you know,
the hardest thing is using that intuition and getting it right.
Cos right now, I've got no chance to mess up.
It's right the first time, or I've messed the banquet up.
Tom's trying to perfect his gravy
and still has his salt crust potatoes to tackle.
How we doing for time? We good?
Do you think we're all right, or are we pushing it a bit?
We're pushing it. We'll be all right.
Paul had to work late into the night to remake his ruined honeycomb.
He still has to char a hundred marshmallows.
Following the discussion with Prue, Paul's biggest problem -
finding a way to fry his doughnuts in fresh oil - was solved, though.
He's nipped in ahead of the others.
Come up to the top kitchen because I want to be first
in these fryers, and because the oil's brand new.
It's lovely and clean, full of all the goodness in the oil,
so it's going to get a lovely, crisp shell on the doughnut.
And most importantly, they're not going to taste of chicken,
then fish, then pigs' heads. So, know what I mean, I'm first in.
Outside, the preparations are well under way.
Like the food, the setting must be spectacular because in about three hours' time,
100 guests will be arriving and expecting a day to remember.
The waiters are being briefed,
and Leadenhall Market, the street party, is coming to life.
Matthew's turned up to take charge of the final preparations.
I hope today that the sun stays out. I think I'm, sort of, official host.
My responsibility is to make sure that everybody has a very, very good time.
The best way I can do that is by having a great time myself.
This way. Follow me.
His first job today is to test the gong that will introduce each course of the people's banquet.
-Oh, the power!
Oliver's making sure that the chefs deliver spectacular presentation
by sorting out the props,
and having worked some magic overnight, he has good news for Chris.
-Looks really smart.
-Looks better, right?
-You done good.
-The boy done good.
-The boy done good. It's perfect.
-We have some technical issues, though.
-Why, what's up?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
I'm not going to do that. Who's going to do that?
With the huge responsibility of serving the first course,
Chris now has the added pressure of having to find time
to stick 100 stickers on to his chicken bags. If he can't manage it,
the presentation of his dish will be ruined.
The winning chefs had to fight off stiff opposition to get to the banquet,
but the runners up - Lisa Allen, Michael Smith, Hywel Jones
and Andrew Pern - are all here to support them today.
-Hello, chaps. How we doing?
-All right. Good to see you.
-All under control.
-Is it? Out of control!
Managed to save you the last drop - the good stuff.
Aktar, are we going to be eating on time, are we, or...? Hey!
ALARM CLOCK RINGS
I've got that, I've got everyone cracking the whip.
-Get your whiskey down you.
-Oh, yeah, cheers. Cheers, chef.
-All the best, guys.
-Enjoy it, guys.
-See you soon.
But the runners-up aren't here for a jolly.
They have a job to do. The judges have set them the task
of providing nibbles for the guests as they arrive.
I know that Hywel's actually cooking the venison sausages that he cooked for his rugby club,
and I think a little nibble beforehand, before the main event, should go down very nicely.
Hywel, Lisa, Michael and Andrew
have brought their inspirational community groups with them
from across the country to help get the party started.
Hywel's guests are from his native Wales.
His son plays for Newport Rugby Club, and Sharon Simmons cooks for the hungry young rugby players.
Today, Sharon and rugby club manager Gareth Hale are serving up
some Welsh treats for the guests, who are all beginning to arrive now.
-I'm going to do some little venison sausage rolls today, made with Welsh venison.
Lisa Allen has brought along Anne Croft and her husband, Brian,
who she met at the Lancashire Day Heritage Luncheon in Eccles.
When she invited me to come today, it's just been magic from first go, really. Yeah.
Incredible experience, you know, to be here on the other side -
do some nibbles, show off Lancashire, and then get to eat the fantastic food.
Michael Smith is here from the Isle of Skye with Fiona MacVicar
and Kenneth MacDonald, who run a supper-and-pudding bingo night.
Three and five, 35.
Now they've made the long journey south to be here today.
The real inspiration for me this year was knowing that the final banquet was for the people.
It was just for you guys -
all the people who do such hard work for the community.
Andrew Pern's guest from Yorkshire is Alison Souter,
who runs a tea club in Helmsley.
We've brought some Yorkshire parkin here, we're doing various teas.
A brilliant pantry of food literally on our doorstep, so, that's what it's all about.
So, we'll get the old party started here, I think.
Back in the kitchen, all the chefs are under extreme pressure,
but most of all, Tom.
He's only just started putting his potatoes into salted dough.
I'm going to make 28 of them, so I've got a few spare.
And at the moment, I've got six.
Checking me watch, getting a little bit nervy, a little bit jumpy.
Tom could really do with some help, so it's an ideal moment
for his guest of honour, Lucy Charles, to show up.
-I won't squeeze you, I'm covered in flour. You all right?
How are you?
-It's good. It's nice to be in this big kitchen.
I mean, my kitchen back at our community centre's quite big,
but this is, you know, it's on a nice, massive scale.
So, you got something for me to do?
Yeah, I'll tell you what, I'll put this together, and you can tie it up.
All right, let's give it a go.
That's it, just gently pull it through,
-flip that over, so it looks like a sack of potatoes.
-I'll get going on the next one.
-All right. Hey, presto!
Chris's family - his mum, sister and fiancee -
have also stepped in to help him with the stickers for his bags.
What I want yous to do, right, once you've got it like that,
put the sticker just there.
-Sure, a monkey could do that.
-Well, good, good. Yous are my three wee monkeys.
He can only hope that his family will get the job done in time,
because he has to start filling the bags ready for service soon.
Outside in the market,
yet more guests have arrived to enjoy the warm-up to the main event.
They come from all over the country,
but they all have one thing in common.
It's their hard work in the community that's being celebrated today.
Oliver and Prue can't resist sampling some of the nibbles.
I can hone in on a pudding from a hundred miles away,
trust me on that. Great.
-Those are the crisps.
-Can we eat this one?
This looks great. It's amazing.
Lots of Thai, Malay ingredients, lemon grass, coconut milk.
It's nearly time for the main event, The People's Banquet,
and the excitement is building.
It's great, everybody coming together, all meeting up. Think of the buzz going on.
-It's a great start to the party.
-I just think it's absolutely fabulous.
When I start speaking with my hands, you know I'm excited.
It looks brilliant. Seeing all these people set up here, it looks really vibrant and exciting.
Gareth Hale, from Hywel's local rugby club, can't believe his luck.
It's great to be one of the hundred guests.
And one of my hobbies is eating, so looking forward to it. It'll be great.
With just moments to go before the first course is served,
everyone's relieved that the weather is holding so far.
-Right, we all know what we're doing?
In the kitchen, Chris gathers his brigade together for a final briefing.
OK? We're going to make this look really, really good on the way out.
Happy? Happy? Happy? I'm happy. Right. Good. Excellent. Let's do it.
Upstairs, Matthew is walking a special guest
to her seat at the top table.
Barbara Windsor, star of the East End and street party veteran -
is about to kick off the banquet.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.
I am standing beside
the Queen of London, Barbara Windsor,
who'll be introducing us to today's banquet.
Good afternoon and welcome to
The People's Banquet!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Back in the kitchen, it's all systems go.
Most of Chris's season 'n' shake coronation chicken
must be assembled at the last minute.
There's enormous pressure to finish off his huge pile of chicken pieces,
making sure each one is absolutely perfect.
Careful, don't let them burn too quickly.
Don't turn them too soon, boys, OK?
You are the people who have supported the winning chefs -
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Careful the thighs don't fall apart.
When you're happy with caramelisation, I'll add butter then.
Don't add too much, or it'll kill it.
It's you, their friends, family
and local heroes
who have helped inspire today's amazing dishes.
So today's banquet is their thank you to you all,
and I hope that by being here at this fabulous street party,
you'll have lots of fun with some old friends
and make some new ones too.
With the speech coming to a close,
Chris quickly finishes off the curried mayonnaise
and stirs it into the coleslaw.
Now, I'm absolutely starving,
so shall we get started?
So it's with great pleasure
I declare The People's Banquet open!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Time for Chris to bag up 100 portions of chicken,
-but there's a problem.
-CHRIS: Pick it up, pick it up.
Some of the bags are being sealed up, which will spoil the chicken.
Don't seal them!
What are you sealing them for? Come on!
They're supposed to put the seasoned shake into it.
Outside at the street party, Chris' special guests from his community -
the Mourne Scoil - are excited to be at this amazing event.
Faster, faster, faster.
But Chris is fighting against time to finish bagging the chicken
and placing the bags, coleslaw and spice mix on his special racks.
Come on, boys.
With anticipation at a high,
another person who is as nervous as Chris is his mother, Grainne.
As she announces the arrival of the first course,
she can only hope that her son will not disappoint
these expectant guests.
Come on, boys. Here you go.
Finally, the first dishes of the Great British Menu People's Banquet
are beginning their journey to Leadenhall Market.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Oh, my goodness!
With the first bags hitting the tables,
will Chris' inventive idea
of season 'n' shake get the party started?
One, two, three...
MATTHEW: Shake, rattle and roll!
CHRIS: Keep pushing, keep pushing!
Back in the kitchen,
the bagging production line is still in full swing
and Chris is anxious to make sure that each one
-is as good as the last.
-Please watch the bags, boys.
Come on, boys.
Chris's guests from his family and the cookery school
are amongst the first to tuck in.
That just takes coronation chicken to a whole different level.
A brilliant start to a great day and a great banquet.
How many more left, how many more left?
With the waiters whisking the stands out of the kitchen,
Chris loses count of how many tables have already been served.
-Stop, stop, stop. What?
It's over, and there's no-one one more relieved than Chris.
Could've done that for 1,000!
But he still doesn't have any idea what the guests thought of his dish.
I mean, the whole idea is fantastic.
It's very innovative and really novel.
Put smiles on people's faces and you're winning straightaway.
What was great - there were loads of us eating with our hands,
which is what street food's about, at a street party, you know,
and it was just getting in and mucking in, which I thought was fab.
As the guests get stuck in,
Barbara Windsor has a special request.
Can I take that for my old man?
Oh, marvellous! Look, takeaway bags.
That's it. I never thought of that!
I haven't got a dog, but I've got a husband.
Veteran chef Richard Corrigan,
who judged this dish in the heats,
has come to the banquet to make sure Chris delivers today
and now he wants to give him his verdict personally.
-Happy with the chicken?
-Yeah, yeah. Hard to do it for the big numbers.
But I was happy with it.
-Thanks very much.
Real sense of fun. You got the Great British Menu in one, really.
Bit of shake, bit of salad, off you go, real street party.
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, you.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
With his service over, Chris escapes from the kitchen
to find out just how well his chicken has gone down,
first with his mother.
What did you think of that? Good? Yeah?
I am so proud of Chris.
He is so confident and happy in what he does.
Of course I am proud.
Then Catherine, his fiancee.
We all had a good shake and a good cheer
and the cheer seemed to pass down
like a Mexican wave almost when everybody got their bag.
The cheer moved down.
This has been such an original idea, I cannot believe it.
It's daft. I'm in my seventies
and I've never had curry in me coleslaw.
So Chris's starter has got
the street party off to a swinging start.
Next up, it's Aktar's fish course.
His complex dish -
wild sea bass served with coconut gravy and soft shelled crab -
must be spiced to perfection and delivered on time,
not Aktar's strong point.
Glynn Purnell judged Aktar in the heats,
so knows his timing issues all too well.
He's popped into the kitchen to make sure he's on track.
-How's it going?
The fish is all ready. I am as prepped as I can get.
-Prepped as you can get.
-Got a lovely team.
We're going to be bang-on.
-Don't let me down, huh?
-Never. Never. I wouldn't want to do that.
See you in a bit. Thank you.
Very nervous, getting that first one out.
Things do get a bit manic and that's where
you have to really step up the game.
As far as I'm aware, I've done all the prep I can.
Aktar's friends, brother and his special guests of honour
are expecting only the very best from him.
It's great that he's finally got to the banquet
because he was talking about it when we met before.
It's great to be part of such a great banquet
for the whole of the country.
I think Birmingham will be very proud of him
when they see this, yeah. Fantastic.
Back in the kitchen, Aktar checks on the sea bass,
which is being baked blind in the oven.
To maintain its heat and moisture,
he can only open the parcels to test the fish
just minutes before service.
-How's it going?
-It's going good, we will find out now.
Oliver's come in at a critical stage.
It's time to taste the fish.
Will he think it's ready to go?
-If we've got the first one right, every one'll be perfect.
-Come on, let's...
The one I've been worried about.
Might give that a couple more minutes.
I normally leave it to rest.
-I think it's all right, you've got to go.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you. Thank you.
Fast as you like.
But then Aktar suddenly hits a problem.
As he attempts to remove a fish from its wrapper,
he finds that, worryingly, it's sticking
and beginning to fall apart.
If the fish disintegrates, it will be a disaster.
PAUL: Pair of scissors, please?
-CHRIS: Come on, come on.
-But with a bit of help from Paul,
Aktar saves the fish from collapsing.
I've got it, you keep going.
With Aktar concentrating on his sea bass,
Chris steps in to keep service on time.
Come on, come on, come on, hurry up.
Aktar's soft shell crabs can only be fried at the last minute
to ensure they're still crisp when they hit the table.
-CHRIS: Pick up, pick up.
CHRIS: Next one, next one. Come on!
With the gong sounded for the arrival of the fish course,
the first platter leaves the kitchen destined for the top table.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Will the fish be hot and succulent,
just as Aktar planned?
BARBARA: Oh, look at that!
OK, I don't know what the rest of you are eating...!
Back in the kitchen, Aktar has mastered his presentation
and is now sending out platter after platter to the waiting guests.
The community group that inspired him
have already dived into his steaming sea bass.
Yeah, I think it was good that
you were able to actually share the food on the table,
as opposed to individual portions.
I think it was good sharing food.
It made it nice. It made everyone come together and enjoy it together.
Yeah, I really enjoyed the dish.
Will his friends and family be relieved that it's all gone so well?
He has got six clocks going, I think, to make sure what he was going to do
was delivered, but didn't he deliver?! What a fantastic dish!
The flavours were just absolutely fantastic.
The presentation and flavour! And this is him, you know.
I mean, if you had presented this dish,
I would have said, "Yeah, this is HIS dish."
One of his chief rivals in the finals is equally impressed.
I thought the presentation was really dramatic. It came out,
everybody really enjoyed cutting the fish.
It got everyone talking. I think he did a really good job.
Will Glynn think he cracked it too?
Fantastic flavours. The crispy crab, soft bass.
What was nice is that I enjoyed it, and Barbara Windsor enjoyed it
and Matthew Ford enjoyed it. It just trickled all the way down the table.
A real good feel factor.
Nice interaction and a fantastic fish dish.
He's done it, Aktar's last platter is ready to go out
and he's done all of them on time.
Guys, thank you very much, man!
It all just came together, like clockwork, absolutely amazing.
The fish was perfectly cooked, the spicing was very, very delicate.
The mango salsa was sharp. It was faultless, absolutely faultless.
The guy is a genius, that is the long and short of it.
You have some dark rings around the eyes,
It's a tough life in that kitchen.
Maybe next year, we should get you in there!
Well done, the pressure's off now, enjoy the rest of the day.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Where's all the forks?
With two courses perfectly sent out,
the pressure is now on Tom Kerridge to deliver a stunning main course.
Get yourself up with a yellow board for the trotters.
He impressed the judges with his platter of pig,
salt baked potatoes and Bramley apple sauce.
But will he be able to deliver it to 100 expectant guests?
The thing about a main course is
a main course isn't one element, there's loads of elements.
It's just the sheer volume of it all that's the worrying point.
I want all of my props set up along here, with a knife and fork in it.
Tom's a perfectionist
and wants to make sure his brigade knows exactly what to do.
The fork goes in the hole.
The knife goes...
My knife box is over there, yeah.
There's one more fork!
But the food has to be as perfect as the presentation.
The crackling-wrapped pork belly is the dish's centrepiece
and it's essential that it has just the right amount of crunch.
Right, then. We'll have a check of them and see if they're all crispy.
If they've all come up.
Timing is crucial.
Too long in the oven and the crackling will be rock solid.
Not long enough and it will be soft and chewy.
Any ones that haven't, we'll look at putting back in for longer.
That one for longer.
So back in they go.
A space for one more,
and that top tray can probably come out.
What time are we going? Ten past five, yeah?
With the clock ticking, it's time to pull out all the stops.
Three minutes from service. We've just got to draw up the pigs' heads. We're about ready.
Chris is finally taking the string off,
Paul is getting the trotters out, the potatoes are done.
Ready to rock!
Upstairs, there's a party atmosphere as the guests wait for Tom's main
and his wife, Beth, is willing him on.
Oh! It's taken over the whole year, pretty much.
And we're just all really proud.
It's so heart-warming that he can do it twice.
It's just amazing. So amazing.
We're going to do a table of six first, which will be 12 trotters.
Let's start mixing salads. Loads of bacon bits with the salads.
In the kitchen, the pressure is on Tom and he's beginning to feel it.
You're going to brush, I'll show you.
Don't be shy with the salad cream. One of those per bowl.
I need twenty...four.
24 sacks, OK?
With so much going on, even he's getting confused.
Two, four, six, eight...
-10, 12, 14...
His usually jolly front is cracking under the strain.
Eight pigs' heads on the board. Eight pigs' heads on the board.
Getting Tom's complex main out of the kitchen is a military operation.
Brush with that salt mix onto the board.
Over 200 portions of meat, 24 potato sacks
and dozens of accompaniments are all ready to make their way to the 100 waiting guests.
As long as each set has got
meat, slates and salad, you're good, all right?
There's no way Tom will let the boards leave the kitchen
until all the elements of the dish are in place,
but there are so many that some are getting forgotten.
One, two, three, four, five - I've only got five.
An army of waiters is ready to go, but the food still isn't.
I'm missing one pig's head, please.
One pig's head. I'm missing one pig's head.
-We miscounted those, chef, didn't we? We're one
We've got to have counted that right, guys!
-it's only counting!
Has Tom lost control? Can he get the service back on track?
Where's cider? Cider, let's go!
Come on, chaps. Cider! Cider from the other room.
-How many tables are missing? How many tables are missing?!
In the market, Lucy and the rest of her community project
are helping Tom to recreate the perfect presentation
he gave the judges in the final.
Come on, chaps. I need this quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly.
Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go.
-thing without a tray. Just take it.
The waiting crowd has no idea
of the commotion going on behind the scenes in the kitchen,
but in the nick of time, Tom pulls it together.
His mum Jackie and wife Beth
signal the arrival of the main course.
And Tom's roast hog starts to make an appearance.
-Wow! Look at this!
-There you go. Hot to trot!
-Hot to trot.
I need one more with the cider, the veg and the apple sauce, please.
Two more waiters down this end, please! Two more waiters, please!
Last board. Let's go! Last waiter!
Here you go. Last tray of pork.
Thank you very much. Au revoir.
Before long, all 100 guests are served with the pork feast.
There were a few service issues, shall we say? But do you know what?
The kitchen side, they worked together.
Everyone pulled together as a team, and it's absolutely fantastic.
Will Tom's hog roast wow
like the main course did at last year's banquet?
-So, Oliver, you put this through?
A very good reason.
A very good reason.
Look at that, doing a wonderful job of being Mum, there.
Yeah. Crackling's great, isn't it?
For me, to have crackling at this street party banquet - wow, fabulous.
There you go. Look at that. Whoa!
Absolutely everybody at the table is in awe at the beauty of Tom's dish.
There is talking points on everything.
The quality, the cooking is superb.
You know, I still love that salad cream.
The whole dish is just amazing.
A lot of work must have gone into it. Very, very creative.
Highly presented, lovely.
It's a real challenge to do something for a main course,
to keep it all hot.
The crackling was crispy. He's a top guy.
And what does Lucy, Tom's guest of honour,
make of the dish she gave him a helping hand with in the kitchen?
I'm really proud of Tom because it's taken a lot for him to get here.
He's worked really, really hard,
and it's nice for someone like myself to come from a local community
and be involved in this massive banquet, and the preparation.
I managed to get my hands dirty, which was great,
so it's a brilliant opportunity which I'm glad and excited to be a part of.
Veteran chef Jason Atherton put Tom's dish through
with top marks in the regionals
and is thrilled to see him deliver it on banquet day.
That's how good that was!
This is the only ever time I gave a perfect ten,
and I have to tell you, I would maybe even give it 11. It was so good.
You just look around you the way complete strangers here have sat down,
they've had food to share, they've had drink to share,
and they've had words to share. And I think that's...
What more could you hope for? That's the very best you could hope for.
To be honest with you, it's one of the proudest things
I've ever achieved - winning two main courses
for the Great British Menu.
To win one is phenomenal and to come back this year again
up against such huge talent, to actually be the one cooking the main course,
yeah, what an achievement! Very, very happy. Very proud.
My little bit of this banquet's now done. That's it, it's done.
The whole journey for this year, it's over and done with, and that is quite sad.
But it's not over yet,
as Tom walks out to a hero's welcome...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
..and makes a beeline for his mum and wife.
Oh, you're making me cry again!
-You all right?
-You all right?
-Thank you very much...
Tom's family have been behind him every step of the way.
Bursting with pride, absolutely thrilled for him.
I mean, he's worked so hard, I know,
and to win it two years running is a fabulous achievement, isn't it?
Can't ask for any more.
We're just all really proud of him. Yay!
Three chefs have had their turn and now it's time for the grand finale,
and Great British Menu newcomer Paul Ainsworth
has an awful lot to live up to.
Are you, er, nervous about this, are you? The last course?
Yeah. Yeah, I am. I'm very, very nervous, erm...
-but I'm ready.
-I don't think you've got nothing to be nervous about, mate.
You've got a really good sweet here.
But Paul's not made it easy for himself.
His complicated dessert is a pick-and-mix
of raspberry curd doughnuts,
coconut custard and peanut popcorn,
and toffee apples with marshmallow.
It's a lot to get right.
Can you do a count for me now?
With over 600 individual pieces to prepare,
his fellow chefs step in to help.
Just make sure they're really packed full of the raspberry curd, please.
Right, boys, can I leave you to sugar the doughnuts,
and I'll go plate out there? It's a bit cooler.
It's time to start plating up
away from the intense heat of the kitchen,
which could destroy his dessert.
Upstairs, they're waiting expectantly for Paul's Taste of the Fairground,
and his wife Emma is on tenterhooks.
You know, I've seen him head down, just, like, you know...
focused and absolutely proud, yeah.
The kitchen is unusually quiet
as everyone focuses on the enormous task at hand.
OK, when them glasses are done, start bringing them over from the front there, guys.
-Chief, do you want to come and get the honeycomb with me?
After Paul's efforts last night, his honeycomb is now perfect,
but that's only one part of his dish.
I know how... You know, when the pressure's on,
when it's your course, I know how nervous you can get,
so I am feeling it for him.
We've all worked together on this whole banquet for so long.
The 600 pieces are ready.
Now, it's time to place them on to the specially-made stands
that will transport them to the guests.
-One more marshmallow, please.
-Here you go.
Three successful courses have gone before,
and Paul wants his finale to be the ultimate dish.
Right, ready, boys?
Yeah, let's go.
Paul's proud mum Annabelle announces the arrival of her son's hard work.
Watch your backs, watch your backs, cos I haven't got spares.
The playful final course of today's banquet
gets a rapturous reception.
That's mine. What are you lot going to have?!
What are you going to have?
Paul's sweets are going down a treat in the market.
Incredible end to the meal. I think you can see by the reaction around the table,
everyone is totally amazed by it.
Honestly, I've died and gone to heaven, for sure.
-That is really, seriously nice.
Paul's special guests from Cornwall have been bowled over.
'He epitomised the whole meal,'
about sharing, getting together, looking fantastic and tasting absolutely amazing,
so I think it was an absolutely brilliant way to end off the meal.
When he came to the mission, we knew he was really, really good,
and we just willed that he would win, get through to the final,
and when he did, we just couldn't be more proud.
His mum, Annabelle, and dad, Dave, are overwhelmed by his achievement.
When Paul's food came out, I was very, very proud, obviously,
and very emotional at the same time.
Just something like that for all of these people, it's just marvellous, really.
Yeah, very impressed.
It was good for a street party, I think, sharing. Beautiful.
Veteran judge Angela Hartnett helped put
Paul's dish through in the finals.
I think it delivered on all aspects.
It delivered visually, on a technical basis, it delivered on taste.
It ticked every box.
'Yeah, Paul's dish was perfect and it was a great, great course.'
The theatrical status of the dish - that it was about the fairground -
it was absolutely sensational. Brilliant.
Paul's wife has shared his vision from the start.
When I saw the carts coming out, I could just feel myself welling up.
I was so emotional. It was overwhelming.
I just couldn't believe that we're here on this day. It's great.
-Well done, chef!
-Well done, mate.
Four courses have been served to perfection.
Now, it's time to celebrate.
Ladies and gentlemen and boys and girls,
a big round of applause -
Chris, Tom, Aktar, Paul!
Come on, darlings!
Let the dancing begin!
CHEERING AND CLAPPING
We've had a fantastic day, really, really good fun,
and to finish with a wee bit of Highland fling, that's just perfect for me.
It's nice to know that someone from a local community like me
can be invited to an exquisite banquet like this.
It's an opportunity that I've been quite proud to be a part of.
'But everybody's kept that real street-party feeling, and you know,'
I've met people from up here, down there, all over the countryside.
This is great, to get people together.
It's lovely. The community, the spirit, all about foods, all about people.
This is a big step for us. We don't go to London very often.
It's like a coronation to us. It's the same kind of atmosphere.
This has been the highest quality competition that we've been involved in.
The chefs are amazing, the food was amazing.
I'm extremely proud to be involved in this competition.
The chefs have done a fantastic job. They've done themselves proud.
Best of all, they've done the communities that they've represented proud.
It's a wonderful, wonderful journey, and it's been a wonderful, wonderful crescendo to the end of it.
It's just brilliant.
The reaction of my friends and family and the people I brought here
from the community, it's been overwhelming. It's... I'm speechless. I'm really, really happy.
'I think my friends and family, they've done so much for me over the years,
'and people within my community...'
I made a promise to them many months back,
and I'm pleased that I was able to deliver on that.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that
I was going to be one of the four chefs that got to the final banquet.
There was the time when I did think,
"I wonder what it would be like?" And now, I know what it's like.
I'm living it. I am living the dream.
I am absolutely living the dream.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
The Great British Menu 2011 competition was the most fiercely fought yet, with more top chefs from across the country than ever, all battling it out in the kitchen to cook at the fabulous People's Banquet. This special documentary follows the successful chefs in the run up to the banquet, as they make the painstaking preparations for one of the most important meals they will ever cook.
The banquet is hosted by Big Lunch Ambassador Barbara Windsor, and attended by 100 guests of honour, people who bring people together through food, and put their heart and soul into feeding their local communities. The pressure on the chefs to deliver is immense and even the Great British Menu judges roll up their sleeves to ensure that the banquet goes according to plan.