This final programme follows the successful chefs in the run-up to the Olympic banquet as they prepare an outstanding four-course menu for a truly Olympian guest list.
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This is it. The banquet day is here.
And our four winners are facing the toughest day of their lives.
The 2012 Olympic Games are just weeks away
and in honour of this momentous event,
our chefs must deliver a groundbreaking feast
for Olympic and Paralympic heroes past and present,
hosted by five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave.
You'll experience here the work of the greatest talents within food.
Over the past nine weeks,
Britain's finest chefs have been scrutinised and challenged...
I do hope it's going to be perfect.
..by the most demanding of veterans and judges.
It's absolutely awful. It's a tragedy.
They've been inspired by world-class Olympians.
You want to absolutely deliver your absolute maximum.
So, Colin, five metres for you.
Now, four winners are left standing and the ultimate battle begins.
I'm ready to go. Like a racehorse, ready to bolt.
I haven't slept because I've been waking up at half five in the morning, panicking.
The chefs are under huge pressure to wow with their groundbreaking dishes.
Quail in the woods.
A tasting of mackerel.
Slow-poached chicken and sweetcorn egg.
And poached pears, anise hyssop snow,
sweet cheese ice cream and rosehip syrup.
OK, come on.
Some amazing chefs have been put under a huge amount of pressure, a bit like being in the Olympics.
But like all Olympian challenges...
..nothing can be left to chance.
It's a week before the banquet and in Winteringham, North Lincolnshire,
Colin McGurran is still staggered that he won the starter course.
It's fantastic, you know.
It's going to take a while to set in, so really, really excited. Thank you very much.
I have to pinch myself to see how far I've come in this competition.
It's fantastic. I think it's dawning on me now how serious it is.
He's now trying to perfect his intricate starter
of quail in the woods.
Today, he's enlisted the help of his wife
and three daughters to collect 50 pieces of bark for his dish.
And it's not an easy task.
Too wet. Keep going.
Ooh, that's a good one.
Would you eat your dinner off that piece?
Well, that's exactly what we are looking for, isn't it? That's strong. OK.
-The only problem is now we need to find 50 more like this.
I'm proud of my daddy because
he's actually tried his best to get upwards to the competition.
It's wonderful to be able to be part of this wonderful thing, really.
It's just so exciting. What am I going to wear?
Down in London, Simon Rogan is thrilled that his desert
made it all the way.
Yeah, chuffed. Very chuffed.
His dedication to championing unusual British ingredients
helped him win.
Having a dish at the banquet, I'm really able to fly the British flag.
Someone else who is passionate about all things British
is Olympic legend and special banquet guest Tessa Sanderson.
-How are you?
-Yeah, good. Congratulations. Big time!
She's set up a foundation which nurtures young sporting talent.
-This is Jamaal.
-Hi, Jamaal. How are you doing? All right?
The Tessa Sanderson Foundation. And also Holly. She's our hurdler.
We're looking for newcomers all the time. Jamaal is so confident,
he says he'll be the next Daley.
Will you get the hair, though? That's the thing.
I don't need the hair.
I don't want nothing holding me back! I'll say no for now.
If Simon thinks the banquet is a hurdle,
Tessa has a bigger challenge for him.
Whip it through quickly. OK, good job. Right.
So it looks like we'll be doing the hurdles. I'm not going to say how many years ago it was
but it was a speciality of mine. Let's see if it is today.
Just feel it, feel it. Lean forward. Atta boy!
OK. Oh, you're winning!
I really admire Simon. We share more or less the same passion.
I think it's really important to have home-grown talent
like he thinks it's important to have home-grown food
and then nurture it so that they can become the best in the world.
Really looking forward to the banquet and seeing you there.
-I'd really like YOU to come to the banquet as well, so...
I'd like to invite you and I hope to see you there, as well.
Oh, that'll be great.
-Simon has just invited us to the banquet.
We can't actually believe it. We're...
-..overwhelmed. And ex... excited, like.
I'm lost for words, even. You can see that! I'm lost for words!
I really want to do them proud. I want to do myself proud.
This is really, really important for me now.
Across London, all that's on Phil Howard's mind
is sourcing seafood for his winning fish dish -
a tasting of mackerel with oysters, mussels, winkles and samphire.
With the banquet being held the day after a bank holiday,
finding a fisherman to go to sea is a huge challenge.
So he's come to have a look around Billingsgate fish market
to explore possible solutions.
I've spent a lot of energy getting to this point to have the opportunity
to cook for the great kings and queens of the Olympic world.
And I'm concerned that we're not going to get 100 immaculate fish
for this dish that's got two raw components.
So we're here to see if we can find a solution.
Nothing is guaranteed in fish.
It's not like cornflakes, you can't go to the supermarket, pull it off the shelf.
Our guys have to go to sea.
And the last two or three days, the weather's been rough.
As it turns out, Phil has an even bigger problem on his plate.
-The market's closed that day.
-Between Saturday and Wednesday...
-..the market will be closed.
It looks like I'll have to get my rod and line out!
-Sorry about that.
-Thank you very much. Cheers.
That's quite a sad-looking box of mackerel, isn't it?
Billingsgate is out of the question. There is no market
for a five-day period, and we're right in the middle of it.
So it won't happen.
We'll have to get one of the suppliers that comes up from the coast direct
who uses a day boat and we have to convince someone to go fishing.
Meanwhile, over in Birmingham,
Daniel Clifford and his girlfriend, Debbie,
are still reeling from the news of his win.
Thank you very much.
I'm going to cry in a minute. So I don't want to talk too much.
He scored perfect tens for his slow poached chicken with sweetcorn egg,
spinach and peas.
But it's been a long, hard road to get to a Great British Menu banquet.
He was very heartbroken when he didn't get through the first two times.
So the third time lucky. The third time, a charm.
I'm really, really pleased for him.
Determined to deliver a faultless main on the day,
for inspiration, Daniel and Debbie have come to meet the incredible
Tommy Godwin, a podium winner from London's 1948 Olympic Games.
-Hello, you must be Tommy.
-Nice to meet you.
-Well, here you are, then. This is my room of...
-This is your trophy room.
My room of achievement. And I'm sure you've achieved so much in your...
Yeah, but I don't have these medals, Tommy!
Tommy's professional cycling career spanned over two decades.
His most prized possessions are the two bronze medals
he won at the 1948 Olympic Games.
So, Tommy, how was the feeling going home
and walking through the door and telling your wife that you'd won?
The big emotional time. And to think we'd achieved something
because of the work she'd put in, helping me.
Sometimes, people don't realise that behind greatness,
-there is a massive team behind for support.
But also love. Love those a long way.
It's hard work. And you have to make sacrifices.
But you only get out of life what you put into it.
I have one more question, Tommy.
If the phone rings later
and they ask you to join the team this year, are you up for it?
Back in London, Phil Howard has moved on to plan B
to source his fish.
He needs to find a friendly fisherman to save the day.
So now what we have to do is get on the phone.
I use a few suppliers down in Cornwall and the West Country,
and see if we can get one of them to get one of their fishermen to go out on a boat.
Out of one to ten, how confident are you that we should get something?
Phil's tracked down a Cornish fisherman
who's willing to give up his day off.
Weather permitting, he can get boats out.
But we're in Mother Nature's hands.
It's frustrating because it's such an important ingredient
at such an important event.
But that's the way it is. We have to work with that.
That's all we can do.
It's the day before the banquet,
which will be held in Greenwich, one of 2012's stunning Olympic sites.
The culmination of weeks of hard graft is finally here.
The chefs are arriving at the venue for the first time.
Looking around at the architecture, it just hits home,
the magnitude of the whole event.
The surroundings are magnificent.
I've been feeling mixed emotions.
I have woken up in a cold sweat. I think, have I forgotten anything?
I've been excited. Apprehensive. Nervous. I've been daunted.
I've been on a real rollercoaster ride of emotions.
I just need to settle down and calm my nerves, really.
I haven't slept for the last couple of days.
I've woken up at half five in the morning, panicking.
I don't know what it is about. I want to cook my socks off now.
To be a part of the Olympics is a dream come true.
Yeah, it is good to be here. This is what the journey has been about.
I'm itching to find out if my mackerel is here, if it's good enough,
if it's the right quality. I'm looking forward to getting in the kitchen.
The banquet will take place
at the incredible Old Royal Naval College...
..inside the glorious Painted Hall,
often described as one of the finest dining halls in Europe.
-Makes you feel more daunted, more nervous?
-A little, a little.
It's certainly an impressive room.
-Mind blowing. Mind blowing.
We've got to nail it, now.
Gentlemen, welcome to the grandest dining room in Europe.
-Phil, very good to see you.
-It's the real McCoy, huh?
-It is a room that is steeped in history.
And you are going to add another layer to it.
Tomorrow evening, this room will be packed with Olympic heroes,
past and present.
I think we'll have a look at the kitchen.
If I could lead you there, I think you will find it a bit of a long walk.
To get to the kitchen, they first walk through the famous Nelson Room.
It's not close.
Then, a corridor.
-Here we go.
Two flights of stairs.
And another flight of stairs.
this is the kitchen. This is your playground.
This is where you've got to do all the hard work.
-So I'm going to leave you to get started.
-See you later.
It's a trek to the dining room,
which puts extra pressure,
extra stress on getting it all out perfectly.
They've got to get their dishes from here to the dining room -
which is a long, long way -
in the perfect condition that we ate them in the final.
I must say, I'm glad I'm not having to do it.
There's not a millisecond to spare.
The first order of the day is unloading their mountain of ingredients,
including crates of anise hyssop, 250 chicken wings,
50 chickens and the list goes on.
-The poultry fridge, chef.
-Yeah, it's full, as well.
But Phil's looking worried. Something's missing.
Yet to arrive is his mackerel, mussels, winkles and oysters.
And his supplier's not picking up.
Johnny, Phil Howard speaking.
I've got my blue chopping board out but I need some fish.
I'm hoping the reason you're not answering your phone is that you're en route.
Speak to you later, bye.
-You've got no fish?
There's not a huge amount I can do until I've got a fish because ultimately,
there's a four-component dish but all four components
require mackerel or the mussels or the winkles or oysters.
It would just be reassuring to have a call saying it is on terra firma
rather than still in the sea. That's when we have a problem.
The other chefs have plenty to do.
Simon is preparing sweet cheese ice cream
but is very worried about the logistical nightmare ahead of him.
I'm a little bit concerned about
the distance between the actual dining room and the kitchen.
The snow is the key element, which I don't want to melt
and there isn't much time to get it in front of the guests.
That's my one fear.
Colin's charging ahead with the prep for his birds.
Like Simon, he's also anxious about how far his dish has to travel.
I've walked to the hall, I've seen how far away it is from here.
That is a bit of a concern for me because everything, well,
60 percent of my dish is reliant on the theatre.
I've got liquid nitrogen, I've got all the lovely smells
and aromas going on and they won't work if it's travelled too long.
The dry ice will just melt. A bit of a worry.
-Hello, mate, how are you doing?
-Not too bad so far.
I'm just standing there,
brain aching about how I'm going to get my dish up to the room
and then looked over and saw yours. You've got a game plan?
The bottom line is it needs to be maximum of 30 seconds
from leaving me to get to the dining room.
-That's a tough call.
Daniel hasn't had time to worry about logistics yet
because he's up to his neck in chicken.
He's taking his anger out over there, look.
Have you bitten off more than you can chew?
I'm seriously up against it.
I've got to de-sinew all the breasts, clean up the bones,
the legs need to be brined and bagged and cooked.
-I reckon you're about a day short, so far.
To be honest, I could be here all night and I still wouldn't be ready.
-If I was any further in
-I'd be going home.
With the chefs labouring hard, Oliver Peyton arrives on site.
As an experienced restaurateur,
he understands the importance of logistics.
It's his job to ensure the dishes make it out perfectly.
I think the four dishes that we chose to go forward to be here tomorrow night
are the four best dishes in any competition we've ever had
and my concern is, can these guys deliver it?
First port of call is an emergency meeting
with Phil and Colin in the Nelson Room, next to the banquet hall.
Hello, chefs. I'm a little bit worried.
That is a colossal distance from the kitchens to the Painted Hall.
I really don't think it's at all possible
for you to send complete dishes from that kitchen. What do you think?
For me, it's going to be very difficult. The element I'm concerned about is the dry ice.
How I envision it, I need a blast chiller if possible.
The other thing I'm worried about
is the quail egg tempura as well, which needs to be crisp.
I've got the same kind of thing.
I've got temperature issues, I've got texture issues.
The little mussel beignets must be crisp and hot.
The soup's got to be the right temperature
and also upright and on the plates.
I think, there is no extractor here,
but I would try and find a way to get some tabletop fryers up here,
electric ones, so we could do your beignets and your egg.
They're the big risk items. If they become tepid and soggy, they'll ruin the dish.
I'm going to see the manager,
-see what the possibilities are, and I'll come back to you.
-Speak to you later.
Meanwhile, Phil's fish still hasn't arrived.
He's heard it's en route, so this time,
it's a call to the driver, who also isn't picking up.
Tony, it's Phil, Great British Menu Phil.
Just wanting an update on exactly where my mackerel is.
I assume it's winging its way over up the motorway,
but beginning to sweat a little bit, so give us a call.
Cheers, mate. Bye.
Upstairs, Oliver has arranged a meeting with Jose,
the general manager.
You've no idea how delighted we are to be here,
because this is just the most fabulous location.
It's a pleasure to have you.
Two of the dishes of this four-course banquet rely heavily
on the deep-fat frying as one of the key elements.
Obviously, the distance from the kitchen to the Painted Hall
is going to be far too great for them to be able to do it in the kitchen.
-So I'm looking for a solution.
The Nelson Room -
what is the possibility of having deep-fat fryers in there?
We couldn't have that,
any sort of smoke, steam would set off the fire alarms.
But Jose, I'd like to find a location then,
where I could put a deep-fat fryer.
We do have a couple of service rooms
which are off the Nelson corridor which we could perhaps look at.
That is what I like to hear - a can-do attitude, always!
-Great, thanks for your help.
-Very nice to meet you.
Back downstairs, Daniel is still buried in chicken
and as Phil's fish is nowhere to be seen, he mucks in.
-As it's past three, I'll start accusing the
-Not being funny, it's
Simon's finished his prep and is also coming to Daniel's rescue.
-Thanks for this one, mate!
-It's all right.
I haven't boned chicken wings for quite some time.
Sorry. I am feeling really guilty.
-You'll be on track after you've got all this done, you think?
You're not on track.
Meanwhile, Prue Leith has arrived
and heads straight to the kitchen to find out if the chefs are on track.
The guy I feel sorriest for is Daniel,
because he's got a really complicated dish to do.
Daniel, I hear you're having a bit of a rough day?
It's a big push, but never mind.
I promised it'd be perfect and it'll be perfect.
I've still got to roll the chicken with the egg in it,
I've still got to make the parfait,
I've still got to make the pea puree.
What about the sweetcorn?
-Sweetcorn's still got to be done.
-I think I might leave you to it.
Really good luck for tomorrow. It's going to be a great day. Bye.
Daniel and the rest of the chefs battle on throughout the afternoon.
Then, they finally receive some welcome news.
OK, chefs, I've got some good news. Come on, come on!
So tell us, tell us.
OK, so we can have hot plates
and we've found a room where we can put deep-fat fryers.
-There is a result. That's a proper result.
What you have to decide now is, where do you want to be?
Do you want to be at the pass with the food,
or do you want to be down here preparing it?
That's a very important question to think about.
What we also need to genuinely have an understanding of is
who is the front-of-house team?
With all respect to them, who are they? What are their abilities?
These are people who are not going to know your dishes
and you have to make sure that they go down the way that you want.
I've said to people, this is the finest four dishes we've had in any competition.
I genuinely meant that.
But I think the challenge remains to deliver that quality to the table.
It's nearly the end of the day
and the long-overdue fish delivery has finally arrived.
I've never been so happy to see a Tony in my life.
-If I knew you better I'd give you a hug.
-It's all here, then.
Better get on.
There's got to be half an acre of boxes of fish in there.
-How much have you got?
There's about 10 boxes!
It's looking like I did this morning.
Phil's received 100 mackerel...
Immaculate looking fish.
-..20 kilos of mussels and winkles...
-They look lovely.
-..and 240 oysters.
-You know, I'm chuffed with that.
Now you've got your work cut out.
-Now I've got to turn it into a little miracle.
-I'm officially in the
I'm now beginning to feel just a little bit of edge.
The truth is, because it's arrived late, I'd be better off opening oysters and cooking winkles
and doing that kind of thing and leave all of tomorrow's energy
to create four phenomenal components from those mackerel.
Tomorrow's now going to be a big day.
-Cheers, mate, have a good one.
-Yes, cheers, yes.
It's time for the chefs to knock off, but Daniel's in it for the long haul.
-See you in a bit.
-Take care, boys.
There's little bits that really can't be left till tomorrow,
so I'm going to work until late as possible and try my best to get ready.
Simon, Phil and Colin head for a well-deserved drink.
The Olympics are coming to Britain
and for the chefs, the banquet is a once-in-a-lifetime honour
to be part of history in the making.
That is as impressive a setup as you get in London.
Little old Daniel, with his stuffed chicken wings up there,
-somewhere buried under there.
All clucking away, bawk bawk!
The main course, it's the daddy one, isn't it, as far as I'm concerned.
It's the biggest out of all of them, so it was the one that I wanted.
-I just didn't want to be in the
-It'll be a tough one.
-Yeah, it is.
I'm going to be swimming in mackerel skin tomorrow.
The sun has well and truly risen over the old Royal Naval College
and in just over nine hours, the Olympian guests,
legends from past and present,
will be arriving for an incredible banquet.
First chef out of the starting blocks this morning is Phil Howard.
After the late delivery of his fish yesterday,
he desperately needs a head start.
Banquet day. I feel good, actually, I do feel good today.
I got a bit stressy at the end of yesterday,
just feeling a bit out of control, just the way it kind of unravelled.
With 100 fish to gut, fillet and bone
for his tasting of Cornish mackerel,
Phil has an Olympian task of his own ahead.
This mackerel, it is a bit of a... It's a big job, it is a big job.
You've kind of got to size up the task and you've got to grind it out,
you know, like a marathon.
To stand any chance of reaching the finish line today,
he really has to start smoking the fish for his veloute and pate.
-OK, that's irritating...
-But there's already a hitch with the smoker -
the lid just won't go on.
-Oh, behave, you
It's all about controlling the controllables, as always.
Hot on Phil's heels, the rest of team Great British Menu 2012 arrive.
It's a very big day today.
I think when my starters are going out, I'll be nervous
because I don't want anything to go wrong.
It really means a lot to me to get this course out perfectly.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I'm very, very proud to be here.
I've got a lot to prove today.
My partner's coming, Debbie, it's got to be right for her.
It's the Olympians, Oliver and Prue and Matthew,
they've supported me as well, so I've got a lot to do
and I've got a challenge to make sure it's perfect for them tonight.
-Nice to see you, chef.
-And you, man.
-You all right?
-Looking forward to today.
-It's good, home straight.
Crack on, then! Today's the day, mate!
-Good luck today, boys!
-This is it!
The enormity of producing 100 perfect dishes for 100 hungry guests
is dawning on all the chefs.
They waste no time getting to work.
It's all got to be chopped by hand.
-You don't know what the meaning of
-means! Believe me!
-waking up in the morning and seeing 100 chickens coming towards you.
Daniel's first mammoth job of the day is to make his cannelloni -
a hugely fiddly job which involves wrapping 100 flattened chicken skins
-around 100 cylinders.
One down, chief.
Colin is busy peeling the quail eggs he cooked last night.
To be tempuraed at service, they're a star component of his dish
and have to be perfect, but there's already a problem.
The batch I did, I've left in ice too long overnight,
which means that the whites stiffen up too much
and they're a nightmare to peel. They keep cracking, you see.
His only option is to start again.
More pressure, more unnecessary time-wasting.
I mean, it might seem quite simple
just poaching or boiling some quail eggs
but sometimes in the restaurant, for every five I do, only one works
so...yeah, they're a nightmare.
Fingers crossed, touch wood,
whatever you want to say, but they just need to work.
Meanwhile, veloute simmering, Phil is cracking on
with his mackerel mountain, deboning the smoked fish for his pate.
Choosing, you know, the boniest fish in the sea
just means that all this kind of thing,
it just takes time, there's no shortcut.
Matthew Pinsent choking at the back of the banquet hall,
gagging on a bit of mackerel tartare...
No, not an option.
Still keeping his cool on the other side of the kitchen,
the master of molecular gastronomy
has begun the process of distilling Viennese hyssop,
which he'll use to create his groundbreaking scented snow.
How many times have you got to do it?
I've got to do this eight times now,
and it's 45 minutes a pop, so I'm going to be pushing it.
You've got three-and-a-half hours standing here?
Well, it's the first 10, 15 minutes, I have to stand here.
-I feel for you watching.
-Do you employ someone at work
to stand there and just twiddle things all day?
Daniel hasn't got time for mickey-taking,
not when he has 100 chicken-skin cannelloni to fry.
Seems to be taking forever.
-What temperature are you looking for?
-It's been on since 8, chief.
We've got a serious problem.
Two out of four fryers
just aren't getting up to the required temperature.
Daniel has a crisis on his hands.
It's not going up to 190.
But this doesn't just impact on his cannelloni.
50 chicken ballotines, the main event of Daniel's dish,
need to be fried shortly before service - not once, but twice.
Take a deep breath.
He simply won't have enough fryers
or hours in the day to get the job done.
I've still got my pea puree to make, I've got my sauce to finish,
-I've still got the spinach to sort out.
-Yeah, we're all in it.
-And the clock is ticking.
-Yeah, not cool.
Not cool. Solution?
I'm calling someone I know, who's got some fryers.
But they're not answering their phone.
Yeah, Daniel's got a real problem. He needs fryers.
He needs a certain quantity of fryers, fryers that work,
-that will maintain their temperature.
Oh, you're having a laugh.
Can you ask her to ring me on my mobile ASAP, please?
I've got a serious problem here with fryers. Bye.
The pressure is taking its toll.
Dunno. Not what he needs at this time, I don't think.
and completely unaware of the drama unfolding in the kitchen,
judges Oliver and Matthew arrive to oversee proceedings.
Tonight will have to be run with military precision.
It's almost impossible to imagine
when this place, this dining hall, will be peopled
by some of the greatest sporting heroes of our time.
It's a very, very exciting occasion.
There's an enormous amount to be done,
so the judges roll up their sleeves.
All my own work!
I'm a bit nervous, because this is definitely
the most difficult venue we've worked in.
The kitchen really is a tremendously long way away
from where the guests are going to be dining,
and a lot of the dishes depend on
adding that drama at the end. If that doesn't come off properly,
the dishes will be a complete failure.
And that is not an option.
Oliver has to finalise service.
The chefs must decide whether to plate up and serve from the kitchen
or will they cook to order and plate up in the corridor,
and in the Lord Nelson room next to the Painted Hall?
I think yesterday, I hadn't really given it any thought.
Last night, I thought about service, not cooking, saw there was an issue
and I think the general consensus is that we want to try and do
as much as we can from upstairs and get it super organised up there,
because there just is aggro.
-And we've got to run it through with all those staff.
-Just whack through it.
-Nail it. That's what we like.
With all the chefs finally having decided to plate up upstairs,
it's now all systems go for the service team
to get the room kitted out,
but they're going to need at least two working fryers up there.
In the kitchen, Daniel is still on the case.
It's for Great British Menu, Vic. I really need them.
They need to be big ones as well, if you can.
All right, that's brilliant. Thanks a lot. Take care. Bye.
I've found a couple. My friend's got a bigger operation
so they might have some fryers that they can lend me for the day,
so I'm just trying my best to get myself out of it at the moment
because I don't want to be in a situation later.
I need to be able to help everybody else, so...
I've worked behind for the last two days. I want there to be a point in my life
where I'm actually ahead of the game.
It's not just the chefs in the firing line.
Upstairs, the waiting staff are feeling the pressure too.
They've got to get tonight's service planned perfectly
but with such complicated dishes, it's a nightmare.
We'll have to do one table at a time, no buts or maybes about it.
-No, absolutely, yeah.
-They are such a critical part of this event.
The trolley comes down, they take a jug, take a jug, take a jug.
It's really important you've got people who you believe
have got a sense of urgency and care as much as you do.
You also want to have...
I don't know.
Lets hope they've worked it out before service.
Meanwhile, under Matthew's watchful eye,
last-minute preparations are coming together in the great hall,
and the first guest has arrived.
-Welcome to the Painted Hall.
-Stunning, isn't it?
Olympic legend and tonight's host, Sir Steve Redgrave.
I don't think I've been to a banquet before that celebrated Olympians.
I've been to a lot of dinners
but in such grand surroundings, I think this is absolutely amazing.
To make sure there are no seating faux pas,
Matthew wants to go over the table plan.
I certainly like this bit at the top.
All the top athletes on the top table. That's a very good move.
Top men, the judges up there.
Now, I think we have to leave that as it is.
OK. You've got Kelly's guest.
-Shouldn't Kelly's guest be with Kelly?
-Yes, I think that's...
Where is Kelly?
-Kelly? Kelly, where are you?
-Kelly Holmes, where are you hiding?
'Sir Steve Redgrave, who better else to host the evening'
where you've got medal-winners in every possible Olympic discipline to come together?
Down in the kitchen, there's no let-up for the chefs.
Still got loads to do.
It's all I've said for the last two days.
And there's still no sign of any extra fryers.
Hoping to urge the chefs onto the finish line,
Matthew makes a very inspirational visit to the kitchen.
Chefs, if I might introduce you to the legendary Sir Steve Redgrave.
This is Colin McGurran, who's doing the first course, Phil Howard...
-Pleased to meet you.
-and Daniel Clifford.
Am I a little bit overdressed for here,
or should I have a tray with me, ready to take some food?
I've got an apron for you if you want it.
You're looking pretty calm to me at the moment.
Is it everyone else that's running around like headless chickens?
No, let's not mention chicken.
I've got no idea what's on the menu, so it'll all be a surprise to me.
But have you seen the guest list? Do you know who's coming tonight?
I have a guest list here of the great and good of sport,
so I'll to leave that with you, so you can flick through it.
-I'm sure you'll do us all proud tonight.
-Thank you very much.
-It will inspire you.
-See you later. Perform well.
-See you, guys.
-See you soon.
I kind of knew there was going to be some big names in there.
Duncan Goodhew, don't get a bigger name than that.
Jonathan Edwards, Matthew Pinsent, don't get bigger than him.
It's now a bit more real, isn't it?
To me, Steve Redgrave, it's a massive highlight.
That's what we're doing it for, why we're working the hours we're doing
and putting the pressure and the time and the love into our dishes,
so we can honour these people for what they've done.
They're true sporting heroes.
I'm in the business of pleasing people.
You don't get a more honourable group of people
to try and please than are coming tonight, and that's really special.
It's 3pm, and the banqueting hour is approaching fast.
Just whack it on there.
-Thanks for this, you're a lifesaver.
The fryers have arrived, but now Daniel is really up against it.
There's a few issues where I plug them in, as we've power issues now.
-You all right?
If these fryers don't work, it's game over for Daniel.
-Right, they're both working now.
-OK, come on.
QUARTET PLAYS: "Water Music" by Handel
Outside the old Royal Naval College, guests have started to arrive.
Glynn Purnell and Nigel Haworth are the first veteran chefs to show up,
closely followed by Jason Atherton.
It's so exciting, you know, you see the guests arriving.
There's VIPs from the Olympian world
and it's just going to be such a sensational dinner.
The guest list is studded with Olympic legends -
Tessa Sanderson with her two proteges, Jamaal and Holly,
Sir Matthew Pinsent,
Sir Duncan Goodhew,
Dame Kelly Holmes
and Tommy Godwin, with daughter Kay.
At 91 years of age,
I couldn't believe that I'd ever be invited
to such a wonderful occasion,
but it's absolutely mind-blowing. Wonderful.
It's always nice to get together with a few old friends
and talk about the old days, when we were winning medals.
I'm really, really excited. I mean, it's an amazing venue.
It's all in the Olympic and Paralympic spirit, isn't it?
Badminton medallist Gail Emms
arrives with weightlifting hopeful Zoe Smith.
I get to let my hair down obviously
and it's quite nice to see other Olympic athletes
doing the same thing.
The glittering collection of Olympians, Paralympians
and athletes includes dressage medallist Lee Pearson,
sprinter Andrew Osagie,
bob skeleton medallist Amy Williams
and power lifter Roxan Luckock
Our veteran chefs are the only ones who can understand
what cooking tonight might be like.
I've cooked at two banquets now.
The attention, the adrenalin, the excitement.
I mean, it's a fantastic atmosphere in here,
but I bet the atmosphere in the kitchen is off the scale.
This is the time when you bring everything together and nail it.
There's 20 components on the plate and they've got to be thrown in the air, juggled,
and put on the plate at the right time.
So this is sort of stressy time.
Colin's ready to take his dish to the plating up room.
The next big job for me is to get these upstairs.
There's a lot of effort gone into them.
Going up and down, you could break them.
They're just dry bark, really, so they can crumble.
Colin's quail in the woods is not just top-notch cooking,
but drama on a plate. The challenge for the banquet
will be managing all the delicate ingredients last minute.
Colin is the first to familiarise himself
with service HQ for the night - the plating up area.
I'm ready to go, like a racehorse!
Ready to bolt, you know? All ready.
After months of hard work, it's now down to just four chefs
to deliver their inventive dishes perfectly.
I'm excited about the food.
There's been this whole competition going on.
Some amazing chefs have been put under a huge amount of pressure,
a bit like being in the Olympics.
I'm looking forward to seeing what they can produce.
With the guests taking their seats, all four chefs have come together
in the plating up room for the start of the banquet.
Service is about to begin,
as Sir Steve Redgrave opens the ceremony.
Good evening and welcome to the Olympic banquet.
Our greatest athletes will soon be going for gold,
just as our national chefs
have been battling it out to cook for us this evening.
I need more plates.
-I'm doing one board for one, yeah?
The first stage of the dish with the filo de brick,
black garlic cream, cress and horseradish pearls is ready.
OK, service. Keep everyone here, please.
Yep. So far, so good.
Time is of the essence as the miso-glazed quail
must get to the tables hot.
And in the middle, the leg.
-And the breast just either side?
Over the last few months,
they've been putting in blood, sweat and tears, desire and passion.
You'll experience here the work of the greatest talents within food.
Finally, the riskiest element of the dish -
perfectly fried quail eggs
in a delicate tempura batter.
-It's in, yeah? The eggs are in?
Whatever you do, these eggs are fragile, OK?
So thank you to the Great British Menu
and let the Olympic banquet begin.
I think we're all intrigued with what's going to come out.
The presentation, the taste.
I'm expecting it to be one of the best meals ever.
-OK, ready to go?
-OK, that board's ready.
-OK, start picking up guys.
OK, pick up these plates, please. OK, let's go.
The first plates of the night are out.
The final theatrics of the dish are left to the staff.
Sounds like they just dropped in the dry ice, Colin.
Well, there can be no other reaction, other than wow!
-Come on, come on.
-Ready to go.
Get rid of this, front of house. Go on, two plates.
Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?
Colin's wife, Becky, knows just how much hard work
has gone into this moment.
He did really well. I'm so proud. It's delicious.
He'll be really happy with the way it ended up.
-OK, you can go now guys.
Colin, well done.
Every single piece of quail was immaculate.
Great plate. Great, great plate.
Olympic diver Nick Robinson-Baker played a big part
in inspiring Colin to win.
I didn't quite expect it to be amazing.
You've got a forest on a plate there.
The food was fantastic, the scent,
the steam that came out, you know, the mist.
It was awesome.
To have a warm quail's egg, but have it melt in your mouth,
That was... Big tick!
Looking down the table, everyone's like, "Wow!"
From a starting point of view, it had all the theatre.
It was fantastic, I thought.
It's a thumbs up from me.
Veteran Nigel Howarth judged Colin harshly on this dish in the heats.
So does he think it's a worthy winner today?
Hand on heart, Colin, that was so, so good.
You had the foliage and the dry ice. It was very dramatic and, you know,
-it's got to have a ten tonight, Colin. It's going to be
-That's what I like to hear. Thank you very much.
-It was superb.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the evening. Thank you very much.
Nigel's verdict was a ten out of ten, which is great to hear.
It's had a hard time,
and to perfect it was a nightmare, but a pleasure as well.
The starter's gone down extremely well, so bring on the next course.
But is Phil on top of his service strategy?
-There's the soup. The soup, right?
Don't let it boil, but nice and hot.
Right, they want to go over there, actually.
Yeah, it's the sweaty moment.
It's just hard. It's logistics and space.
We've got cold, hot, smoked things. It's just getting an order of service so it flows.
Particularly after Colin nailed it so well.
Where's the waiting staff? Down there?
-Jose? Are you ready to go?
We're going to go in two minutes, OK? Two minutes.
While guests relax in the hall, in the service area,
there's confusion over how to deliver the dish.
-We're going to pick up the plate from here?
-Yes. The main from there.
-But the plates are going to be down there.
-OK, where's that squeeze of lemon oil? Oh, stop, stop.
With 100 plates to get out and so many elements to get right
on each of them, a speedy service is key.
OK, they're coming.
-OK, come through, please.
-Tray on the side, please.
More soup coming, please. Come on, let's have it.
Stick to a system, please. Just put a dot of lemon oil in each of these.
Thank you. We need two on each tray, full of smoke.
Last to plate are the smoke-filled cloches,
which must go to the tables quickly for maximum effect.
Bring it over here. Carry it.
With one final push,
Phil's innovative mackerel dish makes it out.
What is that?
I can smell it.
Just lift it up and smell it now, before it goes away.
Outside, the course is going down well.
-But behind the scenes, there are problems.
-Come on! Next tray!
OK, service! Let's have you. Come through, please.
We're waiting for waiters.
Come on, come on!
They're coming. Go.
OK, here we go. Tray down, please.
While Phil battles to get his dish out,
Daniel's a bit overcome on cloche duty.
-All right there?
-That was harsh.
Just one last table. Trays going round the other side, thank you.
Last table. Nice big smiles. Well done.
Every single element of that dish was absolutely spot on.
Now, either he's a really, really canny fellow
or he's phenomenally lucky, but I suspect he's the former.
Phil Howard always pulls it off.
I mean, he's a wonderful, reliable, fantastic chef.
I just think it's a very brave dish.
Phil's course has gone down particularly well
with his wife, Jenny.
Oh, I'm really proud of him.
He's put so much effort into doing the dish this evening
and the whole series.
There's one special guest Phil is keen to hear from -
Olympic legend Steve Backley, who inspired him to go all the way.
Absolutely stunning. It was a complicated dish you did there.
-A lot going on.
-Yeah, there is.
-There were five different things.
-Yeah, lots of stuff going on.
And to throw all those balls up in the air and keep hitting them,
and try and catch them all at the right time is not easy.
Back downstairs, it's all hands on saucepans for Daniel.
Right, boys. We've got to saute this,
and basically we've got to put it all into nice little piles.
Daniel's slow-poached chicken with sweetcorn egg
and wilted spinach and peas wowed judges in the final.
But this intensely intricate dish has been a monster to prepare.
With all six elements to plate up perfectly,
the real work is only just beginning.
Right, can we get some kitchen help down here, please?
'I've got no choice. I'm not going to fail now.'
I just want to do the best I can.
So it's all hands to the deck now and let's get sorted out
and make this event happen.
Two-time main course winner Tom Kerridge
knows exactly how Daniel's feeling.
When you're sending the main course for a banquet like this,
this is when the pressure's really on.
He's seen two courses already been sent.
Daniel will be focused, he'll be determined.
This is Daniel's time, This will be amazing.
We need to butter the spinach, add the chicken and the spinach,
season it up, get it into the mould
To have these three boys helping, it's just like...
-I want to take them home, actually.
Already upstairs, the centrepiece of Daniel's dish - the chicken ballotine -
is waiting to be flash-fried before service.
Message from Daniel - he wants these in in seven minutes.
-Seven minutes from now.
-Dropped in. From now.
Without knowing what the chefs are up against, guests' expectations
are extremely high.
I enjoyed the fish course particularly,
but the main - that is a great anticipation.
I'm looking forward to it.
The popcorn, wings and vegetables,
which were prepped in the main kitchen,
have come together upstairs in the plating room.
All Daniel needs to do before service,
is check that his chicken ballotine is good to go.
-One minute, chef.
Can we just have some quiet, please?
Phil's going to put the spinach on, he's going to do the puree,
I'll come along, put the chicken on.
Put them over there chief. Put them there.
With the first lot of chicken done, they're off.
-Can you bring a tray of cannelloni over, please?
Have you got the four sauces?
Delivery of the Daniel's Olympic main course is underway.
-Stay there. Come here. Don't
At this present moment in time,
he's probably a three-headed monster,
trying to turn out the chicken dish of the century.
Just let her go, mate. Let her go.
How are we doing?
Finally, the dish goes out.
It may be mayhem in the kitchen,
but it's smooth as silk in the Painted Hall.
There's still a vital detail for Daniel to remember.
We need spray, spray, spray. Jose, spray!
The inventive chicken spray is Daniel's finishing touch.
He just really gave another dimension.
The phenomenal aroma of roast chicken.
I couldn't quite work out from the menu
what would be presented to us and it's absolutely fantastic.
I'm happy with this.
Just started eating it.
The chicken has got a little egg in the middle
and I just think it's amazing.
With only the first plate served,
there's still some pain ahead for Daniel.
Come on, run, run!
-Second team, come on.
-All they've got to do is
-carry the trays.
-Jose, can you whip their
-Come on, chief.
-Go, go, go.
These can go, these can go.
As if things aren't bad enough,
the chicken being finished down the corridor is driving Daniel crazy.
I need more chicken. I need more chicken, Phil.
Right, can I have some waiters, please?
Come round, come round and take the food.
-Jose, next table.
The task feels never ending as the numbers of delivered dishes rise.
And so does service stress levels.
Go, go, come on!
-Is that the last one?
-No, there's one table.
You do the second lot, I'll do the first lot.
-Well done, chef, this is the last table.
Well done, brother.
Thank you, chief.
The popcorn, I've never had chicken popcorn.
That was really lovely.
It was crunchy, it had a nice taste.
I quite liked it.
..top of the pops for the night, that.
That dish definitely pushed boundaries with the main course.
The presentation was brilliant
and I don't think the textures could have been any more perfect.
I'd love to have someone to talk me through exactly
what's gone into it so I could appreciate it.
Now, I'm going, "Wow, how does that happen?"
It's really nice to try something new
and not things you would cook at home!
Daniel got ten out of ten in finals week and for me,
definitely a ten out of ten again.
Absolutely stunning dish.
Do you know, he should be so proud of what he served this evening.
I can't believe it's done now.
To serve 100 people to that standard, hot,
the credit goes to all of them, everybody, the waiters, everybody.
You can see a different Daniel now. Daniel is a happy man.
Daniel has a brief moment to enjoy the atmosphere in the hall
and his girlfriend, Debbie, can't resist saying hello.
-Fantastic! Well done.
It's D-Day for dessert as Simon sets out his station for the finale.
Simon's innovative dish of poached pears with anise hyssop snow,
sweet cheese ice cream and rosehip syrup
is an incredibly unusual combination of textures and flavours.
We were having a discussion about what's coming out for dessert
and I've heard a few things about it, how groundbreaking it is
and modern and pushing boundaries, so I'm excited. Pear's my favourite fruit.
-Sort of elongated, yeah?
I think so, yeah.
To get the dish out, the production line needs to move at a pace,
so it's all hands on deck.
Take another container and do what I do on the other side.
Four quite nice bits and then a few crumbs.
The actual plating the dessert is very natural, very rustic,
so it's not all about precision.
It's about the flavours, the freshness
and just that natural look to it.
And to add to the look, rosehip syrup.
Si, is that all the plates there?
Yeah, that's it.
Go round them and round then again if there's loads left over.
As there's no blast chiller to hand for service,
the snow and ice cream will arrive last minute,
but there are other concerns too.
I've never made this dish in such numbers before,
so although I quadrupled and doubled and did whatever,
which I thought was enough,
looking at it, I'm thinking, "Is that enough?"
Snow is on its way but it'll only be a matter of minutes
before it turns to slush.
-Are we ready to go?
-I think so.
One. Eight for the top table.
With speed being so crucial to the perfection of the dish
and the worry about quantities,
will Simon's Zen-like veneer finally crack?
Come on, let's go, let's go.
What are they doing? Come on.
As soon as they've got green on it, go. Next one.
It's delivery time for dessert.
Oh! That's amazing.
Sweet cheese ice cream. I like that.
Deliciously silky texture.
It's very nice.
The balance of flavours on that dish is just tremendous
and even Steve Redgrave was going, "Ooh, wow!"
Rosehip, the whole thing is just really a beautiful journey
on the palate. Lovely.
One person in the room particularly appreciates
just how much getting this right means - Simon's partner, Penny.
To see it now come to fruition has been brilliant.
Absolutely delicious tonight to eat it.
With the first desserts delivered and going down a treat at the table,
it's still madness behind the scenes.
Another snow please.
-Jose, what's next?
-Let's go, let's go, please. We've got to be faster.
Only half the guests have been served.
Simon's fears about quantity may be coming true.
Too much, but too much, little bit less. Little bit less.
-Got some more snow?
-Another ice cream, please?
Ice cream, ice cream!
The particular combination of the tastes is amazing.
Every bite I had a different taste of something different,
so I didn't know what I was tasting. It was just mouth-watering.
My last one.
-Bosh, bosh, bosh, Tosh!
-Just go! Shall we go get a beer?
It was lovely. The ice cream, I've never tasted anything like it.
Sweet cheese ice cream. Beautiful!
Tessa Sanderson's protege, Jamaal,
was personally invited to the banquet by Simon.
Everybody can tell you chicken is my favourite meal
but after tasting that dessert, wow! Give me that dessert any day.
It was part of the magnificent meal for all the guests
and I'm really honoured to have worked with the three guys
over the last couple of days
and it's been one of the highlights of my career so far
and I've loved every minute.
The Great British Menu banquet has come to a close.
TAPPING ON GLASS
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you've enjoyed this evening.
It's been a fantastic occasion. I hope you enjoyed the food.
The chefs have done us absolutely proud.
I think we should listen the applause they deserve.
So, our chefs.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
I think what was so exceptional about tonight
is that, although the food was innovative and unusual,
it was still good food. It was gastronomic heaven.
The food, I mean you saw it.
Let me tell you, however good it looked,
it tasted even better!
The first dish we had, it came with a forest!
Popcorn! Who has popcorn and chicken?
Sweet cheese ice cream.
-I've enjoyed the whole night.
-We thought that was lovely.
Everyone to be in the same room together ahead of 2012
and the London games, it's just been an amazing evening.
We did give them a great dinner tonight,
I know that, and there's been lots of compliments
but there were four fantastic dishes that constituted a great meal.
-That was fantastic.
-Hello. You all right?
I think the favourite part of tonight
was walking towards the guests and the round of applause
was just, like, quite a humbling experience
and it was worth all the hard work over the six months.
For everyone to stand up and appreciate what we've done
makes it worthwhile.
I was running round like an absolute nutcase but I loved it.
I absolutely loved it.
-Absolutely delicious, all of it.
'Banquet's over, I'm relieved,
happy and also a big sense of pride
that I've accomplished such a massive thing in my life
and it got a gold medal in my eyes, so I'm really chuffed to bits.
This is almost like the start of our Olympic journey, you know?
We've got future Olympians, current Olympians, past Olympians,
all sat there in front of us, so roll on 2012, let's have it.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
This year's Great British Menu competition has been the most fiercely fought yet, with more top chefs than ever from across the country battling it out in the kitchen to cook at the fabulous Olympic feast. The winners have been announced and this final programme follows the successful chefs in the run-up to the banquet, as they make the painstaking preparations for what is one of the most important meals they will ever cook.
The feast is being hosted by British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich; the four winning chefs prepare an outstanding four-course menu for a truly Olympian guest list including Amy Williams, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Ade Adepitan, Gail Emms, Dame Kelly Holmes, Jonathan Edwards, Mark Lewis Francis, Sarah McPhee, Duncan Goodhew, Mary King, Steve Backley and London 1948 Olympian Tommy Godwin.
The pressure on the chefs to deliver is immense and even the Great British Menu judges join in the preparations to ensure that the banquet goes according to plan.