Episode 10 Instant Restaurant


Episode 10

Two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they can create a restaurant in their own homes for one night. Amateur cooks Debi Backhurst and John Stephens battle it out.


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Transcript


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Two rival amateur cooks are converting their homes into restaurants.

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We deserve a gin.

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No, this hasn't happened before.

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They've been given just one day and a budget of up to £200.

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I don't know what to say at the moment.

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Absolute nightmare.

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Twenty strangers will be judging the results.

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And it'll be entirely up to them how much or how little they pay.

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It was great, and I mean that most sincerely,

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until my companion here found a hair in hers.

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They're beautiful.

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I don't think there could've much more on my plate that would've made me not want to eat it.

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What's wrong with people?

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So can the cooks deliver the goods, and will either of them make any money?

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Hello, and welcome to Instant Restaurant.

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Two amateur chefs are pulling out all the stops

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to create a gourmet dining experience.

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Their guests will then decide how much they think it's worth, so can either of our cooks make a profit?

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38-year-old sales manager Debi Backhurst loves nothing more than filling plates with food

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and watching other people empty them.

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I've always enjoyed cooking for people.

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I get more pleasure, I guess, out of the actual cooking

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and creating something that somebody really enjoys eating that looks fantastic.

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For her culinary inspiration, single mum Debi has taken a little walk on the wild side.

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The concept that I'm having for my restaurant is just really great food in a relaxed atmosphere,

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with as much as possible being foraged from local hedges,

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being home-grown produce and local produce.

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Her rival is 42-year-old would-be comedy writer, John Stephens.

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At the moment, I'm in between jobs. I've been made redundant but I'm looking into script-writing.

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It's something I'm passionate about and I enjoy doing along with my cookery as well.

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My food is quite simple. There's nothing posh or fine dining about it...

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nice and easy, and good, honest, local food.

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And, if he can't make people laugh, he's hoping a culinary icon might inspire him to great things today.

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Rick Stein's a hero of mine, and his programmes and books have

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given me a lot of ideas to do what I want to do.

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My dream, I suppose, if I can pull this off,

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would be to open up my own restaurant so to speak, my own gastro pub.

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-Let's hope the dream starts here, John.

-That tastes good.

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But this challenge is about more than just food.

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The cooks and their helpers have to transform their homes into tempting restaurants.

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Getting the right ambience will be critical, as good first impressions

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may ultimately mean the difference between a profit or a loss.

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Forager Debi's aiming for elegant simplicity at her Glastonbury instant restaurant

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in a cosy setting.

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What I'm after achieving is just a nice, comfortable,

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relaxed atmosphere in which people can enjoy some really fantastic food.

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To help her pull it off, she's roped in best friend Emma to look after front of house.

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Quite a rustic setting,

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but then there's this juxtaposition with this sort of modern look on the table,

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so probably not what people are going to be expecting.

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I don't know. It doesn't look too radical.

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In the kitchen, Debi's dad completes the staff.

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-I'm just doing what I'm told to.

-No, you're not. You're chopping potatoes, come on!

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Oh, sorry. You're right, yes. Chopping potatoes.

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-I think Debi will cope really well this evening.

-They're looking very good.

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She's generally a bit unflappable.

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It should be good. I'm looking forward to it.

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And so are we. So that's one restaurant down...

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and one to go, and it seems John's Somerset dining room is even simpler than Debi's

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with just a nod to his food guru's home on the wall.

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What I've got on display as well as my three paintings from Padstow.

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Whenever I go down there, I always buy a new one.

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I mean, presentation is very, very important.

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It's no good doing a good meal, etc, if you're going to portray this quite shabby.

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Nothing too posh.

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And John's wife Nicky has bravely risen from her sick bed to help out.

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I think John will cope wonderfully. He's such a strong character.

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He's so organised, I think it'll go really, really smoothly.

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She keeps me calm and relaxed throughout the day, which I need.

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And to make absolutely sure there's no foul play in the dining room this evening,

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John's drafted in local football ref Jo.

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Confidence and being quite assertive is going to help me tonight

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in taking the orders and keeping the party under control.

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Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.

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As most of Debi's ingredients were donated by nature,

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she's needed less than £80 of hers

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and must take £8 a head to break even.

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But John has needed to spend almost twice that...

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£151 - so he'll want over £15 from each diner just to cover costs.

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So it's a battle between rustic forager Debi

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-and no-frills seafood-lover John.

-Still calm.

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Feeling quite nervous now.

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Each cook will be judged by ten strangers, drawn from different walks of life,

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who will hopefully arrive with their appetites

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and leave with full stomachs and empty wallets.

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It's exciting, I think!

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Good evening!

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Debi's restaurant gets off to a flying start.

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-It's nicely set out as well.

-It's fantastic, especially when you walk into the room and you feel... wow!

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Very interesting.

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It's laid out very nice. It's very homely, quite cosy, too.

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Everything's laid out beautifully, tables are nicely laid out, there was a nice welcome.

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I felt a freshness as I went into the room, so that was good.

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But while Debi's guests settle in, over at John's,

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there's an unexpected problem. Two of the ten strangers

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who arrive for dinner discover they actually know John,

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so we've no option, but to turn them away.

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It's unfortunate that I know a couple of people that are due in here tonight.

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It's now gone from ten down to eight people.

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It might be seen as a bit of a bonus for me, but I was quite happy to cook for ten.

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John's stroke of bad luck means that, with only eight mouths to feed,

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his total takings will be reduced so, in the interests of fairness,

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we'll recalculate his earnings as if he had a full sitting of ten diners.

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-Come on in.

-Thanks very much.

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While the remaining eight, who have no prior knowledge or axes to grind, are welcomed inside Chez John.

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What can I get you to drink?

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I'm pleasantly surprised, actually.

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-Yes.

-I think.

-It's a nice menu.

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It's looking pretty good.

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Mmm, all very positive in public, but how about in the privacy of the back garden?

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Catering tables and plastic school chairs aren't what you'd expect.

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It was very stark. It was obviously someone's front room,

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maybe what you'd get at a wedding reception, you know, a cheap wedding reception.

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There's no table decorations and the tablecloth is paper.

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It would've been a bit nicer if it had been a cloth.

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Well, John did say he wanted to keep it simple,

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but it looks like the diners would've appreciated a few more frills.

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Debi's rustic charms seems to have done the trick with her diners,

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but now it's all about the food, so what's on the menu?

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For starters, Debi is offering baked figs with Dolcelatte cheese

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and walnuts, wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of home-grown salad,

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or smoked haddock and Hampshire watercress soup served with poached quail's eggs.

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The fig starter's always gone down really well.

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I've got a friend who's got a fig tree so I've managed to scrounge those off of her,

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I've picked the walnuts myself, and the quail's eggs which I've never cooked before

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are from an acquaintance, so it could be a bit of a gamble, but it'll be fine.

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Absolutely brilliant. I've got some stiff competition there, definitely.

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So, while John starts to fret,

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Debi pops to the shops hunter-gatherer style

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in search of the first few ingredients for her starters.

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I've got three of the walnuts here.

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Hopefully, that'll be the last few needed for the starter with the figs.

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In the kitchen, after finishing the spuds, dad Roland is now going slightly nuts, unlike his daughter.

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I think she's coping quite well. She doesn't seem to be sort of panicking...yet.

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But we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

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And that, I think, is her nuts for the starter.

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So I'm just cutting a little star in the top of the figs

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and then I'm going to put some of the blue cheese and walnut mixture into it.

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Once stuffed, the figs are wrapped in prosciutto and are now ready to be baked to order.

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Also well in advance of opening time, Debi began her other starter...

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the smoked haddock and watercress soup.

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So I've got potatoes, onions, celery in a little bit of butter.

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Just added a bit of white wine.

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There'll be a bit of water going in just while that cooks down and then, right at the last minute,

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I can add the watercress, the milk that I cooked the fish in, and flake the fish into it.

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Sure enough, with the diners seated and placing orders,

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in goes watercress to the fishy milk and it all gets a good blitz.

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That's tasting good. Needs a little bit of pepper, I think.

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I'd be quite happy to pay certainly, sort of...

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£4 for a good bowl of soup with a nice piece of bread.

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Well, let's hope the diners feel the same way.

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How are those orders coming along?

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Yes, can I have the soup, please?

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Five of Debi's diners are tempted by the soup, so she gets cracking on the quail's eggs to go with them,

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even though she's never poached these fiddly little tiddlers before.

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I'm trying to open these little blighters in the steam.

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Maybe a trial run would've been a good idea.

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Hope those bowls are warm.

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-And surely that titchy egg's been poached by now.

-Looks like a bullet.

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I got sidetracked.

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Mm, don't get distracted, get poaching.

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Finally, fishy watercress soup with an egg on top.

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Now, let's get them out there and see what the diners think.

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Bon appetit.

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Mmm, nice.

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It was very thin and watery.

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The fish chunks were rather large to get on the spoon.

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The quail's egg was a waste of time.

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-I enjoyed mine.

-I'm glad you did.

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Not the egg bit.

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I wasn't too impressed, to be honest.

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It was a little bit on the cold side and it was very runny.

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Oh, no, cold bowls sank the soup, and some fairly full ones are heading back to the kitchen.

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That's not good.

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Doesn't look like they've even tasted it.

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Bit disappointed. Thought they might've tried it a little bit more.

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Not the best of starts.

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Can't see Debi getting her £4 a bowl there.

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Maybe the baked figs will be more fruitful.

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The fig was beautiful.

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-Fresh. It was lovely.

-Mm, it was.

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The contrast of the flavours between the fig and the cheese were beautifully balanced.

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It could've done with a little less cheese and a bit more fig so that,

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when I ran my tongue round my mouth AFTER eating the starter,

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I could still feel both flavours. That would've been... I'm being fussy but that would've been perfect.

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Yes, you are being a bit fussy.

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Still, a fussy fig thumbs-up is better than nothing.

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Back at John's, referee Jo's either booking someone

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or taking orders, so let's see what they're kicking off with.

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Seafood-lover John is hoping to impress with either

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scallops in Somerset dry cider with smoked bacon,

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or Portobello mushroom late summer salad

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with a red wine vinegar, chilli and garlic dressing.

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I do enjoy my scallops.

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They're lovely and fresh,

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mixed with bacon and some dry Somerset cider - perfect.

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With the salad, I had Italian Portobello mushrooms,

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a lovely mix all blended together - great.

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Both those starters sound wonderful, and if the water wasn't so cold, I'd dive for the scallops myself.

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To ensure his late summer salad doesn't live up to its name,

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John got stuck into it early by chopping fresh chillies,

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garlic, pepper and red onions,

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and by fresh, what I really mean is raw.

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Raw garlic, yeah.

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I don't personally find that strange, to be honest with you,

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but here we go.

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Oh, that could pack a punch!

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The Portobello mushrooms will be cooked to order.

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John's also planning to rustle up a home-made bread.

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Well, that's if he can find a paddle for the bread machine.

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Hm, not under there.

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Not under there either!

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Maybe someone's hidden it out in the garden.

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Maybe not.

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It takes a few seconds to get it ready. It's just...

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Ten minutes later, and still no joy.

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I think it's just cut your losses.

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But has this missing paddle left John up a certain creek?

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Plan B is to serve up ready-made rolls.

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Great idea! And, after a mouthful of raw chillies, I doubt whether anyone will taste the difference, anyway.

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So three mushrooms and two scallops.

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His second starter - scallops with bacon in dry cider -

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-needs cooking to order at the last minute.

-Scallops, yeah...

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don't overcook them, for God's sake.

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Mm, fat chance of that because now there's another problem.

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Yeah, the hob isn't producing as much heat as it should be.

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That one's fine and we've totally lost that one there.

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So the hob's been nobbled, but John battles on.

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After a quick sizzle in the pan,

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the scallops are returned to their shells, then sprinkled with bacon and cider.

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I think they look lovely.

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Yes, reasonably pleased with that.

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Then out they go.

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Jo, can you pop in there and see them eating it

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and see if they're pulling any funny faces at all.

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Do you want me to see if they want a carrier bag or something?!

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No funny faces, but what do they think?

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The scallops were presented loose in the shells.

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It was quite difficult to keep them under control.

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Hmm, they do seem quite lively.

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I had the scallops to start with.

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I've never had them before, that's why I tried it.

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I thought they were really nice.

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I didn't like how they were presented, though.

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It was good, John. The feedback was good.

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-No complaints.

-Lovely, thanks, Jo.

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-I asked if there was anything else they wanted, and they were happy with what they had.

-Good, brilliant.

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Well, that's a good start, but did the mushroom and raw chilli salad set the diners alight?

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It seemed, to me, to be very heavy on the vinegar dressing

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which didn't really sit well with me,

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and the raw onions I'm not too keen on, so...

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yeah, you know, it was OK.

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I've got loads of garlic chunks.

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It looks like what you have at lunch time every day.

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-It does, actually, yeah!

-That you make yourself.

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It's not hard to make a great salad, so I think, on all, it was average.

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Average? Oh, John's having a tough time already.

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Two diners down, a bread paddle that's gone AWOL and half his cooker out of action.

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I wonder what's going to happen next.

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Mind you, Debi's diners weren't exactly ecstatic about her soup,

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but there's a long way to go, so what's on offer for the mains?

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For her main course, Debi has gone for a peppered monkfish risotto

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with asparagus, sorrel, Parmesan and lemon.

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Or there's ballotine of chicken,

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boned, stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes

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and local buffalo mozzarella, and rolled into a parcel,

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served with veg from the garden of course,

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as well as vichyssoise, courgette and carrot ribbons,

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rosti Dauphinoise potatoes,

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pea-shoot mash and a cream and wild mushroom sauce.

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Wow, that's a plate and a half!

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The peppered monkfish risotto is a personal favourite.

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The chicken dish, whenever I've cooked it for people,

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it's always gone down really well.

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I really like the sound of the risotto.

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A very brave thing to do, and good luck to her.

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Whether it's brave or foolhardy only time will tell,

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but at least Debi was well-prepared,

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starting her monkfish five hours

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before her diners were due to arrive.

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After her shaky soup, her mains really need to impress,

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especially as, by her standards,

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this monkfish cost a small fortune - £15.

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The fact that I've got all of the other ingredients out of various hedgerows,

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a lot of those ingredients I haven't had to buy,

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it's given me a little bit more to be able to put monkfish on the menu.

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Just taking the outer membrane off of the fish.

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It's the bit that tends not to get pulled off completely when they take the skin off and it can be

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a little bit chewy

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and when you cook it, it'll make it tighten up.

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Once cooked, it'll be flaked into the risotto, which she's ambitiously hoping to cook to order.

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Something she's not leaving to the last minute is the chicken

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which she beats into submission a full two hours early.

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What I'm doing now is hammering the chicken so it goes nice and flat, gives it an even depth to it.

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I can then stuff it with the mozzarella and sun-dried tomato mix.

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I'm going to roll it in cling-film and then poach it

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before finishing it off in the pan just before people eat it.

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Oh, just before people eat it - that's an awful lot of last-minute cooking,

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and the last thing she wants is to keep paying guests waiting.

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And it turns out this isn't her only gamble.

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As Debi doesn't actually eat meat, the first time anyone will taste her chicken dish

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will be when she serves it up to the diners.

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In terms of knowing what it tastes like, given that I'm not going to be the person doing the tasting,

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it is done by smell.

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I can sort of understand, if things smell a bit sharp,

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maybe they need a bit of sugar or perhaps some salt.

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You do just have to trust to instinct on a lot of it.

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Well, let's just hope her instincts are right.

0:18:340:18:37

With the starters done and dusted, the orders are now in for the mains,

0:18:370:18:42

and Debi starts cooking the risotto, which will take at least half an hour.

0:18:420:18:46

It's not working as quick as I'd like it to.

0:18:470:18:50

Hopefully, they'll understand that and appreciate it accordingly.

0:18:510:18:57

Let's hope so, but as the risotto bubbles away slowly, the monkfish starts cooking...

0:18:570:19:03

-maybe a little too fast?

-THEY ALL COUGH

0:19:030:19:06

Oh, dear!

0:19:060:19:08

And before you can say "burnt monkfish", the diners get a little preview

0:19:140:19:18

of what they're about to eat.

0:19:180:19:20

The smoke got to me a little bit.

0:19:200:19:22

Um, a bit sharp on the old throat.

0:19:220:19:23

Possibly thought it was the risotto, possibly...catching on the bottom.

0:19:230:19:28

Oh, if only it was. It'll be quite some time before this is in any danger of burning.

0:19:280:19:32

The peppercorns are getting a little bit hot.

0:19:320:19:35

Well, at least it's only the peppercorns going up in smoke

0:19:350:19:38

and not the fish, but as the air starts clearing, it dawns on Debi just how up against it she is.

0:19:380:19:44

Timing's a little bit, um...

0:19:440:19:48

creative, I think. Yeah.

0:19:480:19:50

It'll be good food and it'll be worth the wait.

0:19:500:19:52

I think the frustrating thing is,

0:19:520:19:54

er, if you have to wait and the food's a bit average,

0:19:540:19:59

-but this is going to be good.

-Well, let's see, shall we?

0:19:590:20:02

Because finally, after an hour's wait, the risotto is ready to go out

0:20:020:20:06

to the two people who actually ordered it and, unfortunately for Debi,

0:20:060:20:10

one of these is the chap who fussed about the figs.

0:20:100:20:14

The risotto was OK. It would've been better

0:20:140:20:16

if it was a couple of degrees hotter, but our table did get served first,

0:20:160:20:21

so perhaps we were on the winning side there.

0:20:210:20:23

The overall flavour was extremely nice

0:20:230:20:27

but, as I say, it wasn't quite hot enough.

0:20:270:20:29

So two diners down and eight still hungry, but at 8.30pm

0:20:310:20:34

Debi's only just started the monumental task of plating up

0:20:340:20:38

the five different veg options that go with her chicken dish.

0:20:380:20:42

Er, any chance of giving her a hand, Emma?

0:20:420:20:46

Dad?

0:20:460:20:48

Emma gets the hint and stirs in the mushrooms for the sauce,

0:20:480:20:51

but Dad refuses to get ideas above his station.

0:20:510:20:54

Debi, you've got to remember I'm only the kitchen skivvy.

0:20:540:20:58

I'm not the mushroom shaker.

0:20:580:20:59

EMMA LAUGHS It wasn't in my job description.

0:21:010:21:03

DAD LAUGHS

0:21:030:21:04

At 8.50pm Emma's mushroom sauce is getting thicker...

0:21:040:21:08

while, outside, the diners are just getting thinner...

0:21:080:21:12

If I was in a restaurant and in a rush, I probably would have complained.

0:21:120:21:15

It is a huge challenge...

0:21:150:21:19

but...

0:21:190:21:20

I don't know what to say at the moment!

0:21:200:21:24

How about, "Pull your finger out, Dad, and give us a hand?".

0:21:240:21:27

Shout when you need me to take something.

0:21:270:21:29

If you were in a proper restaurant, you probably would find it was a bit too long between courses.

0:21:310:21:36

I was very conscious, then, of the length of time it was taking me to plate.

0:21:360:21:42

I didn't want things to go cold, so that's been my big nightmare.

0:21:420:21:46

Well, let's hope it doesn't come back to haunt you, Debi.

0:21:460:21:50

And those huge glass plates aren't exactly helping with the speedy service either.

0:21:500:21:55

8.55pm guests arrived at...

0:21:550:21:59

6.30pm so a little bit longer than I would've liked for

0:21:590:22:03

the gap between the starter and the main course.

0:22:030:22:06

Mm, I think an hour and a half is longer than anyone would've liked.

0:22:060:22:10

Right, before anything else, I think we deserve a gin.

0:22:100:22:14

It's a bit cold.

0:22:150:22:17

-It's out, it's gone.

-Bags, I don't have to do washing up!

-And it better not come back.

-Yeah.

0:22:190:22:24

-So what's the verdict?

-We waited for ages for the food and it was cold when it came out,

0:22:260:22:31

especially on the potatoes, it was really off-putting cos it was really cold.

0:22:310:22:35

The actual food was delicious, but unfortunately it was cold.

0:22:350:22:39

I don't think it was helped by the plates that it was served on.

0:22:390:22:43

They were very large glass plates and I don't think

0:22:430:22:46

there was any possibility of warming the plates beforehand.

0:22:460:22:49

It's lovely, but it is cold.

0:22:490:22:51

The chicken was cold, the potato was cold...

0:22:510:22:55

so it wasn't enjoyable, but obviously I ate it, I was quite hungry.

0:22:550:22:59

Oh, dear. But back in the kitchen, the gin's obviously working because no-one suspects a thing.

0:22:590:23:04

It sounds jolly out there now that it's quiet in here, so hopefully

0:23:060:23:11

they're having a good time.

0:23:110:23:13

Sadly, the noise isn't one of joy.

0:23:130:23:16

It's because someone's just discovered something they can't remember ordering.

0:23:160:23:20

I've just got a hair on my chicken.

0:23:210:23:25

It's definitely not mine.

0:23:250:23:27

I don't think there could've been much more on my plate that would've made me not want to eat it.

0:23:270:23:33

What's that? SHE GASPS

0:23:340:23:37

No, a piece of fluff!

0:23:370:23:39

I think that's a piece of fluff off a tea towel, actually.

0:23:410:23:44

What? A tea towel made of hair?

0:23:440:23:47

I reckon they brought it in with them and it's a plant.

0:23:470:23:50

See? There's an answer to everything.

0:23:500:23:53

Yes, but the only questions that count are how much they think the meal is worth...

0:23:530:23:59

and can John do any better?

0:23:590:24:02

For his mains, he's serving his pride and joy, catch of the day...

0:24:020:24:05

sea bass, bream and mussels in a rich fish stock.

0:24:050:24:09

Or there's rack of lamb served with sweet potato mash,

0:24:090:24:12

carrots, leeks, basil and pea puree, roast potatoes and a red wine jus.

0:24:120:24:17

Loosen your belts, diners!

0:24:170:24:19

Seafood is my signature dish, my favourite food.

0:24:190:24:23

Lamb is a firm family favourite, always goes down well.

0:24:230:24:27

Both the main courses sound really interesting,

0:24:270:24:30

but not combinations personally I would cook.

0:24:300:24:33

John prides himself on only using the finest local ingredients.

0:24:330:24:38

I've got a good fishmonger I use, I got a good butcher's I use as well, good relationships.

0:24:380:24:44

He's spent £35 on his rack of lamb, but has gambled almost twice that on his second main to try and lure his

0:24:440:24:51

diners towards the freshly cooked fish and seafood option.

0:24:510:24:54

That's not, you know, half as much as it should be.

0:24:540:24:56

It's going to be a lovely dish and it's for them to enjoy.

0:24:560:25:00

John originally planned to use monkfish.

0:25:000:25:03

The monkfish today is not as fresh as it should be.

0:25:030:25:07

Something's gone wrong with that.

0:25:070:25:09

I did a test last night and I did one this morning as well,

0:25:090:25:12

so monkfish is off, and I've replaced it with sea bream.

0:25:120:25:17

Let's just hope this attention to detail is appreciated.

0:25:170:25:21

After switching fish, John then started his stock well before noon.

0:25:210:25:25

Got lots of celery, carrots, leeks in there.

0:25:250:25:29

Got bream carcass in there, etc.

0:25:290:25:32

Bass carcass in there as well. A few bay leaves in there.

0:25:320:25:35

Onions, etc. Bit of olive oil to start that off with.

0:25:350:25:37

That'll cook down for about two hours and then, just before the end, I'm going to finish off the Vermouth

0:25:370:25:43

just to give it a bit of lift.

0:25:430:25:44

Ooh, maybe that missing bread paddle's in there as well.

0:25:440:25:47

This is one of my favourites, you know? I really do like this.

0:25:470:25:50

Well, let's just hope your diners feel the same.

0:25:500:25:53

Put the wine away otherwise we'll start drinking that.

0:25:530:25:56

After two hours bubbling away, the stock should be ready.

0:25:560:26:00

It's very watery, very...

0:26:020:26:05

-No oomph to it at all.

-No oomph?

0:26:050:26:07

Did you forget to chuck some in?

0:26:070:26:09

I don't think I boiled it rapidly like I should've done.

0:26:090:26:14

I turned it down too soon, I think. This hasn't happened before.

0:26:140:26:18

While the fish stock is left to oomph up a bit, John draws up elaborate plans for his lamb.

0:26:190:26:25

So on here, you've got the two...

0:26:250:26:29

..lamb chops there, one there, OK?

0:26:300:26:33

And you've got your roast potatoes, pea puree, sweet potato, onions,

0:26:330:26:36

leeks and you've got your drizzle in there of red wine, redcurrant sauce.

0:26:360:26:42

And obviously the little rosemary sprig there.

0:26:420:26:45

Very pretty, but how's that stock doing? Any more oomph?

0:26:450:26:49

I don't think I've got enough fish in there, to be honest with you, so I might add a bit more fish to it.

0:26:490:26:55

Yes, it's lacking that punch.

0:26:550:26:57

It's getting there, it's better.

0:26:570:27:00

Oh, now it lacks punch. Best leave it a while longer, I reckon.

0:27:000:27:03

Any better two hours later?

0:27:030:27:06

Right, OK, the stock's done.

0:27:060:27:08

I'm 80% happy. It's not bad.

0:27:080:27:12

I think I could have used more vegetables.

0:27:120:27:16

He's a perfectionist, this man, but then it is his signature dish.

0:27:160:27:20

The rest of it will be cooked to order, just like the lamb,

0:27:200:27:23

but with two burners down on his cooker,

0:27:230:27:25

that leaves John with an awful lot on his plate.

0:27:250:27:28

The lamb rack with sweet potato. Thank you.

0:27:280:27:31

A few hours later and the mains orders are coming in,

0:27:310:27:33

-but has John's fishy gamble paid off?

-Five lamb?

-Yeah.

0:27:330:27:37

What's wrong with people?

0:27:370:27:39

After all his efforts, only one guest has actually ordered the fish,

0:27:390:27:42

and even then, they don't fancy the mussels.

0:27:420:27:45

Ah, that's an awful lot of time and money down the drain.

0:27:450:27:49

Only one seafood dish so far.

0:27:490:27:51

Bit disappointing.

0:27:520:27:55

Yeah, I'd like to have seen a few more seafood, but never mind.

0:27:550:28:00

So, with practically a whole flock of lamb on order

0:28:000:28:03

and only two rings still working,

0:28:030:28:05

John's now go a whole lot of meat to cook and hardly any cooker.

0:28:050:28:08

I mean, it is, you know, it could be looked at as a gamble, but, um...

0:28:100:28:16

the proof's in the pudding, really, so to speak.

0:28:160:28:19

And the diners will know they're getting a good meal here.

0:28:190:28:23

Hope he's right because, with half his cooker out of action,

0:28:230:28:26

he can only cook the lamb for one table at a time,

0:28:260:28:30

which means someone's got a lot of waiting to do.

0:28:300:28:33

So that's the first batch done.

0:28:350:28:37

Oh...or is it?

0:28:370:28:40

Yeah, I'm quite happy with that.

0:28:400:28:43

Hope the diners will be.

0:28:430:28:45

The lamb's cooked nicely.

0:28:490:28:50

Thank you very much.

0:28:510:28:53

Normally, I wouldn't eat lamb, but that's pretty good.

0:28:560:28:59

I ate the first sort of two pieces of lamb and I was astounded cos I was really enjoying it.

0:28:590:29:05

It was well-cooked, medium rare, it was just the way I liked it.

0:29:050:29:09

The third piece unfortunately was looking, sort of, semi alive.

0:29:090:29:13

Still had a pulse perhaps!

0:29:130:29:15

Meh-eh!

0:29:150:29:17

THEY LAUGH

0:29:170:29:19

That's definitely not cooked properly.

0:29:190:29:22

I know that the menu did say medium rare,

0:29:220:29:25

but it was more like medium raw, um, and I'm afraid I couldn't eat it.

0:29:250:29:30

I probably would've sent it back if it was in a normal restaurant, but I don't know...

0:29:300:29:36

here, we're just being too polite, I think.

0:29:360:29:39

Perhaps we should've said, can we have it better done.

0:29:390:29:42

-So are you saying you would send that back if you were in a real restaurant.

-Yeah.

0:29:420:29:45

I can't even cut it. Yours is actually tough.

0:29:450:29:48

Mine's very tender even though it's slightly under-done.

0:29:480:29:51

But there's one fan in the room, sort of.

0:29:520:29:55

My lamb was cooked how I like it.

0:29:550:29:57

Wasn't keen on the roast potatoes, um...

0:29:570:30:02

but the rest of the veg, apart from not being very hot,

0:30:020:30:05

was pretty good. Nice presentation.

0:30:050:30:07

I should've had the sea bass without the mussels, shouldn't I?

0:30:070:30:11

Too late now. So how's John taking it back in the kitchen?

0:30:110:30:15

Very disappointing. Some have eaten them, some haven't,

0:30:150:30:18

so I can see what the response is going to be to that.

0:30:180:30:23

At least he got to taste it. One table's still waiting for theirs.

0:30:230:30:28

Yeah, a little bit concerned that the second lot have had to wait a while.

0:30:280:30:31

But, um...learn from that.

0:30:350:30:39

We've been waiting for an hour now.

0:30:410:30:45

Yeah. I think you're starting to get a bit disappointed, are you?

0:30:460:30:49

I am, actually. What about you?

0:30:490:30:51

It's getting me down a little bit.

0:30:510:30:54

If you wouldn't mind just sending my apologies.

0:30:540:30:56

Say five, six minutes, the next lot will be out.

0:30:560:31:01

-OK, guys, it'll just be a few more minutes. The chef sends his apologies.

-Thank you.

0:31:010:31:06

So, after referee Jo flags up a little bit of extra time...

0:31:060:31:10

The lamb's good. That's what they said.

0:31:100:31:12

She gives John a slightly distorted picture of the latest score.

0:31:120:31:16

But even though John's only had one order for his fish, he's determined to make it

0:31:160:31:22

the best fish dish anyone's ever eaten.

0:31:220:31:25

Nice bit of bream there.

0:31:250:31:28

When you're doing this, keep it down, keep your fingers down on it.

0:31:280:31:31

Always do the skin side first.

0:31:310:31:34

Oh, looking good.

0:31:360:31:39

The baked sea bass...

0:31:470:31:50

It's baked in a little bit of olive oil and some white wine.

0:31:540:31:58

One lucky discerning diner is hopefully about to get the fish supper of his life.

0:31:580:32:03

Ready to go, Jo. Thank you very much.

0:32:030:32:07

Who's having the seafood?

0:32:070:32:10

So, after all that effort, we're all dying to know, what's it like?

0:32:130:32:18

It was cooked to perfection, I would say.

0:32:180:32:20

Oh! A man of few words.

0:32:200:32:23

And what about that last bit of lamb finally limping into the dining room just before nine o'clock?

0:32:230:32:29

I wouldn't be able to eat it, not like that.

0:32:290:32:33

Definitely not.

0:32:330:32:34

The main, I was really disappointed with.

0:32:340:32:38

It did say medium raw on the menu, but it came like more raw,

0:32:380:32:43

and the vegetables were cold, and I didn't eat any of it.

0:32:430:32:46

So that lamb could've skipped back to the field and only

0:32:460:32:50

one order for the fish, but it wasn't much better at Debi's.

0:32:500:32:54

Cold plates, cold food and a hair in the chicken.

0:32:540:32:58

Or was it a bit of tea-towel fluff?

0:32:580:33:00

Can either of our cooks redeem themselves with desserts?

0:33:000:33:04

Debi's diners have got the choice between a pink grapefruit praline with a tuile biscuit

0:33:080:33:13

or a home-made pear liqueur chocolate pot served with lemon and lavender shortcake.

0:33:130:33:19

The pink grapefruit praline is an absolute foolproof family favourite.

0:33:190:33:23

The chocolate puddings I've been perfecting over the last couple of weeks

0:33:230:33:27

just to get the right balance of chocolate in there.

0:33:270:33:30

Pears and nuts are from trees up the field, and

0:33:300:33:32

the lavender's out of the garden, so what could be better, really?

0:33:320:33:35

Neither of them really get me going, to be honest with you.

0:33:350:33:39

Oh, well, it's just as well John's not on Debi's guest list tonight, then.

0:33:390:33:43

And while he was in HIS garden looking for the paddle from his bread maker,

0:33:430:33:47

Debi was in hers picking lavender for her biscuits.

0:33:470:33:51

In terms of getting the right balance, a little bit by eye.

0:33:510:33:54

That, in terms of quantity,

0:33:540:33:56

by the time they've been picked off the stalks,

0:33:560:33:59

is going to be absolutely plenty for the volume of biscuit dough.

0:33:590:34:03

Back in the kitchen, she crushed the lavender and added butter, flour,

0:34:030:34:07

eggs, sugar and lemon zest, before putting it all in the oven.

0:34:070:34:10

She also hand-picked the cob nuts for her crunchy grapefruit praline...

0:34:120:34:16

Yes, they really are very ripe now.

0:34:160:34:18

Then handed them to her dad and told him to get cracking.

0:34:180:34:22

She won't tell me how many of the cob nuts that she requires, so

0:34:220:34:27

I will just carry on until she tells me to stop.

0:34:270:34:30

When he had eventually done enough, the nuts were added to sugar over a low heat until they caramelised.

0:34:300:34:36

It's just a brilliant, brilliant easy dessert to make.

0:34:360:34:39

Fingers crossed it'll go down well.

0:34:390:34:42

The praline will be combined with whipped cream and pink grapefruit segments.

0:34:420:34:47

Debi's second dessert, the liqueur chocolate pots, features a boozy pear compote.

0:34:470:34:53

The alcohol I'm adding has got pears in it, some honey

0:34:530:34:58

from a friend's bees, and some vodka that they've been soaking in.

0:34:580:35:02

I think I've probably made this about a dozen times in the last month.

0:35:060:35:11

Lashings of chocolate are added to lashings of cream!

0:35:110:35:15

I do now think it is absolutely spot on,

0:35:150:35:19

but we'll find out tonight.

0:35:190:35:21

So, after the main event, can Debi salvage her evening with these luscious lovelies?

0:35:240:35:30

I'm thinking that hopefully the puddings have done the trick

0:35:300:35:34

and it will be the thing that they remember when they go away.

0:35:340:35:37

They were nicely chilled, they were ready to go,

0:35:370:35:39

they were served on time and they taste absolutely fantastic.

0:35:390:35:43

The chocolate pears, very nice, but the vodka is so, so strong that

0:35:430:35:49

I think, had I been breathalysed, I'd be three times over the limit!

0:35:490:35:54

My chocolate pudding was very good, actually.

0:35:540:35:57

Normally, with a meal where you finish with something very, very sweet,

0:35:570:36:01

you think, "Oh, it's very sickly," but it works quite nicely.

0:36:010:36:06

Apart from the liberal dose of pear liqueur,

0:36:060:36:09

it looks like these might have just done the job, even for the fusspots.

0:36:090:36:14

Texture's right, flavour's right, a little bit of pear on the bottom, which is fine,

0:36:140:36:19

and the biscuits go well with it.

0:36:190:36:21

Result! And the praline?

0:36:210:36:24

It's really good, actually. The dessert is delicious,

0:36:240:36:26

it's quite fresh, crunchy and quite light as well, in a way.

0:36:260:36:30

The grapefruit's sweet, but sharp.

0:36:300:36:32

It's very nice, it's a very good combination.

0:36:320:36:34

And the lavender shortbread biscuits?

0:36:340:36:38

They smell beautifully of biscuit.

0:36:380:36:40

Lovely fresh biscuit. I'm eating mine very carefully.

0:36:400:36:43

I'm trying to get the flavour of lavender as well as the lemon.

0:36:430:36:47

They're beautiful.

0:36:490:36:50

I really do like the biscuits.

0:36:500:36:52

Ah, well done, Debi! Looks like you sweetened the deal with your guests.

0:36:520:36:56

But can John do the same with his?

0:36:560:37:00

His meal is rounded off with apple sponge cake and custard or...

0:37:000:37:04

lemon tart with extra-thick cream.

0:37:040:37:06

The one I love most is the apple sponge cake.

0:37:080:37:11

Brings back happy childhood memories for me

0:37:110:37:13

and also, when I do make it, there's never enough left for seconds.

0:37:130:37:17

They do look like puddings made by someone who's not a big pudding fan,

0:37:170:37:22

and I think mine were a lot more imaginative.

0:37:220:37:25

Not only more imaginative, but also cooked on the day,

0:37:250:37:29

whereas John made his the night before, which is against the rules.

0:37:290:37:33

Reason being is my wife hasn't been too well so I've been a little bit short for helpers.

0:37:330:37:40

This should've been done on the day but, as I said, due to circumstances, I did it last night.

0:37:400:37:45

It's too late now to go through the whole process of the apple sponge cake and the lemon tart

0:37:450:37:51

to get it how I need it to be, especially with the home-made pastry as well,

0:37:510:37:56

so would Nadia impose a penalty on me for this?

0:37:560:37:59

Well...

0:37:590:38:00

as Nicky has been ill, I promise to have a little think about it.

0:38:000:38:06

So we'll never quite know what's in them, but his diners are about to find out.

0:38:060:38:12

Oh, it's looking good, but not for long.

0:38:190:38:23

It should be hot, shouldn't it?

0:38:230:38:26

-Does need to be at least warm, but it's cold.

-The custard's nice.

0:38:260:38:33

That's cold as well on my plate.

0:38:330:38:35

LAUGHTER

0:38:350:38:37

And what on earth's going on at the next table?

0:38:370:38:40

It was great, and I mean that most sincerely,

0:38:400:38:44

until my companion here found a hair in hers.

0:38:440:38:48

Um, so now I don't really want to finish it.

0:38:480:38:51

Sorry.

0:38:530:38:55

It was lovely, but I'm afraid I've seen that now and I can't eat it.

0:38:560:39:01

Who'd have thought it?

0:39:010:39:02

Debi and John must use the same tea towels.

0:39:020:39:06

Oh, dear.

0:39:060:39:09

A hair in the sweet. Not very good.

0:39:090:39:12

How much more can one man take?

0:39:130:39:16

After her triumphant puds, Debi is rewarded with a round of applause from her guests.

0:39:180:39:23

But it's been a bit of a day for John,

0:39:230:39:25

and he gets a decidedly lukewarm reaction from his.

0:39:250:39:29

Oh, dear.

0:39:290:39:32

But now it's time for the diners to decide what their evening's been worth.

0:39:320:39:37

It's entirely up to them how much or how little they pay,

0:39:370:39:40

and neither of our cooks has

0:39:400:39:42

any idea what that could be, so have they done enough to make a profit?

0:39:420:39:47

Debi spent just under £80

0:39:470:39:50

so she must take £8-a-head to break even.

0:39:500:39:54

So how did her diners rate their evening?

0:39:540:39:57

I enjoyed the evening, but the food let it down a little.

0:39:570:39:59

I've enjoyed this evening. It's been really well done.

0:39:590:40:03

We've had a lovely time. It's been really pleasant and very, very nice.

0:40:030:40:06

The food was disappointing. It was cold.

0:40:060:40:09

But Debi's still feeling upbeat.

0:40:090:40:11

I'm still hoping I'll be somewhere in the region of £180 to £200 for the ten people.

0:40:110:40:18

John spent nearly twice as much as Debi - £151,

0:40:180:40:23

so, assuming he had ten diners,

0:40:230:40:25

he will need over £15-a-head to break even,

0:40:250:40:28

but after all that went wrong, is there any chance of that happening?

0:40:280:40:33

If I was in a restaurant, I wouldn't have paid a penny.

0:40:330:40:36

I would've left and I would've made a complaint about the food.

0:40:360:40:40

I think it was really brave of the chef to put himself under that scrutiny, have us into his house,

0:40:400:40:45

and to cook for us, and so well done. 100% effort, excellent.

0:40:450:40:49

How's it gone? Absolute nightmare.

0:40:490:40:52

I am so proud of you guys.

0:40:550:40:57

Through the highs, through the lows,

0:40:570:40:59

you've got to the end of the evening.

0:40:590:41:01

-And, John, wow, what a night you had.

-Yes, very interesting.

0:41:010:41:06

If you had to sum up the night in one word, what would you say?

0:41:060:41:10

Well... Oh, dear, what word would I use?

0:41:100:41:12

The word "disaster" might come to mind? Would you agree with that, John?

0:41:120:41:15

I don't know, but I'm...

0:41:150:41:17

having treatment for it anyway, basically.

0:41:170:41:20

No, it was a good experience for me and that's what I did it for, to see if I could cope with it.

0:41:200:41:25

-Now, you are a very jolly chap. You didn't look all that jolly on the night, though.

-Didn't I?

0:41:250:41:30

-No.

-Oh, dear!

0:41:300:41:32

-I don't think I heard that lovely laugh much, I must say.

-Oh, dear.

0:41:320:41:36

-Um, yeah, I can look miserable, but deep down I'm quite happy.

-I mean, to have two rings go out...

0:41:360:41:41

-Yes, yes.

-I really felt for you.

0:41:410:41:43

My wife's getting a new cooker for Christmas, so some good came of it!

0:41:430:41:49

How was it for you, Debi?

0:41:490:41:51

Just absolutely exhausting.

0:41:530:41:56

-Absolutely exhausting.

-And your lemon and lavender biscuits...

0:41:560:42:00

Oh, they were so lovely. I could almost taste them.

0:42:000:42:02

I was hoping for some to come back, but they didn't.

0:42:020:42:05

I was hoping you might bring a few round for me.

0:42:050:42:08

So obviously the next question has to be,

0:42:080:42:10

would you do it again?

0:42:100:42:12

-Yeah.

-Would you?

-I would, yes.

0:42:120:42:14

Oh! And, John, how about you?

0:42:140:42:17

-I'd do it again, definitely.

-Really?

0:42:170:42:19

I'd change the meat menu, cook something different with that.

0:42:190:42:23

-But, yeah, I'd do it again, definitely.

-What do you mean?

0:42:230:42:26

-Would you not have meat so they'd have to order your fish?

-That's a good one, yeah. Fish all around.

0:42:260:42:31

But there is a serious business here.

0:42:310:42:34

Would you like to know if you made a profit?

0:42:340:42:37

-Yes, please.

-OK. OK, Debi, I'm going to start with you.

0:42:370:42:40

You spent £79.37 and your diners donated £159.

0:42:400:42:47

So that means you made £79.63, so that is your money.

0:42:470:42:52

-Thank you very much.

-Well done. Thank you!

0:42:520:42:56

-Now, John, are you ready?

-I'll give it back to you, shall I? I think that's the way it's going.

0:42:560:43:01

We are going to let you off your little teeny cheat.

0:43:010:43:04

Yes. The puddings, so to speak.

0:43:040:43:06

-But your wife wasn't well, so we're allowing that.

-Yeah.

0:43:060:43:10

Now, on the night, you only had eight diners, so we've done the maths and rounded everything up

0:43:100:43:14

-as if you had ten diners.

-OK.

0:43:140:43:16

So you spent £151.04. That's because you spent an awful lot of fish.

0:43:160:43:22

Your diners donated £100, so you owe someone 51 quid!

0:43:220:43:28

Yes, one second.

0:43:280:43:30

Who do I make the cheque payable to?

0:43:300:43:32

Oh, a great sport.

0:43:320:43:34

You've both been absolutely brilliant.

0:43:340:43:36

And you have been too, so I'll see you next time on Instant Restaurant.

0:43:360:43:40

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:510:43:54

Email: [email protected]

0:43:540:43:57

Nadia Sawalha presents as two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they've got what it takes to create a restaurant in their own homes for one night only - and make a profit. Debi Backhurst likes to help herself to nature's bounty from hedgerows and the garden. But has she got what it takes to make a profit when she takes on John Stephens who dreams of running his own gastro-pub? And how will they cope under the pressure of opening their own Instant Restaurants for one night only?


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