Amateur cooks see if they can create a profitable restaurant in their homes for one night. Angela Athienides's Greek taverna battles with Sarah Hughes's fine dining on a budget.
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Two amateur cooks are converting their homes into restaurants.
It's dawned on me today that I am in a bit over my head.
-If I see another egg white, I'll explode!
-They've been given just one day and a budget of up to £200.
20 strangers will be judging the results.
It'll be entirely up to them to decide how much or how little they pay.
-That has been an absolute delight for my taste buds.
-I really didn't enjoy my main meal at all.
So can the cooks deliver the goods and will either of them make any money?
Hello and welcome to Instant Restaurant
where we challenge two cooks
to create the perfect restaurant experience.
Their guests will then decide how much they think it's worth,
so can either of our cooks make a profit?
Kung-fu fan Angela Athienides is a 29-year-old print manager
who is just crazy about food.
She is a Greek-South African who married a Welshman
and has only recently moved to the outskirts of Bristol.
We've lived here for two years.
In my spare time, I do kung fu
and I'm just passionate about cooking.
My family is Greek, so we follow all the Greek traditions,
the food, the culture, the language,
but on the other hand, I'm South African, so I've got this balance of two different nationalities.
It's not going to be fine dining,
extravagant, presented with every detail.
It's going to be basic food, but really tasty.
Her rival is 42-year-old Sarah Hughes, also from Bristol,
who discovered a passion for cooking after quitting her high-flying job as a company secretary.
I had to give up work because of ill health five years ago. I looked inside myself and found cooking.
The concept is fine dining, English with a French twist.
Not how I planned it, but it worked out that way and the flavours of all the dishes marry together very well.
My friends know how much I love to feed people. It feeds the soul.
But this challenge is about much more than just tantalising food.
With the assistance of two helpers at any one time,
each cook must transform their homes into restaurants,
creating just the right ambience to whet the diners' appetites and their wallets.
Angela is sticking to what she knows best by going for an authentic Greek taverna.
The atmosphere will be quite rustic, as if you were in a village on a Greek island.
A lot of plants, a lot of lemons, olive oil, old bottles,
herbs, a lot of candles, but with quite a contemporary feel at the same time.
Helping her with her Greek island is cousin Nula.
Delicious, creamy chocolate mousse.
-World-famous Maria's chocolate mousse.
I think Angela's pretty relaxed. She might get a bit flustered, but we'll try and help as much as we can.
And friend Tammy.
I hope everyone will enjoy it. I have faith in Ange and her cooking. I think we'll do well.
-This one doesn't look as green and full. Shall we swap those pots with these?
-Do you think?
Sarah's supper house at her Bristol home is all done by the book, a very old book.
-This is how well-used it is. "Cutlery, hints on, to lay, 663." There you go.
Sarah's friend Olivia will be in charge of front of house.
"All silver should be placed half an inch from the edge of the table
"and each piece should be equidistant from the other."
So I won't be sacked just yet.
No mistakes then, please, Olivia.
Sarah likes things just so and to help her pull it off, Mum Jane is on morning duty.
Sarah will cope very well with the challenge.
She seems to enjoy a challenge.
And she is clearly counting on Dad Bruce as he'll be her right-hand man for the whole ordeal.
She's going to cope absolutely fantastically.
She's calm, cool and collected. Very, at the moment.
But in her extensive home, where has she decided to put her diners? Oh, in the hallway!
I want to create a nice ambience in here where it's not too quiet.
I can't bear that. So hopefully it will be quite a convivial atmosphere, quite jolly.
I hope it's not draughty.
Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.
Angela has decided she needed just over £114 for her Greek taverna,
so she must take just over £11 a head to break even.
Sarah has asked for a frugal £86,
so she needs nearly £9 a head to nudge into profit.
I've managed to use stuff in the garden. I've shopped around to try and get the best deal I can.
Her best bargain - my marrows!
-They were free!
-Good old Dad!
So it's the battle of the Greek island taverna versus classic fine dining on a budget.
Each cook will be judged by ten hungry strangers.
They're young. We'll be all right.
They all live nearby and are from different walks of life,
but they're all ready to tuck into some good food and then decide what it's worth.
And if they don't like what either Angela or Sarah serve up, our cooks could be heading for a loss.
Over at Angela's, as her guests arrive, her confidence departs.
All of a sudden, it's a bit nerve-wracking.
The nervous giggle!
Welcome to our Greek taverna.
-That's nice, very nice.
-They've done it really nice.
The features with the grapes were really nice, so a good atmosphere.
The table decoration is lovely and very authentic.
They've made a real effort. It's beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful.
It's just a shame that a Greek restaurant doesn't look like this!
-First impressions seem pretty good.
-I'm quite excited now.
But what will Sarah's diners make of her neatly regimented restaurant?
I thought it looked very posh. The table linens were very nice
and all of the different table settings and the forks and knives looked very, very fancy.
Well, doing it by the book has paid off then, but what do they make of being in the hall?
It was strange everyone sitting in someone's vestibule, as you said!
A nice hallway at that, but yeah, we're in somebody's hallway.
Much as the tables were dressed with tablecloths and there were roses and all sorts of things,
it was still somebody's hallway with four doors leading off into rooms that we couldn't see
and it was a bit uncomfortable.
They're not shy in coming forward! So much so, they've already given Olivia the jitters!
I'm slightly wondering what I've let myself in for, having met the slightly scary diners,
but I'm sure it'll all be fine and Sarah has it all under control, I can see.
She's absolutely fine, look, and it's going to be beautiful.
I think it looks rather cosy, but playing it by the book might not have done it for Sarah.
Angela's diners love her Greek taverna, so she's off to a great start.
And I love those girls' white outfits,
but now it's all about the menus, so time for starters.
For her starters, Angela is serving a traditional Greek meze of spinach filo parcels,
meatballs with tzatziki and grilled halloumi with lemon and mint dressing.
The meze snacks are something I've grown up with all my life.
I wanted to offer the guests a selection, so I'm offering them a platter of different types,
keeping it very rustic and bringing that village feel into the city.
I think meze is a great choice for a starter because the diners have got such a selection to choose from,
but I would say it was quite a lot of work.
Hopefully, many hands will make light of it.
Just after lunchtime, Nula was busy preparing the mini-meatballs.
Those are looking perfect. Very good.
A mix of lean mince, breadcrumbs and herbs.
-Ready to take out?
-Ready to take out.
Angela got stuck into the filo pastry,
ready to be filled with spinach and onion and coated with egg.
You can put a bit of feta in there, but because there was so much feta throughout the rest of the menu,
I've just kept them as spinach,
wrapping the little filo,
and then we'll bake them.
Next, finely chopped cucumber and lots of yogurt for the tzatziki
with a bit of Grecian know-how.
The tip for this is really to squeeze out the cucumber once it's grated,
so that you don't land up with too much liquid in your dip.
That is the consistency you want.
As Angela griddles the halloumi to complete the meze,
Nula is selling the menu in the restaurant.
I'll bring your attention to our beautiful menu and explain what we have on offer.
To start is a selection of mezedes which you don't need to order.
You'll get the whole selection on the table for everyone to share.
The ambience was lovely.
Very relaxed, very friendly and the two waitresses are lovely.
Now we'll bring our three mezedes for you. OK? Thank you.
-Looking good, but will they tickle the taste buds?
Filo parcels stuffed with spinach.
I think overall the starters were just spot-on.
Greek and not too filling, but really fresh and well cooked.
The spinach parcels, they didn't really have that much flavour, so I wasn't too keen on those.
The meatballs didn't do it for me. They were a little bit dry.
It was a good idea to have the dip because they were pretty dry.
I enjoyed having a mix of different things. I wouldn't have chosen it myself normally.
Mixed reviews for the food, but at least the girls got top marks.
The hostessing skills have been brilliant. Really good.
You're supposed to be spying on what they're saying.
So what has Sarah got lined up to tempt her diners?
For her starters, she's serving a marrow and white onion vichyssoise with thyme and cheese scones
or a blue cheese, chorizo and spinach tart.
I've chosen the soup today
because I want to use up the good old British marrow.
I'm fed up of it being ignored in supermarkets by people.
It's as tasty as pumpkin.
And also the tart is inspired by my husband
who saw it in a local deli, tasted it
and I've been practising it ever since to get the taste right and it's spot-on now.
It looks like a good balance,
although the tart might have a bit too many flavours going on there.
It could be a bit of an acquired taste.
Well, let's see if Sarah's diners acquire it.
Sarah isn't leaving anything to chance
with a daunting, military-style schedule of just what needs doing when.
My father and I sat down and worked out every single recipe.
We started from the end when we would be serving the guests and worked back to the beginning.
I'm not sure we'll follow it exactly, but it's something to fall back on if we get into a panic.
First up, soup at 11 o'clock sharp.
It's a very creamy white soup,
based on the leek and potato vichyssoise,
but adding marrow instead of... with the potato to make it more creamy.
As Sarah gently fries the onions,
Dad focuses on the marrows, raised and now steadily chopped by his own fair hand.
I wouldn't have had anyone else chopping than my father. He's brilliant in the kitchen.
-He and I work very well together.
-And he looks very happy.
I'm the chopper.
I've always had a love of chopping up things small.
Keep going, Bruce. There's loads to do.
And Sarah's feeling super-confident about her soup.
Most people have been really complimentary of it. And my husband is a real fan as well.
That's always a compliment. Happy tummy, happy husband, as they say.
Let's hope it's happy tummies for happy diners too.
The marrows and onions are whizzed up with cooked potatoes and stock before seasoning.
I'm just going to go and whizz this up in the liquidiser.
-See what you think. It's that pepper element. I don't want it to be too strong.
-That's absolutely delicious.
I'm smiling. I'm happy with my soup!
But for much longer, Sarah? A quick review of that meticulous timetable reveals bad news.
"Make separate elements of tart - pastry and filling separately - chopping, etcetera."
-It's five past eleven. We're behind on that.
-You're behind, aren't you?
Oh, dear! But there's no hurrying Bruce who's going at his own steady pace.
My chopped onions are renowned.
In the village, I used to make a lot of chutney.
It was always very fine. I didn't use a food processor. I cut everything up by hand.
I could do with him in my kitchen!
We can do it a little bit quicker than that.
I can't do it as fast as a lot of the professional chefs, but I can do it quite small.
You stick to your guns, Bruce!
Mum's in charge of the pastry bases for the second starter -
blue cheese, chorizo and walnut tarts with a bit of cayenne to give it a kick.
It's based on a quiche lorraine type of mix, but with my own take on it.
It's a very reasonably priced dish for using up leftovers.
I'm using a more expensive cheese today, but if you used a more reasonable cheese,
you could get it under £1 a person, 50p, 75p,
so I'm really pleased with that.
Back on track, the Queen of Thrift and her right-hand man
are nearly ready to serve those scary diners next door, so how is the menu going down?
I think I was expecting the menu to be more like home-cooked food, but this is all really fancy.
Very surprised and very pleased.
Good start, chaps. Let's get those starters out.
I've got one tart and one soup just for the people by the door.
-I'm feeling under pressure because I've got a spot on the side of the dish.
I want to get them done. I don't want anything to ruin the moment.
You get those done. Let's get the door open for you.
Oh, boy, indeed, because with service only just started, there's already a complaint.
-Are you thirsty?
-She said the water tastes like TCP.
-What's the matter?
-She said the water tastes like TCP. It tastes all right to me.
-It's because it's filtered. We'll give her tap water and stick some ice in it.
Blimey! If they're picky about the flavour of the water, what are they going to make of the food?
Well, I guess we're about to find out.
Well, for starters, I had the soup.
I had to ask what it was because it's something beginning with "V" that I can't even pronounce.
I had the soup which I didn't realise was soup,
but I was pleasantly surprised and it was really very nice.
I didn't actually like it that much.
I mean, it was fine. It was just maybe a little bit bland, a bit like a potato soup possibly.
But the scone things were really nice, so that was a plus.
Glad about that, but what about the cheese and chorizo tarts?
I was pleased with the starter. I would have paid good money for that in a restaurant. That was good.
It was very much like going round to somebody's house and having a meal.
And you'd be really happy. If you came to my house and had that, you'd be like, "Michelle's a great cook!"
-I'd be surprised that you went to that effort and made your own tart!
-The pastry was lovely.
-Home-made pastry. You could tell that straight away.
-Yeah, I was quite pleased.
Mixed reviews for Sarah and neither of our cooks are blazing a trail yet,
but there's a long way to go and anything could happen,
so there's everything to play for as we head into the main course.
At her Greek taverna, Angela is offering slow-cooked leg of lamb, infused with lemon and oregano,
served with roasted potatoes and fresh beans,
or free-range chicken stuffed with thyme and ricotta,
served on a crispy Greek salad, topped with a creamy feta sauce.
My mains are simply family favourites and every time I cook them, they always go down well.
If I was eating in this restaurant, I would find the chicken a little too heavy for me.
But the slow-cooked lamb is my favourite Greek dish.
Early afternoon and Angela was getting the lamb ready.
I'm just going to get some garlic inside.
I'll keep it very simple -
a bit of salt and some oregano from the village where my mum comes from.
They go and pick it fresh and she always sends me packets and packets of it.
I'm just going to pop these in for some flavour.
They should know that Greeks like their garlic.
Let's hope so. The lamb is then left to do its own thing for five long hours in the oven.
Her second main course is another Greek-inspired dish -
chicken breasts in a creamy feta cheese sauce.
I'm going to stuff it under the skin which will just become a pocket of flavour.
The ricotta was mixed with olive oil, thyme and lemon juice which should keep the chicken moist,
then a quick sprinkling of South African spices.
This one is "Portuguese chicken". It gives it such a nice flavour.
When it comes out, it will be all crispy. It is just exquisite... if it comes out right.
Oh, do I detect a little doubt creeping in?
It hasn't really dawned on me until today that I am in a bit over my head.
When it comes to the rush and getting things out on time,
that's when I'll question why I went ahead with this,
-but hopefully, we won't have any of that and it'll be what I hoped it would be.
-That's the spirit, Angela!
How's the lamb after its marathon in the oven?
Get a glimpse of this.
Pleased, pleased, pleased with the lamb!
That is so tender.
Hmm, that looks good! I hope there's lots of orders for it.
-Four chicken, two lamb.
-Nula, you need to sell the lamb.
They don't know what they're missing out on.
-It's been roasting all day with potatoes, sweet potato...
-That's what I'm having.
-So have they gone for it?
-Two lamb and two chicken.
Good work, Nula. So will these be money-spinners?
Wow, look at that!
-There we are.
-That looks lovely.
Lots of appreciative noises about how it looks, but what about the taste?
The lamb was cooked really well. It was a beautiful piece of meat.
It's quite nice to get potatoes that are not hard in the middle.
That is absolutely stunning.
Have you tried the sweet potatoes underneath? They are fantastic.
-I like sweet potatoes roasted.
If I could cook lamb like that, I would eat it every Sunday. It was lovely.
That was an absolute delight for my taste buds.
Looks like those five long hours in the oven did the trick,
but what about the chicken with garlic and feta sauce?
The chicken was too salty, the skin wasn't crispy.
It was supposed to come with a Greek salad and it wasn't Greek in any way.
It was just tomatoes, radish and lettuce.
I felt the chicken was a little bit dry. I'm not sure about the chicken and the cheese.
I enjoyed it for a few mouthfuls, but after that, it was a bit bland.
If only more had ordered the lamb, Angela would be quids in.
-Hmm! My other half would have died for that.
-It's really moist, isn't it?
-Very nice indeed.
-Oh, this is gorgeous!
The ladies have ordered the chicken, but they want to taste the lamb.
-I don't think they'll get it from the others. Can you give them a bit of lamb?
-Did they ask for that?
No, but I think as a house gesture.
-Are you trying to score points, Nula?
I've been to a restaurant before where we were in a similar situation, a Greek restaurant.
They just brought us a full portion of the lamb on the house.
I know how much we appreciated it, so I think it's only right... We've got so much left over.
I don't think it's cheating.
I just worry about what the other people might say.
Oh, we have a dilemma.
All right, it's your call, but I think they would really appreciate a taster of lamb.
It is getting cold and I think we'd better make a decision.
OK, why don't we do like three slices on each table
and just say, "For those of you who didn't..."?
-No, because then we have to do the chicken.
-Yeah, you're right.
Let's leave it. No, we'll leave it.
Oh, Angela, it was such a good idea of Nula's! Ah, well, too late now. Just hope you don't regret it!
So can Sarah fare any better at her supper house?
For her mains, there's seafood bake au gratin with pommes Anna and tossed seasonal salad.
Or pan-fried duck breasts with damson sauce, pommes Anna and seasonal vegetables.
I absolutely love damsons and wanted to serve something with them that would complement their flavour
and duck breast is perfect for that.
The seafood bake is an absolute favourite of mine.
I served it for a friend for her birthday and it was the best meal she'd ever tasted.
They both look delicious, but I would be nervous with the duck, making sure it was cooked perfectly.
So would I, but first Sarah is starting her favourite seafood bake.
Now, fish can be pretty pricey, but Sarah is a canny shopper.
I buy my seafood and my fish from a local Chinese supermarket, so these are lovely tiger prawns.
And I've got pangasius fillet which I had never heard of.
It's very popular in Germany and France.
That's brave, cooking a fish you don't know for paying guests you don't know either.
Oh, rather you than me, Sarah!
Nice low-fat recipe(!)
Three tubs of cream? That's not for the faint-hearted and it's not her only indulgence.
Saffron is one of the most expensive items because it takes a long time to collect.
It's a stamen of the crocus flower and it's all hand-picked.
For half a gram, it was £2.95, but I only need about one and a half teaspoons for this recipe.
But it just gives a nice flavour and a colour to the sauce.
It sounds quite rich, but it all marries very well.
It's sort of a bisque or bouillabaisse type base.
I would say it was definitely a fine-dining dish. It's something I would opt for on a menu.
Let's hope your diners do too. There's a shoal of prawns going in which could make it pretty powerful.
They look lovely, don't they?
There's an awful lot of veg going in too. There's not much room left for the white fish.
The colours are lovely with the orange prawns and the sauce,
then we put the breadcrumbs on top for it to bake in the oven.
So are they managing to keep to Sarah's strict timetable?
We're a little bit behind. The thing that's going to take the most time is the potatoes. Isn't it, Father?
Time's running out.
But panic ye not!
I think Bruce is keeping to his own more laid-back schedule.
He's slicing potatoes for the pommes Anna.
They've been soaking for...
..half an hour.
They take an hour to cook or thereabouts.
By the time for the...courses,
they'll just about be in time.
My nerves are starting to kick in a bit now.
I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the day about what was happening ahead, then I relaxed a bit.
Now I'm getting nervous again.
We've got the fish pie in which will be ready in about 20 minutes.
The duck has still got another five minutes to go, but it's got to rest for another eight to ten minutes,
so hopefully, we're OK. We'll just have to keep the duck breasts warm.
"We" means Bruce. He's on duck duty tonight. Too pink or too well done and there could be grumbles,
especially with the tough crowd in tonight.
I think they'll be quite happy waiting. The starters were filling and these are rich main courses.
I don't want to pile them too full of food. They need time to digest.
I don't like being rushed in a meal, so I think they'll be happy with it.
So the guests are looking at a bit of a wait, but what they don't seem to have is a waitress.
I'll just tap on the door.
-Excuse me, I'm so sorry. Is it possible to get some water?
And make sure it's the right water! But the diners are feeling neglected.
Between when we placed our order and then the waitress went off, that was it, the doors were closed.
When you're in a restaurant, you usually see people moving about.
Whilst in the room, our waitress was very attentive,
but she tended to shut herself away and out of the room,
and so can't see what we require at the time.
-I think she's had the most difficult job.
And in the heat of it all, Sarah nearly forgot something rather important.
I knew there was another bit of colour on the plate somewhere. Can I put this on the ring?
-The damson sauce for the duck.
-That was a close thing!
But everything is now present and correct, so grub's up!
-Here we go.
-Thank you. Thank you, team!
It's half past eight. I've got all my mains out! Brilliant.
That one's very, very hot.
The food is out all right, but what will the diners make of it?
There wasn't much evidence of white fish in it. I was expecting a lot of white fish and a little prawn.
There was a lot of prawn in there. The sauce was quite overpowering. It was quite strong.
The sauce that went with the fish was very overpowering,
so you could just taste the texture of the fish, but not the fish.
It set itself up to be spectacular
and it doesn't look on the plate
as posh as my brain wants it to be.
I don't think it quite meets that expectation.
It had this slightly unusual potato thing that I wasn't entirely sure about. Half crisp and half soggy.
Can I be really rude and say it's like a giant crisp?
Oh, dear. So has anyone got anything nice to say about the duck?
The outside bit is overcooked. The inside is probably perfect.
-If I'd cut it that way, it would have been fine.
-They should cut it up, really.
You've got it cooked... What sauce is this?
-It's damson sauce.
-Lovely. Thanks very much.
Mm, they don't seem that impressed, do they?
The table with the two girls are slightly moany.
-I'm not sure. They're poking their duck a bit.
My duck was terribly overcooked.
And my swede mash was lumpy
and underseasoned. As was my duck.
I didn't enjoy my main meal!
-She seems a little bit high maintenance, so...
-Right. I like to have a diva(!)
-Duck divas aside, maybe the other diners will be kinder.
A lovely piece of meat, although there wasn't an awful lot of flavour.
It was cooked very, very nicely.
The duck was...a big piece of meat.
And the sauce, I could just taste the sweetness of the damson, rather than anything interesting.
So that wasn't too good.
I think the guests enjoyed the food.
Maybe some of the duck, the damson sauce, wasn't to their palates.
It's quite rich food. If they weren't used to that, it's an issue,
but I think overall they enjoyed it.
There's just no pleasing some people and, after all those grumbles,
most of the plates came back empty. Angela's lamb really did the business for her,
but what a shame more people couldn't be convinced to have it.
Will both of them get back on track to make a profit? Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Angela's diners can tuck in to a traditional baklava
or chocolate mousse.
No Greek restaurant could be without traditional baklava.
And the chocolate mousse is my mum's recipe. Had to be done.
Baklava can be quite rich, but chocolate mousse... Every woman loves chocolate.
You bet they do, Sarah! Seven hours before her guests arrived,
Angela began the chocolate mousse, but it wasn't a cracking start.
Oh, no. I'm not doing very well.
It's a very, very simple family favourite.
We've grown up on it. So we're just melting the chocolate at the moment. It needs to melt
and then cool before we mix it into the mixture, so it doesn't curdle.
There are just three ingredients in this dessert - chocolate, eggs and vanilla essence -
all whisked together before being chilled in the fridge.
What tends to happen is the chocolate sinks to the bottom.
I need to make sure that it doesn't do that.
-Mm, looks good!
-It looks really light now, but it comes out really quite rich.
The baklava was another dessert Angela could prepare early.
This is a Greek traditional dessert. Very sweet. Lots of layers of filo pastry, smothered in nuts and sugar.
And topped with the syrup.
I'm going to try to do it with a few more layers than normal to give it maybe 20-odd layers.
Wow! 20 layers of filo pastry?! This girl's going to be here all afternoon!
I'll put two layers at the bottom to give it a bit of thickness.
Then I'll start layering the nuts.
This is one for the sweet-toothed, drenched in a sugar, lemon, honey and cinnamon syrup.
That's all it is, layer by layer.
20 layers later, the baklava is scored and into the oven it goes for about 20 minutes.
I must say, this has come out brilliantly tonight.
A sprinkling of icing sugar and some chocolate flakes for the mousse and away we go.
With this, you really can't go wrong. My mum's best recipe.
It really is exquisite. I'll be very interested to see what the comments are after this.
Well, that's confidence for you. Let's see if it's well-founded.
My chocolate mousse was really nice. Quite light, cream was nice on top.
It was the best dish of the evening.
Really refreshing, not too much. Just enough. I really enjoyed it.
I think it's delicious, although given the choice again I might have gone traditional.
Baklava. never had it before. Beautiful. Best dish of the night.
It was lovely. I didn't taste a hint of lemon.
It was very filling. I could have eaten half of it,
but now I'm full and feel a little bit sick!
Thanks for that(!) A little too much detail.
It was so much better than I thought it would be. A couple of people moaned and whinged,
but they'd have done that regardless.
Yeah, we've done it. It's done. The work has paid off.
-Looking forward to a very strong drink.
-You've earned one! So what's Sarah got on her sweet trolley?
There's her piece de resistance - light as air meringues with whipped cream and fresh raspberries
with a blackberry coulis.
Or Bramley and Russet apple tarte tatin served with whipped cream.
Everybody loves meringues. A good old-fashioned pudding.
With the tarte tatin, I wanted to reintroduce the diners to good, old-fashioned apple varieties,
particularly the Russet.
They look very hard work. The meringues are hit and miss as to whether they work
and the tarte very finicky.
But Sarah takes it all in her stride
and three hours before her diners arrive, she's started those "light as air" meringues.
Quite a claim, but she's done them time and time again, so she should know what she's doing.
I'm aiming for soft peaks so I can turn the bowl up above my head and it won't fall out.
Not something I'd recommend you doing at home.
Right. Here we go. Over my head.
I only cook meringues for about an hour.
They're beautiful and fluffy in the middle and very puffed up outside.
Looks perfect, but are they up to scratch?
They've gone incredibly brown today and I don't know why.
I wasn't worried about my meringues. I AM now worried about them. They're overcooked.
I don't know why, but never mind. I'm going to have to do some more.
Oh, dear. At least the local wildlife will enjoy fine dining. Can we charge them?
There we go, birds. Enjoy.
I've still got time! There's still fat in the schedule.
-As long as we don't have any more disasters!
So it's take two.
Now we've just got to hope that the second lot go correctly!
-But there's another problem - the mixture isn't stiffening.
-They've been thrown down the sink.
If you want to see, the meringues are down the sink!
And we start again!
So what went wrong?
I know what the problem is. It's meant to be the teaspoon!
Ah! In the heat of the moment, tablespoons instead of teaspoons! Well, we've all done it.
I just hope, hope, hope this goes all right.
Third time lucky.
Right. Hopefully, these are OK this time.
They do look a lot better and don't smell so burnt.
-They look lovely. Perfect. There's a coffee.
Now for the apple tart and good on Sarah for championing old-fashioned apples.
Bramleys join the quartered Russets in the golden brown caramel before a puff pastry lid goes on.
Oh, there we go. There we go.
-Perfect first time!
-Very pleased. Yay! A success.
Hang on! Where's the blackberry coulis for those meringues? Remember the damson sauce?
I've forgotten the sauce for the meringues! Bloody meringues!
If I see another egg white, I think I'll explode. Hopefully, they'll be all right.
Oh, well. Let's hope no one notices the missing sauce.
My dessert is nice. It said it came with a berry sauce. That would make it even better.
The meringues are like my mother would have made. Tasty on the outside
and the sweetness doesn't cut through heavily. She must be an expert on meringues. They're difficult.
-And the verdict on the tart?
-I think it's pretty good, actually. Nice caramelised apple.
A little bit stodgy, but goes well with the cream.
And what about Sarah's two favourite diners?
The apples were really nice. It's a huge challenge to invite people into your home
and have just your proper kitchen to be cooking for people and to expect restaurant standard.
It's not going to happen. As a home-cooked pudding, lovely.
-The plates do seem to be quite clear, which is good.
After all the fuss with the meringue, I'm glad they enjoyed it!
A bit of a hodge-podge for Sarah,
but Angela's family favourites seemed to do the trick, even if one diner said he felt sick.
Now it's time for the diners to decide how much they're prepared to pay for the experience.
It's entirely up to them to decide how much or how little they want to part with.
Neither of our cooks has any idea what that might be. So have they done enough to make a profit?
Angela spent just over £114
on her Greek taverna.
She needs over £11 a head to break even. What did her diners think?
-You liked the chicken.
-Lovely people, lovely evening.
Would come again.
That was really good food. Good quality food.
This evening was...average for me.
I paid average because it was average.
Good, but not top notch. Atmosphere was really good.
-I enjoyed the starter. Good dessert.
Definitely come back. Maybe I'll come back tomorrow, ask for a meal.
-I think we worked really well together.
-We were the best team.
-Very good boss.
-No, no. Three little Greek girls. That's all it is.
Sarah spent just over £86
on her fine dining.
If she's to nudge into profit, she needs nearly £9 a head, but will they be that generous?
Really good evening. Food good, lovely company.
Great evening. Michelle stole my dessert. That was the worst thing.
I thought Sarah was lovely, but I...
Yeah, she was lovely.
-Well done, team!
Thank you so much.
Oh, my goodness. How exhausted were you at the end of that?
Hours and hours at that stove.
Knackered! Completely knackered.
But once we started serving it was so much fun. I really loved it.
It was great that you used family recipes, but there's a risk.
That chocolate mousse is your mother's. Quite a risk with people who don't have that connection.
-"Oh, it's all right."
-It was, but it's so rich and so full of flavour.
-You can't not like it!
-I've never seen such confidence! And people did love it.
-Sarah, you had some fabulous food. Very ambitious menu. How did you feel it went?
-I love cooking.
It takes me away from stresses, but I found it quite pressurised!
-The meringues didn't!
-They did, and the birds had a nice lot of them! But they worked out in the end.
-You really seemed to enjoy working with your parents.
-I work very well with my father in the kitchen.
My mother was a cookery demonstrator and I never cooked when I was a child because I couldn't match her.
Is that why you kicked her out? I did wonder about that.
She felt we needed someone more glamorous, so Olivia stepped in.
It was fabulous to watch both of you. You have such passion for food and you totally believed in it.
I think you did brilliantly, but would you like to know if your diners did? OK...
you spent £114.47.
-Your diners donated £207.50.
-So you made a profit of £93.03. Are you pleased with that?
Really pleased. I mean probably... Yeah.
She's happy. OK, Sarah,
you spent £86.16
-and your diners donated £202, so your profit was £115.84.
-So there's your £115.
I am surprised, actually. I wasn't sure if they'd liked it. I'm very pleased with that.
I loved watching your evenings. You're two fabulous cooks. Thank you. And thank you.
I'll see you next time.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010
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Two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they have what it takes to create a restaurant in their homes and make a profit. Presented by Nadia Sawalha. Kung fu fan Angela Athienides is hoping to bring a kick to her Greek taverna as she battles with Sarah Hughes's fine dining on a budget. Who has what it takes to make a profit when each cook opens their doors for one night only?