Si King and Dave Myers explore Kent, where they cook a traditional county favourite at Leeds Castle, forage for wild vegetables and sample the county's fine ale.
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We're the Hairy Bikers on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite.
-We're riding county to county to discover, cook and enjoy the best of British.
We're here to define the true taste of Kent.
-We're in Kent.
-We are. Over there we have the English Channel and France,
-and those famous white cliffs.
-Yes. Closest county to France, got to be an influence there.
What I do know is, there's loads of history in Kent.
-Canterbury's in Kent. The seat of religious power.
-We've got Chaucer
and all his tales. I think, the Garden of England.
-Let's do a bit of digging.
-Let's off, eh?
On our quest to define the true flavours of Kent,
we charge into Leeds Castle to cook up a traditional county favourite.
At the oldest brewery in Britain, we test out the power of Kentish hops.
And we take a trip to the seaside to forage for some free wild food.
And representing Kent in the cook off later is David Pitchford.
Will we be able to beat him using the county's finest ingredients?
First stop on our tour of Kent is Canterbury,
and we've heard about the local spot that brings together the very best of the county's produce.
-The Goods Shed in Canterbury.
-Yes, a gold mine of Kentish food and suppliers.
-Come this way.
-Come on, have a look.
-Susanna, this is your place, isn't it?
What's the story behind this? How did you get here?
This building was empty for 20 years.
When I came to have a look at it for a restaurant, it was just too big.
I've grown up as a farmer's daughter, blessed with having fresh fruit and veg from Mum's vegetable garden.
It's about recreating home and childhood, really.
It's also about lots of different people owning their own small
enterprises and trying to create our miniature high street here.
Try a Cox from the Cox's pippin.
-That'd be great with a ploughman's lunch.
This is the Bramley, so be prepared for this.
That would wake you up, wouldn't it? Dear me!
-Look at this smoked mackerel.
-The smell is amazing.
Look at that.
For me, though, the Dover sole, that has to symbolise Kent.
-This is the best way to taste cheese.
-From the middle,
-when the cheese has just been cut.
-This is cheese without the chew.
Cheese without the chew. Wow!
We've lost him. Guess where he is?
He's snaffling oysters, look!
-The free lord enjoying...
No, I'm allergic. I'll have a langoustine, though.
Fabulous! What's special about Whitstable oysters?
They're a protected name, as in Champagne or Cornish pasty.
Down here they're regarded almost as the gold of the sea, aren't they?
Food for thought there. But what do the good
people of Canterbury think is Kent's signature produce?
What's the iconic Kentish food or ingredient?
-Well, apples, obviously.
-Loads of different types of apple.
At the Euro fair there was always Kent apples everywhere.
We've also got cobnuts.
You can put them in with the apple and make a nice crumble.
That's a great idea.
We're looking for a taste of Kent,
something you can't find anywhere else.
We have the huffkin, which is a traditional Kent bread roll.
It's been around for about 300 years. It's flavoured with hops.
This is the sausage puffkin, a puff pastry case filled with
fantastic, locally sourced and well-seasoned sausage meat.
-What sums up Kent on a plate?
-I always like a good sausage myself.
-Steady on, girl.
-We've only just met, you know.
Dover sole, I guess. Cobnuts.
That's come up twice now.
I love cobnuts, I used to pick them as a child in the hedgerows.
Most people said apples or Kent cobnuts, so we've got to find a way of combining them.
Let's get inspiration from the place that specialises in both.
We're on our way to Brogdale Farm, home to the National Fruit Collection,
the largest collection of fruit varieties on one site in the world.
When endangered in 1990, Prince Charles stepped in and set up
the Brogdale Trust to ensure the 4,000 varieties of fruit here were protected.
-John's showing us around.
-So if anybody can tell us why
-Kent is the Garden of England, you're the man.
-I hope so.
We're standing actually in the National Apple Collection.
In here there's 2,300 varieties of apple.
-There's about 40 varieties of Golden Delicious just in this
little bit here, and there's about 20 or 30 varieties of the Cox apple.
You'll notice, too, all the trees are planted north to south
so they get equal sun all the way round.
I can just imagine what this is like in blossom, absolutely beautiful.
John, when we were in Canterbury, people said time and time again
that Kent was the Garden of England and they mentioned apples, but a lot
-of people also mentioned the Kentish cobnut. Have you got any?
-We've got about 40 varieties.
-What? 40 varieties of cobnut?
-Yeah. Why don't we go and have a look at some?
-I'm following you, sir.
Come on, lads, I know you're foodies.
Let's get in the kitchen.
-Hi, Joan. Give us a kiss.
-Is that a Kent cobnut?
-That's a Kent cobnut.
-Try one of those that we've cooked, look.
They're cooked in the microwave, just with a knob of butter, for about three minutes.
-These are lovely.
-It brings back my youth, really,
when we used to pinch them straight from the hedge.
We'd take them home, and my gran would cook them in a frying pan with a bit of butter.
Is the cobnut a hazelnut?
It was a hazelnut years ago, but they've been bred and interbred,
so now instead of being a tiny round thing, when they're picked green, they can be about an inch long.
-Joan has cooked some other nice things here.
-It's a crumble.
It's plums from our orchards, and the crumble on the top has got
-cobnuts in it.
-Got oats as well in your crumble?
-This is lovely.
-Lovely, hazelnutty, crumbly thing on top.
Kentish cooking at its best. We've got another thing that
-Joan has cooked, look.
-Cobnut meringue. Fabulous.
-So is the cobnut ground up in the meringue?
My goodness, you guys have got an appetite, haven't you?
-An appetite for life.
-Well, there we are.
-We're in training, John.
We're only here once. It's not the rehearsal, is it?
Well, the humble cobnut isn't so humble after all, is it?
It's not. It's very versatile.
You know, John, I think we've found a little bit of the heart of Kent.
We think the best way to combine Kent's signature ingredients
is a traditional cobnut cake, served with an apple compote.
It's time to get cooking, and we couldn't have a more picturesque setting.
Oh, look, man.
Leeds Castle. That looks like a noble place to bake a cake.
-How's this for a nutcracker suite?
-Look at that, we're at Leeds Castle.
-And do you know why they're called cobs?
-Cos they're round.
-Are we there, Kingy? I'm getting sore.
-We need 300 grams.
-We've got 415. Stop!
Would you like to taste a Kentish cobnut in all its raw glory?
Next step is, put your nuts in a blender.
Look at that.
That's enough there for two cakes.
Now then, the usual thing in making a cake, flour.
About 450 grams.
And you rub in a packet of butter, good, Kentish butter. Rub in till
it goes to crumbs. If you haven't got self-raising flour, use normal,
stick in a couple of teaspoons of baking powder.
Whilst my friend here is rubbing the butter in to make crumbs,
I'm going to need six eggs for this, and it's six eggs per cake.
Good Kentish eggs.
From a Kentish hen that lives in Kent.
But this is like a moist cake,
like a tea bread cake, kind of sticky inside.
Like a teacake, like a tea bread,
and you can put jam or honey or something with it.
This is a great old English spice.
-Ground ginger. Don't be shy with your ginger.
Who needs a food processor when you've got a friendly Geordie?
-Are you doing all right?
-The butter's cold, it's freezing...
Yes, I am actually quite enjoying this. It's very good.
There is, of course, an easier way. You know the food processor
that we used for the nuts? You stick your flour and butter in there and it's done.
I'll go and have a cup of tea while mine is doing, shall I?
It's doing great.
-Look at that. Mint, innit?
-Mine's more golden, though. That's more processed.
Don't forget the ginger.
-Don't forget your ginger.
-That's why his has gone golden.
-All good cakes contain sugar.
-How much do we need, dude?
225 grams. In old money, about half a pound.
That goes into the crumbs?
-Look at that.
-Then you give it a good stir through.
If you wanted like a worthy, thicker cake, you could use dark muscovado.
-It might be a bit treacly.
-Or organic cane.
To that, add half a dozen eggs.
I think it's important to mix them up beforehand
so you get more distribution.
-Have you heard them geese? Swans.
-They're black swans, aren't they?
I blame the parents.
My mother used to do it like that. She'd clasp the bowl to her bosom.
I look like my mother.
-Especially with the beard.
Now, a little treat that we've worked into this recipe
just to make it that bit more Hairy Bikerific...
put half a tub of cream in. That's about 100ml in each.
Tell you what, mate, it smells lovely.
I think now's a good time to add nuts.
-About right, isn't it? That'll do.
-It's a generous cake, isn't it?
-It is very generous.
-You go to some places and you get a fruit scone,
they'll be two currants in it. Ask them to put more in.
-I've had a bit of a kerfuffle.
-Have you kerfuffled?
-We know this is non-stick,
but we've had stuff stick to non-stick stuff before.
-We have indeed.
-So, just to be sure, put a bit of butter in.
What happens is as well, it gives us a nice crisp outside.
Yep, it's lovely.
We like greasing our tins.
We like butter.
Come on, come on, out you come. Come on now.
You just push it around the bowl, like that.
Remember, when it heats up, it's going to find its own level.
-You don't want any air pockets, though.
If you get air pockets, which is why you're pushing it around the tin, you'll get a cake with holes in it.
The good bit.
-# Na na na naa naa. #
Does anybody want to lick the bowl? There you are, my love.
-Nice, isn't it?
-It is good.
Just simply pop this in the oven at about 200 degrees centigrade for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Right, it's time to make an apple compote to go with that cake.
First off we need to peel apples and melt some butter.
We're using a local apple. They're called Jongolds.
What to do is chop it into chunks, put the apples in the butter.
They're a dessert apple, these.
Not a Bramley, which is really taut and stuff, but they're great because they come down really quickly.
-They've got a big water content.
-It's a treat, isn't it?
I'm just going to put a little bit of sugar with them.
We don't want this to burn or caramelise. More sugar, more cinnamon.
Again, the ginger, the cinnamon, all these flavours work together, don't they?
They do that, don't they, though?
Put the lid on and sweat them.
All we need to do now is to whip up the double cream.
Mind your scarf. They're ready to drop already, those apples.
-There we are.
-There's something scrumptious about cream, isn't there?
There is when it's like that.
-I'm going to mash these a bit.
-Not like chunks of apple.
-They're coming down beautiful.
-I think the cake's done.
-Look at that.
It's beautiful, isn't it?
-I think this is done, Si.
Are you excited?
Now, the moment of truth.
There we have it, folks. Kentish cobnut cake with an apple compote and cream.
-Looks to me like it's time for a bit of tea.
-Great, great, thank you.
It's the taste of Kent.
The true taste of Kent.
-Would you like some cream and some apple as well?
OK, well, if you hold your cake, my darling...
Do you like it?
This is like a Kentish Cornish tea sort of thing.
You've got your cake, your cream, and you've got your apple, instead of your cream and jam.
That cobnut cake hit the spot. But now it's time for our big challenge.
As always, we're taking on one of the county's top chefs in their restaurant,
using local ingredients to see who can best define the taste of the region.
It would be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Kent.
Our opponent today is...
David Pitchford, head chef and owner of Read's Restaurant in Faversham.
David has held a Michelin star here for 17 years and is highly respected,
regularly judging competitions alongside Gordon Ramsay.
We're so fortunate to be in Kent.
It's an absolutely great part of the country to be a chef.
We're just 10 miles from the coast here, so fish supply is great,
we're about 70% self-sufficient during the summer with vegetables.
There are lots of butchers locally, which we use.
Over the 32 years we've been here, we've built up a network of local suppliers,
and it's the best food available in the country.
What we're trying to do is to give people a modern, British approach with a classical background.
We try and stipulate that all our produce must come from Kent.
We have very knowledgeable customers these days.
People expect for their food to be identifiable.
They want to know where it comes from, so we'll say on our menu it's going to be Charlton Farm lamb,
or where the asparagus comes from.
We also encourage the customers to go out into the garden
and see where some of the produce that they've just eaten have actually been grown.
As a chef you go through various degrees of complication and over elaboration,
usually when you're younger.
As I get older, I move back to perfect simplicity.
To take on the bikers today my dish is a celebration of Kentish lamb. Rump of lamb. Loin.
Kidney. And a little shepherd's pie.
Lamb cooked four ways.
-Nice to see you. Welcome.
Thank you for having us. What are you going to cook for us, Dave?
Well, we're going to do a celebration of Kentish lamb.
We're going to use a saddle of lamb, we're going to break it down into its component parts,
so we're going to use the rump, the loin, the kidney, a bit of the fillet
and a little individual shepherd's pie as well.
So, shall we start with a bit butchery?
As long as it's not us!
You've got to be careful with kidneys, haven't you? That's what puts a lot of people off.
If they're not prepped properly, then you get stringy bits...
-And it can be very chewy.
-Yet got to core them, haven't you?
Yes, take these little gristly bits out, as you quite rightly say.
A self-taught butcher?
It's one of the things you don't see so much in the trade these days.
People tend to have suppliers who do pre-portioned meats.
They come in, it comes in all ready. But for people of my age,
back in the old days down in the dungeons at the Dorchester,
it's something that every chef used to be able to do.
-That's the rump.
-The rump's a lovely cut of lamb.
-Lots of nice flavour.
Usually, when the muscle works a bit harder, it tastes a bit better.
It takes a bit longer, but that's the theory, yeah.
Right, those are the two rumps.
-Simon, can I just get you to take the skin off those?
-Hold on a minute.
-Simon and David.
Dave and Si. Si and Dave. If we lose this, we've lost our jobs.
OK, what we're going to do now is take the loin off.
A nice, sharp knife helps.
While Simon is taking the skin off the rumps, I just want to take it off the loin as well.
The reason we do that is because the skin tightens up during the cooking process.
Is that the fillet, David?
That's the fillet, this one, yes.
You can actually do that without using a knife, really, because it usually pulls off.
Simon, have we got the rump?
Let's have that. OK, lovely. Let me move some of this away.
What I'm going to do now is try and use some of these pieces,
because we're going to make an individual shepherd's pie.
So I'm going to butcher these little pieces out
so we can slowly braise them while we're doing everything else.
And a shepherd's pie is always lamb, because a shepherd doesn't do beef mince. That's a cottage pie.
You'd be surprised how many people don't know that.
So I'm going to get that on to cook.
-There we go.
-So what have you put that in, David?
-A bit of stock.
-Just a little bit of stock.
So, David, what have you put into the pan there now?
A little bit of olive oil, and we're just sealing the meat on the outside.
The two rumps and the one loin.
Then we're just going to turn that over. I even seal the end pieces as well.
Providing you rest it correctly after cooking, you keep the juices.
We're just going to transfer that to the oven.
Fillet's going in now.
-That's just in olive oil, yeah?
-Just in a little olive oil.
Each chef that we've visited has been so free with their information.
It's been brilliant just to see some of the different techniques.
Actually, in my day, you were talking about the 60s,
some chefs used to turn their backs when they used to do things
and wouldn't let the young chefs see them because they thought they were protecting their jobs.
OK, they only need a very short cooking time.
So we're done there now. Also we can put the kidneys.
They'll take next to nothing, won't they?
That's it, yeah.
OK, now I'm going to put each of the component parts on a little separate garnish.
Do you have a calm kitchen or are you a screaming kitchen?
No, we're not. We don't allow lots of the confrontational stuff that goes on in some of the kitchens.
You see guys throwing things around and being nasty to each other,
and you also see confrontation between waiters and chefs. We won't have that here.
I'll just let that rest.
What we've got now is some leaf spinach.
-So you're blanching that in water?
-Blanching that in water, yeah.
We're putting in the courgettes, again, in a little bit of olive oil.
Then I'm going to pour the excess oil off and just bind it together with tomato.
So it's like a Provencal thing really.
We're going to take this for Simon so he can chop the lamb up into a little dice.
-And that diced lamb will make the shepherd's pie?
-Yeah. That's it.
We need to get the lamb out of the oven as well.
-Look at that!
OK. And we're just going to put that out there to rest.
You just poked it and you know by the feel of the meat that it's cooked?
That's right, yeah. I'm just going to bind this courgette with a little bit of tomato.
So then we can just pour that on the side.
The spinach needs to come out now.
So what we have to do is to plunge it into iced water, which stops it cooking.
We then squeeze it out and we can reheat it very quick.
Simon will squeeze that out for me hopefully.
What Simon's done here is to chop the lamb we cooked into little pieces,
and all we're going to do now is add a bit of reduced lamb stock,
which I've got here, and we're just going to heat that...
Cor, look at that.
-And that will make the shepherd's pie.
What I'm going to do is leave that on the side to slowly melt down,
and that should be ready to pipe the potato on top.
I didn't think you'd want to watch me making mashed potato.
There you go. We'll put a bit in that bag ready to pipe that.
And in the meantime, we're just going get the spinach and gently reheat that in butter.
The only thing I need to do now is reheat flageolet beans.
We soak them overnight, and then just simmer them until they're cooked.
-I'm just going to start the individual shepherd's pie.
That's bursting with flavour.
I can taste it from here!
-Have you got that, Kingy?
-No, I haven't.
Stick your head there.
-Then we have the mashed potato.
And then we're going to put it under the salamander, and we're just going to glaze that and cook it.
Right, we're going to assemble the dish now.
-Lovely. I think spinach and lamb go together beautifully.
-They do. Here we have the rump.
Add a little bit of the flageolet beans.
-Just cut this.
-Is that the fillet?
That's the fillet as well.
-Little kidney on the corner.
-Look at it!
A little lamb's kidney.
And then, finally, two slices each of the loin.
Right. And the sauce is a simple reduction.
Is that the lamb stock that's been cooked for a long time?
Yeah, that's it, overnight, with the bones and fat because we get flavour from lamb from the fat.
There you go. A celebration of Kentish lamb.
Fantastic, absolutely fantastic, chef.
Let's try the shepherd's. Look at that.
It was never like this at school.
It's a powerful flavour, but it's like David said, it's not overpowering.
What I like about it is David's confidence in letting the produce speak for itself.
Kidney. It's great having the big puddle of gravy that you can soak it in.
Loin and the beans.
The fillet is just superb.
You can go from one back to the other.
-Yeah, you can.
-None of the flavours jar or clash.
The spinach is great.
The only chance we've got is to out-Kent the Kentish man.
-That's not going to be easy, is it?!
But it's the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.
What better start than hops and beer? Hops were first brought to Kent by the Romans
and have been used for brewing beer here since the 16th century.
We're here to see the oldest brewery in England, Shepherd Neame.
It's in the air here!
This is the place, mate! Smell that!
Hops, dude, hops!
-Fancy a pint?
-I wouldn't mind!
Faversham brewery was founded in 1698.
We're being shown around by master brewer David Holmes.
Oh, amazing, David!
These are our mash stones, you're on the brewhouse now.
So, David, how do you make beer?
There are four things that you use if you're making beer, water, of course, malted barley,
hops and yeast. So we've taken some barley, which was grown in Kent, it was converted into malt first,
then we've crushed it and mixed it with some hot water and it looks rather like a huge vat of porridge.
It sits there for an hour while the natural enzymes present in the malt do their job,
and at the end of that process I want to take away the liquid to make the beer with.
-And what we've got left here is the spent grain. We don't waste that, it's sold as cattle food.
-So what's next?
-Well, we've now got a liquid, which we call "wort",
we now need to make it bitter, so we add the hops and we do that just round the corner.
In the meanwhile, we move that wort through these pipes and we've brought it into one of two coppers,
and this is a very important stage in the brewing process.
We add the hops here. Hops give beer a huge amount of character,
both in terms of its taste, the bitterness, and the aroma.
We source all of our hops from Kent.
This is a sample of the crop we just picked, in 2008.
These are English east Kent goldings and they're renowned the world over for their fine aroma.
Of course, one of the great thing about hops is they have a natural antibiotic character,
so they keep all the bugs out of the beer.
The real way to find out whether a hop's got much aroma is to really rub it...
That's got aroma!
And then get a smell of that. That is just to die for.
That is wonderful.
So we've added the hops to the coppers, we've made the beer.
-What happens next?
-Well, if you're making an English ale, we add the yeast, and after one week
it's converted those sugars into alcohol, a bit of carbon dioxide, and we've got a tank of beer.
Is there any chance of having a look, very closely, at the inside of a cask?
That's a fantastic idea! Let's go!
I'll follow you.
-So where are we going, David?
-I thought we might try the Brewers Sample Room.
-Why don't we try some?
Of course, the idea is you have a good look at it, you can see it's nice and bright at the bottom.
This is the Spitfire ale.
It's very dry on the palate because it's packed full of English hops,
and it's slightly malty and sweet and hopefully a bit of toffee coming through.
Look, at home, we're having about four sips of beer,
so don't tell us off for the bikes because we're being really careful.
OK, why don't we try something a little bit different?
This is our spring beer, which is called Early Bird.
It's slightly lighter in colour than our other beers,
but also you get that beautiful, fresh hop coming through, which starts to remind you of Spring.
We need one of your beers as a flavour of Kent.
We've got a very special beer called 1698. Why don't we try that one?
Lots of different layers of both aroma and flavour in this beer.
It's very strong, 6.5% abv.
Being a stronger beer, you're going to get more of...some fruit...
-Yeah. It's definitely got raisins on this one.
So I think that might do the job.
That is Kent in a glass. I think we've got it, mate.
Inspired by hops, we'll make a beer sabayon, an egg-based sauce to accompany Kent's finest Dover sole.
But we need another extra special ingredient to send their taste buds wild!
We're meeting a professional forager, who earns his living
exploring the landscape for the best in wild food, Fergus Drennan.
-What if he's a mad hippy?
-There he is, he's over there!
The fella with the basket. He looks quite normal.
You wouldn't be the Hairy Bikers, would you?!
Thanks for meeting us, Fergus. It's nice to meet you.
-Have you got anything yet?
-I haven't yet, but there's lots to forage, so hopefully we can fill these up.
Fergus, we're looking for something to go with Dover sole.
Look at this. This is sea purslane.
You can fry it, you can poach it, you can eat it raw.
And because it normally grows in salt marsh habitat, it draws up the natural salt in the water.
-It reminds me of samphire.
-Yeah, a little bit, because it has that salty flavour.
-Here's a nice little patch.
-Oh, aye. Look at this.
The best way to harvest this is to clump them together, just cut away at the top of the stalks.
Then shake out any bits of debris.
Fergus, is it OK, basically, to go around and pick wherever you want?
There's all sorts of things you've got to be aware of.
Contamination by animals, whether it's rats or dogs, but also pesticides.
From a legal point of view, if you've got the permission of the land owner, you can pick any plants.
There's a couple of plants by the coast, which I think it would be a real mistake if I didn't show you.
-This is probably one of the best wild foods, particularly if you're new to wild food.
-It's called sea beet, or some people call it wild spinach.
But because it has to withstand the spray of the sea,
it has that extra thickness and waxiness to withstand the salt spray.
And you can just eat this now?
-It's much better cooked.
So what about this here?
-This is called Alexander's.
Just now, it's perfect season.
Not to everyone's liking because it's very pungent.
What you'd really want to go for is what's called the blanche part,
the part that hasn't been exposed to light, so it's sweeter, more tender.
Perfect vegetable. You could steam that.
-Oh, it's very pleasant.
-Are you sure?!
Ah, no, there is an aftertaste.
It's quite acrid.
There's a little bitterness in there, which mellows on cooking.
While we're by the coast, we're going to have to get some seaweed.
-Because we're an island, but culturally we haven't really taken to seaweed.
Mind you, we have trouble taking to fish half the time, don't we?!
Some do have a traditional view, such as laver for laverbread.
This is one that doesn't get a good look in.
This is bladder wrack. It's very easy to identify.
-It's called "toothed" or "serrated".
How would you eat that, Fergus?
You can eat this in all sorts of ways. The simplest way is to wash off the sand in the sea,
dry it in the sun, break it up and have it like healthy crisps.
But because seaweeds have very different textures they take different times to cook,
and I find any seaweed is delicious if you deep fry.
I think a nice nest of deep-fried seaweed would be fab.
Well, Fergus, it doesn't get any more local and fresher than this.
I think this has given us the edge.
-Where did you get that?
-I borrowed it.
What are we going to cook?
-We're going to do Dover sole...
-with a Kentish-based sabayon...
-Kentish coastal veg...
With potato noisettes, with just a brindling of sea purslane.
It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Kent.
This is a Dover sole.
-We want the fillets. The fish at this time of year, there's a lot of roe.
-It's a lot.
So I reckon the best fillets are going to be the ones on the top.
So, while Dave's filleting the fish, I'm going to prep a couple of bats.
Ones going to be with egg.
Just trim that off.
-Look at that.
-Going to put that on that tray.
If that was me doing that, I'd actually whip that skin off.
Yeah? Yeah, go on.
A little tip... is to take that, like that,
and then just loosen the skin just a little bit, and then, with two cloths,
that's it, and you'll find it's much easier to fillet that.
-You don't mind me showing you that, do you?
-No, I'm very grateful. Can you do that again?!
That was good, that!
And then I'm going to prepare a simple savoury flour.
All that goes into that is white flour, a little bit of seasoning and just a little bit of smoked paprika.
-I'm going to have a go at skinning...
-If you cut that end piece of first with scissors...
That's the idea. Then two clothes.
-Yeah. Like that.
-Come on, pet!
You know you want to! Look at that!
-Look at that.
-Have you seen it?!
Look at that.
There we have it, six fillets. The finest Dover sole.
The next bit, we're trying to reinvent the noisette potato.
It used to be everywhere, little balls of golden loveliness.
-We've got a little treat with our noisettes, haven't we?
-We so have.
-Look at this. Sea purslane.
-You don't get that down the supermarket.
Have a taste.
Just eat the lobes, not the stalk.
-It's not unpleasant.
-Actually, it is nice.
-It's got a lovely flavour.
-This is a melon baller, or a Parisienne.
And that's what you use for your noisette potatoes.
You get your potato, you sink it in with vengeance,
turn your ball around, and out pops a ball of potato.
And that's your noisette.
It's sharp, this. How are you getting on with that?
We're nearly about halfway with that.
Shall I give you a hand as well? And then if you beat me, I can say that I helped you win.
I might try and use this in something because it's not something I've used before.
Keep your balls under water.
-So they don't go brown.
-And after a while you end up with that.
What we need to do with these is toss them until golden in butter and olive oil,
stick them in the oven for 15 minutes.
This is posh fish and chips, really.
-Now we're onto two seaside treats, the Alexanders...
-And the sea beet.
That's the sea beet.
We're going to make a puree out of this, like spinach.
-Think spinach, but better.
-There should be a slight bitterness to it.
That comes out while we blanche it.
You want this lovely leaf here, and that's the bit you go...
if you were in your own kitchen. But we're not, so I better go and pick it up. I won't be a minute!
These are called sea Alexanders.
What we're going to do is blanche the shoots, and then toss in lemon and butter, and use it as a garnish.
-David, have you ever used any of these?
-I haven't, no.
I'd be interested to see how that one cooks up.
You're not the only one!
-I'll put this in, Dave.
It's a wonderful green colour.
-Are you there?
It'll need the usual butter and good things to bring it to life properly.
Right, I'm going to go in and just blanche these Alexanders for about 90 seconds.
We'll put this in to the liquidiser. A knob of this.
These are the Alexanders.
Just a couple of those on each fillet of sole.
-That is a beautiful colour.
-That is lovely, isn't it?
The next one in the seaweed fest, this is serrated or tooth bladder wrack.
What we'll do is shred this very fine and deep fry it. I just hope this works.
If it doesn't, we're going to get egg on our chops.
-It's not going to go through, is it?
-Not a chance.
To go with this, we're going to crispify some kale.
How's it going, Si?
I think I can't get anything more...
Out of that. I agree.
Is that it?
A bit more.
-Well done, sir.
-It's over to the deep fryer.
-Here we go.
-Right. Have faith.
-Does it crisp up?
Now, we've got a handful of seaweed. Shall we just put it in?
Just whack it in, see what happens.
-It's gonna go mental.
-Don't do this at home.
No. We're really bad.
It lulls you into a false sense of security for a minute.
-That could go.
Here we go, boys.
-No, it's not right. This poor fella's kitchen.
It's got it in for you.
You couldn't serve that! It's greasy and terrible! Oh, man!
No, don't! Dry it off. Hang on!
That's all we've got to serve. What do you reckon, chef?
I think we should all give up while we're still alive is what I think we ought to do.
'The seaweed exploded because it wasn't completely dried out, and Fergus warned us of this.
'Don't make the same mistake as us.'
-You're doing the sabayon.
-We've got some water in a pan, and just let that butter melt gently.
Look at that, mate.
-That's beautiful. Woof!
-Straight down, lovely.
So, the egg yolks.
Little beads of the sea purslane
Hold on... I'm not there!
-Nah, I've naffed it up.
It's scrambled eggs. That's too hot.
-So, do that again.
-Have you got any tips?
When I'm making a sabayon, you need a bit of froth. This is some of your beer, yeah?
-I would put some of your beer in there.
Whisk that until you get a froth.
A little bit more beer.
Now this is what you want. Once you've got your froth, you can put that on the heat now.
If you're adding the lemon juice, do it right at the end so as you can stop it cooking.
-It's hard work, this.
-Yeah, good though.
What I'd do now, if you're water's boiling, I'd take it off that water.
Just continue a little bit. Put it back bit by bit,
-but every now and then take it off, otherwise you're going to get scrambled egg in ten seconds.
-Right, shall I put the fish on?
-Yes, please, Dave.
Little bit of lemon juice.
Some chives to it.
-Those fillets of Dover sole are lovely.
-I think that's perfect.
-Thanks for that, David.
-A masterclass in sabayon.
I think that's ready, mate. Great.
Pomme noisettes. Sea purslane. Alexanders.
Now, I'm no good at this. Are you?
Go on, give it a go.
Just bold, bold.
Just, you know...
-I'm not sure.
-Neither am I.
Is that how you pictured it?
-There we have it!
-With a beer sabayon.
And Kentish coastal veg...
-And noisette potatoes, with sea purslane.
That's Kent on a plate.
Righto, chief, have a go.
Actually, that is good fish, I have to say.
That's ten out of ten stuff, that is.
What's your sabayon like?!
It could have done just with a bit more of the beer because it was a very hoppy smell.
But it didn't really come through in the flavour.
We use the curly kale, but we don't fry it. So...
-Oh, it's nice fried.
-I think that really works as well.
Try the Alexanders.
I would actually use those.
How about the green monster hiding at the far side?
Let's go for the sea beet!
All that work. Actually, it's a good flavour, isn't it?
-In fact, the seasoning has really brought that out.
Let's try a nuclear explosion of seaweed there.
And that's crisped up.
It is good though!
Listen, I think I'll be struggling, because I think that's a good dish.
It's crunch time. The diners here will taste both dishes, but without any idea who cooked which.
First up is David's celebration of Kentish lamb.
That's so soft.
The dish was absolutely delicious.
I liked the fillet, the flageolet beans, a lovely creamy texture.
The moistness of the kidney was a revelation, that was something new, I'd never tasted kidney like that.
A real pity there was gravy across the whole dish,
which ended up blending all the different sections for me.
It had component parts, but whether it actually hung together as a single dish I was unconvinced about.
I love shepherd's pie, but I prefer it a little chunkier.
Hmm. Mixed reviews there. Now it's out turn. Fingers crossed.
So many different textures on that plate.
-So many good flavours on there.
-That's really nice.
The first thing I noticed as it was brought to the table was the aroma, which just blew you away.
The fish was delicate.
I couldn't have told you it was beer sauce, but it was lovely sauce.
The beet, which initially I thought was spinach, was absolutely fab.
The really amazing thing is, the Alexander, it's a tiny thing,
but it has such a lot of flavour all encapsulated in that little slither.
Using all the seaside vegetables, it's Kent.
Dover sole. Kent on a plate.
-Hello! How are you?!
Firstly, I'd like to thank you all for letting us be in your lovely county. We've had a ball.
-Great beer, great food.
And we'd also like to say a very big thank you to David.
It now falls to you guys to decide what best represents Kent on a plate.
For the lamb dish, please.
For the fish dish, please.
I think that's pretty conclusive. Even I can't argue with that.
-'That was unbelievable!
'Well, considering the scrapes we got ourselves into,
'I'd say we were very lucky.
'David gave us more than a bit of help though.
'We can see why Kent's called the garden of England -
'we were spoilt for choice.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Series which follows the Hairy Bikers as they visit a different British county in every episode, sampling the best of local ingredients and meeting the people keeping culinary traditions alive. Si King and Dave Myers explore Kent, where they cook a traditional county favourite at Leeds Castle, forage for wild vegetables and sample the county's fine ale. Finally, they go head to head in a cook-off against local Michelin-starred chef David Pitchford. Restaurant diners decide in a blind tasting who has dished up the best taste of Kent.