Cooking competition hosted by Sheree Murphy which sees professional chefs select an amateur partner to work with in the final. In this episode, Paul Ainsworth makes his choice.
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Four of the best chefs in Britain
are on the hunt for their perfect partner.
For the first time ever, amateur home cooks will be paired with
the best in the business for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
Let me back in there!
Each day, an award-winning chef will choose their perfect partner
from four talented home cooks.
You cooked extremely well.
I can't tell you how impressed I am.
Then, in the Friday Final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head
to cook for culinary royalty Pierre Koffmann.
What makes a great chef is very hard work.
Practice makes it better.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.
Bring the home cooks in.
But will the amateur home cooks live up to their expectations?
Eggs in ice, my boy, yes!
This is Yes Chef.
Hello, and welcome to Yes Chef.
Let's see who's cooking in the kitchen today.
First, it's John, an electrical engineer from the Wirral.
Ordered with a batch of chaos is how I would describe my cooking.
Hopefully today it'll be different and I can keep my head together.
Next is Julie, a detective sergeant from Northamptonshire.
Under pressure, you'd think I'd be quite good,
but today I might be a little bit nervous.
I'm going to try and do my best and just wing it.
Paul is a computer programmer from Kettering.
Most people are very impressed that I can cook like I do.
From someone who works on computers, it's very surprising to them.
And finally, Adam is an engineer from Runcorn.
To impress the chefs today,
what I want to do is make sure my food's packed full of flavour,
it's well balanced and everything works well together.
I really, really want to win this competition.
Our cooks are raring to go so let's meet today's chef.
He was awarded his first Michelin star in 2012.
It's Paul Ainsworth.
Renowned for his regional Cornish cuisine,
Paul Ainsworth combines technical brilliance with big bold flavours
to produce wonderfully creative dishes.
My cooking style here at Number 6 is modern British with a huge focus on
Cornish produce. We've got great meat, great seafood,
beautiful vegetables and we try to showcase as much of that as we can.
One haddock, one oysters, one duck, one pork.
Having trained under the watchful eye of Gordon Ramsay
and Marcus Wareing,
Paul knows exactly what he's looking for from today's home cooks.
I need to work with somebody that's got a great attitude.
Bad timekeeping, working messy -
me and that person are going to struggle.
Ultimately, I want to make sure that myself and the home cook enjoy it,
but whenever you compete, you go in there to win.
Of course you want to win!
Welcome, Paul. We are absolutely over the moon
to have you here today. It's great to be here, thanks for having me.
Our four home cooks are going to be doing everything they can to
impress you today in the hope that you'll pick one of them as your
partner in the Friday Final. What are you going to be looking for?
First and foremost, great attitude.
Somebody who's really up for the challenge, wants to cook great -
but also cleanliness, good working practices
and just looking like they're enjoying it as well.
Brilliant! OK, well, let's get on with it.
This is round one - Dish Of The Day.
Home cooks, you're about to prepare the one dish that you believe
will set you apart from the rest.
Now, you only have 45 minutes so use your time wisely
because after this round, sadly, one of you will be going home.
So, Chef, it's over to you.
Guys, enjoy it and have a great day.
ALL: Yes, Chef.
Our cooks are off. This is their one chance to make Paul fall in love
with their food and it's absolutely crucial they do just that
because after this round, one person will be leaving the competition.
I smell garlic. Oh, yeah!
But with only 45 minutes to impress,
Julie's worried she may be playing it too safe.
I'm not an amazing chef so I'm going for good taste as opposed to
too many elements, which might be my downfall,
but I don't want to put myself under too much pressure.
Paul, on the other hand,
is saving his energy for a sprint to the finish line.
This dish is really a last minute effort.
Remembering to put all the herbs in,
heat up in the pan so it all ends up on the plate at the right time.
Less than ten minutes into the first challenge and Julie's already
Sorry, I've burnt the butter.
Why have I done that?
Hiya, John. Hi, you OK? Yes, good. All right, John? Hi, Paul.
I would shake your hand, but... No, it's fine.
What are you making? It's a posh Kiev, I would call it.
I love Kiev! Oh, do you? I do.
I prayed for a chef who loves Kiev, so basically...
Lots of garlic butter? Lots of garlic butter. Good.
Then wholemeal breadcrumbs,
then serve with asparagus and these carrots I'm going to do in a light
honey and lemon glaze and then I've got my other chicken breast here,
so I'm going to see if I've got time to throw another one in as well.
Right, OK. That'll be my lunch. Brilliant! OK. I look forward to it.
Thanks, John. Thank you.
Hi, Julie. What are you actually making? I'm going to make
a fillet steak with a Madeira and mushroom duxelles, pomme fondant
and just some nice chargrilled asparagus to go with it.
And you had a problem with the ones just earlier? I burnt the butter.
Put a little bit of oil in there and you'll regulate the temperature. OK.
Fingers crossed. We'll let you get on, so you don't burn.
Burn it again. Thank you.
Good luck. Thanks. Good luck, Julie.
Hi, Paul. Hi. How are we getting on?
Calm and collected at the moment because potatoes take time to cook.
What are you making? I'm doing a ribeye steak with pomme puree,
new season asparagus and with some crispy smoked salted rocket.
Talk to me about the rocket. Rocket, basically,
it's a wild rocket and on top of that I ground some salt. Yeah.
Sea salt. Liberally coat it with it and quickly put it in some hot fat.
Great. Brilliant. And you're looking good for time?
You look in control. I'm perfectly in control at the moment.
Come back to me in ten minutes' time!
I like that. Confident. I like that confidence.
Ten minutes' time and I'll have arms everywhere.
Brilliant. Aw! Well, good luck. Thank you. Good luck, Paul.
'While Paul's perfectly under control, Adam seems to have missed
'a vital step in his recipe.'
Oh, something's sizzling away there. Adam, can we give you a quick tip
before you keep going? Just trim all that off.
Cut all that. Trim all that.
This here's flavour, it's fat, that there is sinew.
Right. As that cooks, Adam,
that will just tighten and it will just make your duck breast tight
and not very nice to eat. All right?
That's it, lovely.
There we are. Hey! Done.
What are you making? I am doing a...
caramel duck with mandarins,
pickled daikon and just a herb salad.
It sounds great. And how are your nerves?
Not great at the moment. Aw!
You know what you're doing so just enjoy it.
Don't forget to season that duck, will you? Yeah, I will do.
Good luck. Thank you. Good luck.
So, Adam's back on track but time's flying for all our home cooks.
Right, cooks, you're halfway through.
I'm impressed with John. I think he's got a great attitude,
I like his dish. He's kept it simple but there are still a lot of things
that could go wrong there. We want to cut into that chicken Kiev
and it, like, spill out with lovely garlic butter. I like the way
he's used the Parma ham. He's taken on a bit of a take of a Wellington.
It's clever, I like it. He seems quite calm in himself, doesn't he?
Yes. He's good. I like John. Now, Julie. What d'you think of her dish?
I like Julie's dish. If she pulls it off, it'll be incredible.
It's a very "chef" dish.
Yeah. OK, now let's move on to Paul.
He seems in control, as well. They all seem quite calm, actually.
I think Paul's too in control for the wrong reasons.
OK. I think when you create a dish that you're only going to be busy
for ten minutes at the end, for me, it's not a good use of time.
He's not doing enough. Right.
About another few minutes, they're nice and soft now.
Work's got to start now.
Adam. I like Adam a lot.
It's good to be nervous, it shows that you care, and that's good.
It doesn't worry you? Say, like thinking about the Friday Final, if,
say, if it was Adam that you took forward, does that not worry you?
If I could spend a bit of time with him, I can mentor him and I can show
him how to control that nervous energy. At this stage, no,
it's not a worry. And it's quite an interesting dish.
I'm actually looking forward to tasting all these dishes.
If they get them all right, it's going to be hard.
There's four really nice dishes there. Brilliant. Well, I'll let you
go off and have another nosey. Brilliant. Thank you.
Right, cooks, you have just ten minutes left.
Along with the cooking of the duck, obviously,
the caramel sauce is quite crucial.
As Paul said, he's looking for a level of complexity and flavour,
so this will have a bit of salt and a bit of sweetness at the same time,
it's like a salty caramel.
Hello, Paul. Hi, Paul. This is where they've all been busy
at the beginning, you're going to be busy now. That's right.
It takes over now. That's the rocket. That is the rocket.
OK, interesting. I'm just ready to add the herbs in the hot pan. Yeah.
Let that all blister, the meat, take it off the heat,
add the butter and that's my job done with this thing.
I've made it twice before. I've done different variations,
but this is the second time I've made it as it's going to be today.
I'm hoping it will taste good, that's the main thing.
All right, John?
Hiya, Paul. That looks absolutely delicious. Nice and crispy. Yeah.
What's your method of knowing that that's cooked? Just timing. Timing.
Yeah. Trying to keep consistency of the thickness of the chicken
when you're cooking it. Yeah. You're in control, aren't you?
I like to think so. Yeah.
Cooks, there's just two minutes left, two minutes to go,
so you really need to start thinking about plating up.
As long as the chicken's cooked, I'll be happy.
30 seconds left.
Come on, come on.
one... Stop cooking.
Step away from your plates.
First to be judged is John with his Dish of the Day.
He has made prosciutto chicken Kiev served with asparagus,
and honey and lemon glazed Chantenay carrots.
There we are. Brilliant. How did you find the challenge?
It wasn't too bad once you got going. The time flew, though.
The 45 minutes is just nothing in the kitchen at all.
So shall we tuck in? Yeah, let's go.
Do you want to cut right into that chicken?
It's got to be done, hasn't it? Is it going to ooze? I'm hoping so.
I'm hoping the chicken is just right. Let's go straight in.
That's what I'm after. Oh, look at that. Wow, fantastic. Amazing.
Start with the chicken. I think you've nailed it.
Thank you. I think it's great.
The breast is nice and tender, it's lovely and juicy.
That's a difficult thing to do.
Thank you. And I'm impressed. Moving on to the vegetables,
they are a bit under seasoned.
Right. They need a bit of salt.
The asparagus is overcooked but it's a good dish, John.
I'm really impressed. Thank you. Fantastic comments.
How are you feeling? I'm made up.
That's all I could have asked for, that you enjoyed it.
The tasting went really well. There was some constructive criticism
around the vegetables, maybe not enough seasoning but I am just
made up that they both liked the dish. It's lovely and garlicky.
It's really garlicky. Really garlicky. Impressed?
I am impressed. He's chosen a very humble ingredient and elevated it.
So I like it, I think it was a great dish.
Next is Julie with her Dish of the Day - fillet of beef, pomme fondant,
asparagus and a wild mushroom and Madeira duxelles.
Oh, lovely. Is there anything that you would change?
Oh! I would cut the potatoes better next time and check on my butter.
I forgot to add the cream to my sauce and just leave it to rest
a bit and ensure that I left more time to plate up. Right.
Shall we dig in? Yes. Please.
I'm going to go in the middle because I just want to see
how you've cooked it.
You've gone down a very kind of classic route,
things that should and do work together.
Just sadly, there's nothing bringing it together. Yeah.
It's just separate elements.
Start with the fondant. I know you were on the back foot with those
but the potato's raw in the middle.
The beef, I can't taste any salt. Right.
Cooking wise, well done.
Really well done. It is cooked beautifully.
Sometimes it's that pinch of salt that makes the difference.
Yes, I did forget, sorry.
Don't be sorry. Not at all. Well done.
The tasting was different. I agreed with all his comments.
He was absolutely right.
More practice at home and I think I can improve it.
Really tasty Madeira sauce, really, really nice.
Her ideas are good, she's got good ideas.
This is still a... All to play for. All to play for.
Time for Paul to face the taste test with his Dish of the Day.
He has made pan-fried ribeye steak topped with crispy rocket
and served with pomme puree and asparagus.
There you go. Lovely.
Thank you, Paul. So, how did you find the challenge?
Relaxing to start with but it got a bit hectic at the end.
Do you think you used your time wisely?
I think I could have done things a little bit earlier,
rested the steak a little bit longer. Yeah.
But that's all in a perfect world.
Yeah. Let's taste.
Ribeye is nicely cooked.
I was quite worried about your use of time.
I think you could have done more.
There was a lot of arms folded, waiting around.
It's a cooking competition, I want to see you cook.
Start with the ribeye, I saw you trimming quite a bit of fat off.
I was a bit worried about that but you have left just enough on there
to give that flavour. Everyone has done asparagus so far and yours
is the best. It's a good dish but the one thing that lets it down
is there's no sauce. Yes. Using those asparagus trimmings,
cos you've cut quite a lot off...
Yes. You could have made a puree with that asparagus, as opposed to
standing there like this for half an hour.
If we go through to the next round, I need to see a better use of time.
Use of time. Yeah.
I was happy with my use of time. If I was wanting to put more
into the dish, I might have put too much into the dish.
That's lovely, that.
That's really good, John. I think I'm happy with what I did
and I'm happy with the comments I got.
If he does move forward to the next round,
it'll be interesting to see if he picks up on all your...
criticism, but it is constructive criticism. It is. And he can cook.
And finally, it's Adam with his Dish of the Day,
pan-fried duck in a caramel sauce served with a salad of mandarin,
ginger and pickled daikon.
Was the challenge challenging?
It certainly was. I thought I'd given myself plenty of time,
but at the end it was a bit of a panic. Anything you would change?
I'd probably rest the duck a little bit more, I think. Yeah.
And I'd probably put a little bit more of the caramel sauce on,
to be honest. Shall we taste? Yes.
What have you done with the ginger?
Some of it's in the pickle solution. And there's a couple of bits
on there that are just raw as well. There's a mixture of both.
Tough one, this, Adam. Tough one.
I think that there's a really great idea here.
I can see what you're trying to do.
You've got all the right flavours there and stuff,
there's just some things in there that need work. Like, the daikon
is too thick, I can't get much acidity from the pickle.
But the biggest problem you've got there is that ginger.
It's got no process to it.
My mouth now is ringing of ginger. I've got to eat it cos you've put it
on the plate. And you've put quite a lot of it on the plate.
There's a great idea there and the technique, which is the hardest bit,
cooking the duck, you've done really, really well.
But well done. There's a lot to take from that dish that's positive.
Especially the cooking of your duck.
I'd like to think I've done enough to go through today, although the
presentation and maybe going that little bit further may have gone
against me and overcomplicated things.
It is a bit sharp, isn't it?
But I'd still like to think I've done enough for today.
Only three people can be taken through to the next round.
For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.
Having worked with Paul in round one, I really want to progress
to round two so I've got a bit more time with him in the kitchen.
I'd love to get through to the next round. It would just be fabulous.
I'd love to spend some more time doing some more cooking
but I've tried my best, worked with a Michelin starred chef,
learnt lots of tips and I'll keep improving.
I tried to cook everything
to my best ability. Hopefully that's enough to get me through.
I've made my mind up.
You have? Yeah. You know exactly... Yeah. ..who you're going to go with.
Yeah. Definitely. OK.
Well, let's go break the news.
Firstly, I'd like to say a massive well done to all four of you.
It's not an easy challenge and 45 minutes is not long but you all
did really well. However, one of you does have to leave at this stage,
and Paul has made his mind up.
So, it's over to you, Chef.
Guys, you did really well, I was so impressed.
What a great round.
Unfortunately, someone does have to go.
Unfortunately, today, that's you, Julie.
I'm really, really sorry. No problem, thank you.
I've got to judge it on what's in front of me and the potato was raw
but you cooked that fillet absolutely spot-on.
I would not be disheartened. I think you are an amazing home cook,
I really do. Oh, thank you. Thank you very much. Give us a hug.
Do I get a hug? Yeah.
It was a great experience, I tried my hardest but the other guys
were much better cooks on the day, so I have no problems whatsoever.
So, that leaves three home cooks remaining.
They are electrical engineer John,
computer programmer Paul
and engineer Adam.
It's round two, the Chef's Challenge. Now, in this round,
Paul will be testing to see who has got the skills
he's looking for. So, Chef, what's the challenge today?
It is the humble omelette. Oh!
I want you to make me a cheese and onion omelette.
It sounds simple but you've got to really think about it.
Right, start with the onion.
Take off the outside layer of shell.
If you don't peel the onion properly, we'll be able to taste it
in there. For one omelette, we're only going to need one half.
I just want you to chop it nice and properly.
I want the onion to be a nice fine dice.
OK? All right?
So the pan's on, gently warm.
Get the butter in there. This is the important bit,
controlling the temperature.
Take your Maurice, spread that onion.
Add another knob of butter.
What you're doing is cooking out that harsh onion flavour.
At this point - season.
Whisk your eggs.
You want to get a bit of salt into the eggs now.
Start to move it, OK? That's interesting cos when I make
an omelette at home, I would normally put the eggs in and then
just leave it but you've stirred it around. Stirred it around.
Now my base is setting. Right, OK.
The cheese, I'm grating nice and fine because when I go into it,
I don't want it to be raw, I want it to be nice and oozy and melting.
We'll put a bit of the chives in there.
The whole thing is just super simple.
But it takes skill to get right.
Now we'll start to look.
What we're looking for
is for it to move over like this.
So you get right to the bottom there.
Wow. OK? Mine are normally black by that stage.
I know! But you see why, cos I'm taking my time.
I know in the middle of that,
that cheese is going to be nice and gooey.
I know it's seasoned really, really nice.
There we have it. Cheese and onion omelette.
Little bit of chives just over the top.
Dig in. Go into the centre.
See what it's meant to look like.
That just melts in your mouth.
Paul, that's a fantastic challenge.
Thank you. Guys, take your time, just focus and go for it.
ALL: Yes, Chef.
Our cooks have just 15 minutes to make the perfect omelette.
They must replicate Paul's recipe from memory and even the simplest
ingredients can pose a challenge.
Just getting the skin off!
Whilst Paul is looking for a partner that can be creative in the kitchen,
he also needs to know they can follow his instructions
to the letter.
I think it should be OK. Just trying to remember the right order.
Getting everything done.
As only two cooks will be taken through to the next round,
it's essential they use their time wisely.
Fairly confident at the moment.
Hi. All right? Yes.
Onion looks nice and fine.
How does this challenge make you feel? Very nervous. Are you?
It's not as easy as it looks, is it?
Not as easy as it looks at all.
Let the knife do the work. Yeah. You don't want all that flavour
disappearing into the chopping board. You want it all in that pan.
No green chopping boards. Exactly. Good. OK, great, fantastic, Paul.
How's it going, Adam? Yeah, not bad, Paul, thank you.
Onions on, nice. Nice amount of butter. We call it sweating
but it's cooking without colour cos we don't want the colour
on the omelette, we want that butter to stay nice and blonde.
Good, good. How are your nerves?
A bit worse than this morning now, like. I think he looks calmer.
He does look calmer. I think he settled into it nice.
Good luck. Thank you.
All right, John? Hi, Paul. Yes, thank you. Good. How's it going?
You look in control. Yeah, hopefully. So onion nice and fine?
Yeah. Excellent. Possibly could be a little bit finer.
Yeah, well, you've got the chance now and as long as you cook it down
and it's nice and soft, they'll be fine. That's good.
I'll keep an eye on the taste.
I've seasoned it. If you've got time, start those chives again.
You see how they're all starting to bleed?
It's because you're using the wrong knife. It'll bleed into...
The flavour, yeah. Overpowering. Good.
Good luck. Thank you.
'So, taking Paul's advice,
'it's back to square one for John and his chives.
'Paul is first to get his eggs in the pan.
'And Adam is a close second.
'But for John, who's busy concentrating on his chives,
'time is slipping away.'
An omelette is a simple thing to make
but that looked quite difficult... Mm. ..to me.
I think what people forget about an omelette is that it's not scrambled,
fried, burnt. It's lovely cooked, set eggs with some lovely cheese
and onion in there.
The eggs have gone in, if you want to go and have a look at the pans.
I think this is make or break.
Scrambled egg or omelette?
'With plenty of time to spare,
'confident cook Paul is first to cross the finish line.'
Right, cooks, you've got just two minutes left.
Two minutes to go.
You're done. I know.
Made the most of my time.
Adam is next to plate up his omelette.
But trying desperately to hang on to his place in the competition,
John is using every last second.
Right, cooks, that's it, your time is up.
It's time to taste.
'It's the moment of truth. One of our home cooks will be leaving
'the competition if their omelette doesn't meet Paul's expectations.'
Right. It's time to judge. Time to taste.
Not the easiest thing to do, is it? No. Definitely not.
No. But a very good job.
I feel with this one, a little bit too much butter.
Can you see the fat? The butter is just a vehicle to start it off,
to add a bit of flavour but I don't want that greasiness on the lips.
Mm-hm. Moving on to yours, John.
Quite a lot of cheese in there.
Yeah. Seasoning is there,
it's not overcooked and hasn't got a burnt exterior to it,
so, again, very good. Moving on to yours, Adam,
the one that looks like it fell out of the pan as opposed to it...
Put my spatula through the middle of it. Yeah. Looks more like
a Danish pastry with the two exposed ends than a nice folded omelette.
It's hard. It is hard.
It's very, very hard. I can't really split any of you on your omelettes.
I'll to have some time to think about the rounds previous.
Do you want to step out? Yeah, thank you.
Paul can only take two cooks through to the next round.
With his sights set on the Friday Final,
this decision is proving harder than expected.
So, Paul, you've had a bit of time to think. I have.
Have you made your decision?
I have. OK. Firstly, let's get the easy bit over and done with.
That is, John, I'm going to send you through to the next round.
Well done. So, well done.
Well done, John.
Right, Adam and Paul.
I couldn't split you, as you know, on the omelette, so I have to then
make my decisions based on what dishes you cooked for me.
If I look at both dishes,
I'm going to have to say, Adam,
I feel that Paul's was just more of a well rounded dish and for that
I'm going to have to send you home. Not a problem. Thank you very much.
But well done.
A little bit gutted really but good luck to the guys going forward,
they both cooked super dishes and I think the right guys went through.
Just two cooks remain -
electrical engineer John and computer programmer Paul -
but only one can be chosen as Paul's partner for the Friday Final.
So it's time now for our third and final round, the Chef's Special.
In this challenge our cooks will be given a set of ingredients to one of
Paul's signature dishes. Cooks, the aim of this round is to see
what you can make with the same set of ingredients.
You'll get to see what Paul makes a little bit later on.
But for you at home, here's today's ingredients.
Paul's chosen oysters, fennel,
apple, eggs, limes,
chervil, breadcrumbs and salami.
Easy enough for a Michelin-starred chef,
but what will our home cooks think?
OK, cooks, you have one hour. Reveal your ingredients,
because your time starts now.
How do you feel about that? Erm, seafood's not my favourite.
Paul? Bit scared of my fingers when I try and open an oyster.
So has either of you ever opened an oyster before? No. No.
'Our cooks are off and get straight to work with the fiddly task
'of opening the oysters.'
There must be a hole there somewhere.
'John's got the knack.
'But Paul's finding it a little bit more tricky.'
Try a different one.
'But what about the rest of Paul's selected ingredients?'
I've never cooked oysters before so I'm sort of winging this one a bit.
And it's just deciding what to do with the sausage.
It's quite a hard one. It's well outside my comfort zone here.
How are you doing, Paul?
Fine. Just trying to work out what all the bits and pieces are. Yeah.
I think I can put most of them together.
Have you got a dish together? I've got a dish in my head.
OK, tell us what you're going to do.
Well, I'm going to poach some fennel,
which I'm then going to layer up with the oysters inside the shells.
OK. With mayonnaise obviously made with the lime and the eggs. Wow, OK.
And the mayonnaise, tell me, how are you going to make the mayonnaise?
Egg yolks, whisk them up over and whisk some oil into it. Brilliant.
Great, look forward to it.
I've never cooked with fennel before. This'll be interesting.
John, you look like a man with a plan. Yeah! Well...
whether it'll work or not, I've got a plan. Have you?
What's your plan? Tell us.
Well, I'm going to try going along the same lines as the Kiev,
with oysters in breadcrumbs. Yeah.
No idea if you can serve oysters like that,
I've never cooked with oysters before so I'm not sure how far
I'm supposed to cook it.
Just remember in your head that you can eat them like that.
That tells you something. Well, good luck. Yes, good luck.
So, both the lads have got a plan. Mm-hm.
Whose dish are you more impressed by?
I probably understand John's more.
I felt Paul was telling me a lot,
but I couldn't piece it together in my mind. No, no.
I'm cleaning the shells to try and get any bits of the sea
left off them so they're nice and clean.
So, Paul is planning to serve his oyster in the shell.
Can you do that? Wash them off a little bit,
run them under the tap. OK. But for me, just making sure
you get rid of any bits of debris and stuff like that.
If he's going to serve it in the shell then good on him.
Obviously John is pulling on his Kiev roots from this morning. Mm.
Wise move. Wise move. Wise move.
He's using the fennel, he's using the lime.
It'll be interesting to see if any of them used the cured pork.
I want to see all the ingredients used.
The salami worries me. I'm not 100% sure that it's going to work,
to be honest, so I'll see how I go for flavours as I go along.
It doesn't want to stick. I could do with flour first.
It's not on the list of ingredients, so...
I'm just after a bit of crunch on the oyster, is the theory.
Cooks, you have just 15 minutes left.
I've got it in my head.
It's just, is it going to come out in the flavours that I can taste?
I keep looking across and it looks different to mine.
It looks good.
I haven't got a clue what I'm doing!
How's it going, John? Not too bad, actually. Tell me what you're doing.
The fennel and the apple are chopped and reduced down.
Cooked down a bit, yeah?
And I tried a bit with the salami and it just
seemed to go quite well with it. You've used everything, haven't you?
Just about, yeah. And you're all right for time, you feel in control?
I think so, yeah. I just hope it tastes OK. Yeah, me too.
What's in here? You've got apple... A bit of apple,
what was left of the fennel, the liquor from the...
I've cooked those. Oh, so you've cooked these?
I've just put them in cold water to stop them cooking through so...
Good. And what are you going to do with the salami?
I might basically put some slices of some salami with it.
The thing I could have probably done with is a bit of butter to whisk
into the sauce just to give it a bit more richness and thickness. Good.
So I have to try to get the richness without that.
As time ticks away for our home cooks,
despite having the same ingredients,
they've come up with two completely different dishes.
But whose oysters will Paul prefer?
That tastes better than I thought it would.
Cooks, there's just 30 seconds to go.
Right, cooks, that's it - time is up.
Step away from your oysters. It's time to taste.
First up, it's John.
He's made pan-fried breaded oysters
served with a fennel and apple puree, wrapped in salami.
Well, I hope you like it.
That was a tough challenge. It certainly was.
I've never even tasted an oyster. Oh, really? Wow, really?
No, honestly. Well, you've done brilliantly, then.
I'm just hoping the oysters are cooked cos,
again, I wouldn't know what constitutes cooked.
Shall we find out? Yes, let's.
John, well done. Thank you.
For somebody that's never cooked an oyster before, that is really good.
The oyster is slightly over,
but I'm really nit-picking there.
That is really, really good. I love the way you've used everything.
It's fresh, it's lovely, it's not heavy, it's a great starter.
I cannot tell you how impressed I am. Well done. Thank you.
Absolutely ecstatic with the way the tasting went.
Paul was very complimentary,
especially considering I've never cooked oyster before.
He struck a chord with me there cos I love apple like that. Mm.
Really, really pleased.
Next into the tasting room is Paul.
He's made poached oysters on a bed of fennel, served in the shell
and topped with mayonnaise and breadcrumbs.
Now, how was the challenge for you?
Very difficult to decide what to do with it.
I didn't use all the ingredients.
I had some flavours and tastes in my head and I followed through with it.
Shall we get stuck in? Yes!
OK. One each.
For me, Paul, starting with the mayonnaise,
you haven't made mayonnaise. You've got cooked egg.
The panko breadcrumb hasn't cooked, it's just out of the bowl,
gone on top and it's raw.
The oysters are overcooked and, yeah, it's just...
It did stretch me a lot, this was well outside my comfort zone.
Yeah, but it's good. You've produced something and got it on the plate.
That's a feat in itself, so well done. Thank you. Well done.
It could have gone better.
The tastes and everything I had in my head of what it should be
didn't really turn out on the plate.
With the final challenge complete,
it's just left for Paul to deliberate over our two home cooks.
So, let's think about the whole day. They've done three challenges. Yeah.
And both have done really well. They have, they have.
Unfortunately, I can only take one through,
but, yeah, I've made my mind up. I have. Good.
OK, well, before we let them know,
we're going to see what you do with those ingredients.
This is my highlight now, so come on. Let's do it!
So, Paul, it's over to you.
So the first thing that we're going to do is open the oysters.
Break the hinge. How do you know if you get a bad oyster?
Generally, the smell. Oh, really?
You'll see it inside, it's just not nice.
The shell even might be open slightly. You'll know. You'd know.
So, we're just going to wash them, pass the juice over.
Job done. OK?
What we're going to do now are the limes.
Move the lime around and it really kind of gets it soft
so we can release all the lovely juices that are in the lime.
Cut the limes in half and we want the juice.
I also want the zest of just one lime.
Now, when you zest,
what you're doing is you're getting the oils of the fruit.
Growing up, your mum and dad had a guest house, didn't they?
That's right. And you used to help out? Yeah.
I grew up in hospitality. Our home was the business.
And when did you start cooking or find your love of cooking?
When I was 16. 16!
Yeah, I was just drawn to the kitchen like a magnet. I loved it.
I started washing up and it just went from there, really.
Moved to London, worked for some great chefs...
You have worked for some fantastic chefs. Yeah.
Who has been your favourite to work for?
I couldn't pick one, they're all brilliant. You know,
Gary Rhodes taught me so much about, like, simplicity,
Gordon Ramsay was all about the skill, the precision.
It was brilliant.
So, here I'm peeling the fennel and the reason I'm peeling it
is because that skin on the outside is quite tough.
When you peel it, it then becomes lovely and soft.
I'm just going to add some sugar into this and by adding the sugar,
obviously the lime's lovely and sour so we're going to balance that
and what I'm after is that lovely sweet-sour combination.
How long have you been in Cornwall now? Ten years.
I knew somebody that knew the area really well and there was
an exciting opportunity to open a restaurant,
to see it go from where we were worrying about how we were going to
pay the bills to now people coming to see us from all over.
Which is amazing, isn't it? It's brilliant.
So, you were awarded your Michelin star in 2012.
How did you feel when you found out?
It was probably one of the most amazing moments, you know, ever.
Our syrup's nicely cooled down. We just pour all over.
I cannot tell you how delicious this is.
Next, chervil. If you just have a little bit of that chervil
and just tell me what you can taste.
It's like parsley and aniseed mixed together. Absolutely.
Herbs contain beautiful oils. We don't want those on the board,
we want that flavour in there.
Right, move over to our oysters -
into the white and into our crumb.
In, all around, into our crumb.
Now, I get everything together. So that sits on the bottom
and we take some of that juice, spoon it in.
Now we're organised and now we cook our oysters.
And they go in hot oil really quickly.
Cos of the panier, the oyster's not going to be touched.
All I want is that nice golden brown exterior
and then that's it, they're out and served.
And we want to serve straight away, nice plump side up.
You've got that lovely texture coming from the crumb.
And then straight away we just put that lovely cured pork just on top.
There we are, simple as that.
Right, let's have a taste.
Make sure you get that salad, yeah.
That is unbelievable.
More than all right!
That was absolutely fantastic, Paul, thank you so much. Thank you.
It is time to reveal who's going to be your partner in the Friday Final,
but before we do, let's have a quick recap
of the dishes they made earlier.
In the first round, John impressed Paul with his speed and efficiency,
making a tasty chicken Kiev in only 45 minutes.
He stormed ahead with the omelette and then pushed himself out of his
comfort zone with a brave attempt at pan-friend oysters.
Paul's just been so helpful.
Just to spend another day in the kitchen cooking with him
would just be like a dream come true.
Meanwhile, Paul wowed with his flavours in the first round,
produced an omelette that secured his place in the competition,
but then tripped up on the final challenge
with a badly executed mayonnaise.
I take the criticism they gave me, yes. I would like to get through
and I'd like to learn a lot more from a Michelin star chef.
Firstly, I'd like to say a massive well done to both of you.
It's been a great day, you've done so well.
However, there can be only one winner and Paul has made his mind up
who he's going to take through to the Friday Final.
So, Paul, it's over to you.
I can't tell you how impressed I am.
I think you've both cooked extremely well,
but I can only take one person with me on Friday
and I've had to make my decision
based on what we're going to be doing Friday,
but also the dishes I tasted today -
which dishes would I love to sit down the most and eat?
And based on that decision...
..I'm going to take you, John.
Oh, thank you.
I'm really sorry, Paul.
It was so close. It was such a hard decision for me to make.
Commiserations, Paul, but, John, congratulations. Well done!
'What can I say? I just didn't expect to get past the first round.'
I hate the term "gobsmacked", but, yeah, I know why people use it now.
My last dish didn't really go to plan. I've learnt a lot, though.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
So, any last tips, then?
Just bring what you've done today. We've got a massive challenge ahead.
We're not here to make up the numbers, John. We want to win it.
Oh, damn right, yeah.
Is that clear? We've got this far. We want to win it.
We're going to win.
I'm going to give it my all now to win on Friday
and repay Paul's faith in me.
Tomorrow on Yes Chef -
four more home cooks go all out to impress superchef Bryn Williams.
Have you done any cooking? HE LAUGHS
It's the chance for them to work alongside the best in the business.
That's a big skill, that, you know?
But only one can become his partner for the Friday Final.
It really is on a knife edge.
Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth has his eye on the prize as he puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect omelette. Paul will be judged by triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann in the final, so his professional pride is at stake. But which home cook will he choose?