Atul Kochhar Yes Chef


Atul Kochhar

Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to remove the skin from a chicken in one piece.


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Four of the best chefs in Britain

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are on the hunt for their perfect partner.

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For the first time ever, amateur home cooks will be paired with

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the best in the business for the cooking experience of a lifetime.

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I was expecting a lot more from you.

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Each day, a different Michelin-starred chef will choose

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their perfect partner... A small slip can cost you.

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..from four talented home cooks.

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In terms of flavours, it was bang on. Everything was there.

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Then, in the Friday Final,

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all four pairs will go head to head to cook for culinary royalty,

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Pierre Koffmann.

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What I look for for a perfect dish is to keep it simple and tasty.

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The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.

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I feel like going and slapping him.

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Oh. But will the amateur home cooks live up to their expectations?

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What are you doing? And who will win?

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You're shaking. Are you all right? This is Yes Chef.

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Hello, and welcome to Yes Chef. Let's meet today's four home cooks.

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First up, it's Helen Jackson.

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She's a retired civil servant from Walthamstow.

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I'm hoping to impress the chef today

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with the combination of the flavours. It's quite a spicy dish,

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and so hopefully they've got a spicy palate.

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Next, it's Chris Baber, a model from Northumberland.

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I would describe my cooking style as healthy home cooking.

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I would say my strengths are cooking with spices.

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It tastes absolutely amazing.

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Annabel Cornfoot is a publisher from London.

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I really enjoy fresh ingredients, Asian herbs and spices.

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I want to learn some new tricks from the chef who's going to teach us

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something fantastic.

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Finally, Caroline Tennyson Wilcox is a social media manager from Kent.

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I would describe my cooking style as adventurous. I love foraging.

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I want to share with the world what I can do,

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and I really want to be the champion for today.

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So, our home cooks are at the ready. It's time now to meet our chef.

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It's the twice Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar. Wow!

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In 2001, Atul became the first Indian chef

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to be awarded a Michelin star for his unique take on Indian cuisine.

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I've been cooking in the United Kingdom for the last 23 years now.

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And in 2007, Atul received another star

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for his London restaurant, Benares.

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The food is very sensorial.

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Seasonality is extremely critical on my menus.

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I grew up in India, where we respect all the five senses.

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When you eat something, all the senses need to be involved,

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otherwise there's no enjoyment of food.

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With his reputation on the line,

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Atul is extremely focused on the competition.

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Winning is everything.

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I need a lamb samosa, chicken tikka and a crab kofta.

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What really impresses me most is when people show creativity.

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They have to have this natural, inborn thing,

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an urge that they want to do well.

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You like this one better? Don't be so scared of me.

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You know, they wake up every morning

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excited with the sense that, "I have to go cook."

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If I can get that, man, I'll be winning.

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Welcome, Atul. It's an absolute pleasure to have you here today.

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So good to be here. What will you be looking for?

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A general passion for food.

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They should know their seasons, know their flavours,

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and really know how to turn the heat on when it's required,

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creativity, and show me what they can do,

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because that's what I'll be looking for. OK, let's get on with it.

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This is round one, Dish of the Day. Now, home cooks, you'll be creating

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the one dish that you believe will set you apart from the rest.

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Now, you need to make it count, because after this round, sadly,

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one of you will be going home.

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You'll have 45 minutes, so use your time wisely.

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So, Chef, it's over to you.

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Well, guys, use your creativity, dig deep and get cooking.

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ALL: Yes, Chef!

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So, our cooks are off, and with one of them destined to leave

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the competition at the end of this round, they are going all out

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to impress Atul with their Dish of the Day.

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And for home cook Helen, it's not just about the taste,

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because she knows timing is crucial.

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I'm making my curry paste at the moment. So this is the easy bit.

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I think it's just getting it all ready on time,

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getting it all brought together at the end.

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And the pressure is most definitely on for model Chris,

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who is a huge fan of Atul's, so he's desperate to impress.

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I think I've been fairly ambitious. I've given myself quite a few

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different elements to do in the 45 minutes. Let's hope that I can

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bring it all together. I'm sure I will.

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Hi, Helen. Hello.

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How are we? Not too bad at the moment, thank you.

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Good. How are you doing? Good. What are you making?

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I'm doing a Thai red curry with salmon and prawns.

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I see a pepper sauce with you. Yes. And I also see...

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Yes. That's Mexican, and it's a Thai meal.

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THEY LAUGH

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OK. That's back from my holidays.

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Thai food is all about really raw heat from chilli.

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Yeah. Yeah. OK. Good luck. Thank you. You are doing well.

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Our home cooks are all keen to win Atul over,

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but when you've only got 45 minutes, the key to this challenge is timing.

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I feel as though I've gone too hard, too fast, too soon.

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Hi, Chris. Hey, how are you doing? Hi, Chris, how are you?

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Very well, thank you. What are you cooking?

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Today I'm making a pan-fried sea bass with a coconut curry,

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and I'm going to do some crushed new potatoes with a bit of coriander

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and lemon in there, and a few mustard seeds as well.

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This curry sauce is something I've been doing for years at home,

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but I want to demonstrate some skill, and see if I can show you

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how to cook a piece of fish properly as well. What have you got there?

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I've got chicken stock. All that is going in the sauce?

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In the curry sauce. There's a lot going on. There's a lot going on.

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Good luck with that. Thank you very much.

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Good luck. Look forward to tasting it. Cheers.

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Hi, Annabel. Hi. How are we getting on?

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We're getting on well. I think I've got my lamb backstrap,

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which I stuffed with goat's cheese and basil. What are you cooking?

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Tell me that. I should tell you that! I'm doing a lamb backstrap.

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We call it a backstrap in Australia.

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It's called a cannon of loin lamb here.

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So I've butterflied it, filled it with goat's cheese and basil,

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then wrapped in prosciutto. It is now in the oven. And then

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I'm serving that with some honey tomatoes. I've got my tomatoes

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that are cooking with cardamom pods, peppercorns,

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honey and balsamic vinegar. So then I'm going to stir-fry my samphire

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with beans and asparagus, ginger and...

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Garlic? ..garlic. Beautiful flavours.

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Hopefully. And it looks like you certainly know what you're doing.

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Which is good. Good luck. Thank you very much.

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Hi, Caroline. Hello, Caroline. Hello. How are you?

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Very good. How's it going?

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It's all good. I've done a lot of my prep already.

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I'm going to be doing a monkfish which is wrapped in Parma ham,

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that I'm going to poach,

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and with the monkfish I've got lemon zest and a hint of chilli.

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OK. So I've already prepared it.

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It's in the fridge and it's chilling.

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So I'm just going to wait for the potatoes to finish cooking.

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I'm also going to be serving it with a vermouth and cream sauce.

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As a chef, if I ever had to use ham and monkfish, the first thing

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that comes to mind - wrap it neatly and in the oven.

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I would agree with you, but wait till you see what I've done with it.

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Ooh. OK. All right. I like the confidence.

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Good luck. Thank you. Good luck. Thank you.

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Well, it's so far, so good for all our home cooks,

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and everyone seems to be coping.

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But with time ticking away,

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things start to get a little more stressful for Caroline,

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as she struggles with her potato ricer.

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Agh! No. This ricer is not going to work.

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And, in comparison, things appear to be going smoothly for Annabel,

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who seems to have a lot of time on her hands.

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I thought we'd start with Helen, she's making her Thai curry.

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I quite like her own personal touch that she brought, that chilli sauce.

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From Mexico. But chilli's chilli, at the end of the day,

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and she likes that kind of chilli flavour. She's going to go for it.

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Yeah. And why not? Now, let's move on to Chris.

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He's got a lot going on, with his pan-frying sea bass.

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I think pan-frying sea bass is very good, but it can be very tricky,

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as well. He's going to add, he said, some chicken stock,

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and I'm wondering why he hasn't gone for the fish stock.

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Next up is Annabel. What do you think of her dish?

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I think her cooking is so Australian.

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It's a bit of a mishmash, then?

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You know what, that's what Australian food is all about.

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They have so many influences, their creativity just comes alive,

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and she's doing exactly that.

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I think her dish is the most exciting so far, in my opinion.

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I'm really looking to taste that. Oh, OK. Finally, we have Caroline,

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with her monkfish wrapped in Parma ham. But she's potting it.

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I've never come across that.

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I have to accept it. Maybe I'm wrong as a chef that I haven't tried it.

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She was absolutely adamant

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and confident that she's going to do it right.

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This competition is going to be tough. It's going to be tough.

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Why don't you go back in and see how they're getting on? Oh, yes!

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The tastes and flavours of the cooks' dishes is crucial

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when it comes to Atul's judging.

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Too much lemon.

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And with his mind on the Friday Final,

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he's keen to keep a close eye on their progress.

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Sauce ready to go.

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Two minutes left, cooks, just two minutes to go.

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Finishing the plating up now. Hopefully I'm going to get this

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piece of sea bass off without it falling apart.

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Thank you.

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There's nothing like added pressure when you're cooking for your idol.

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Meanwhile, Caroline's got more problems with her potatoes.

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Potatoes, I just keep looking at these potatoes,

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deciding what I can do with them.

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And for Chris, the competition is really hotting up.

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Hot!

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We were all staring at you as you were testing it.

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Five, four, three, two, one,

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that's it! Time's up, stop cooking and step away from your plates.

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You've done all you can. It's time to taste.

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First to be judged is Helen with her Dish of the Day.

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She's made Thai red curry with salmon and prawns,

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served on a bed of noodles.

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There we go. Wonderful. How was the challenge for you?

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I felt a bit more relaxed than I thought I would.

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Oh, good. Good. Right. Let's taste.

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Some very nice flavours.

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You've kept the heat down.

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Any reason for it? Because I'm conscious that not everyone likes

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heat as much as I do. Did you put your special sauce in from Mexico?

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I did!

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You added that? A little bit!

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Good. Good.

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Beautiful flavours. If you had pan-fried the seafood...

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OK. ..this dish would be a different dish. OK. I personally would have

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liked it slightly more hot,

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but the flavour of basil coming through, the flavour of ginger,

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lemon grass, all that is really spot-on.

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For me, it's a cracking dish, I like it. Thank you.

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I'm disappointed. I think it just should have been hotter.

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It wasn't fiery enough for me, cos when you talk about red curry,

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it's always really hot.

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I think she got to the half level of it and then she decided,

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"No, I'll go mild." I think she pulled back.

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Next is Chris with his Dish of the Day -

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pan-fried sea bass with a coconut curry,

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served with spiced new potatoes, fresh peas and crispy masala onions.

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Lovely. It looks beautiful.

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Thank you very much. What was your inspiration behind this dish?

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I actually took the inspiration from yourself, from something you did,

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which you've probably gathered!

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But, yeah... I saw you using chicken stock.

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Why didn't you go for fish stock?

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Because I'd traditionally cooked the curry with chicken,

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I've just kind of balanced the flavours.

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I just found it added a little bit more flavour to my sauce.

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Let's try it. Yes. Your sauce looked very tempting, so I want to...

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..try it on its own. Good sauce.

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Thank you very much.

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Ah, you have done such a good justice to the potatoes,

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I have to say that. Thanks so much. Really, really good.

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When I found out it was you, I thought the pressure's now on,

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cooking a curry, you're sort of one of my heroes, but the fact that

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you like that means so much to me, I can't believe it.

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Right, I've said all the good things to you now.

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Now let's go for some bad things as well. Yeah, let's go for it.

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Flavour wise, you have nailed it. Really, really good.

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Fish, you have burned it, actually, in my opinion. Yeah, yeah.

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Next time, when you are frying the fish, just remember - take it off

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onto a paper that doesn't stick to the fish.

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You were struggling there, I saw that. Yeah, I was.

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I think that's it, and next time do use fish stock.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. Chicken stock is not required.

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Well done. Thank you very much. Fantastic. No, brilliant.

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Please feel free to start. He said I'd nailed the flavours,

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which am absolutely blown away with,

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getting that sort of feedback from Atul.

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Nerves were going a little bit, cos I knew I'd overcooked the fish

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and I thought that might have let me down.

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You can just see his smile, even when you are giving him critique,

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he was still smiling cos he's happy! Because it's you. Bless him. Yeah,

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which is lovely, but I felt like he took everything on board

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that you said. Yes.

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But overall, I think amazing fish. Amazing dish.

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Happy with that. Good. Next up is Annabelle with her Dish of the Day -

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lamb backstrap stuffed with goat's cheese and basil,

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wrapped in prosciutto, and served with samphire,

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asparagus and honey tomato.

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Fantastic! How are you feeling now?

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I'm a bit shocked at how quickly I prepared the dish today.

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I sort of went go, go, go, go,

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and I'm hoping that I haven't ruined anything and it still tastes good.

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Ready to taste? Yeah, can't wait.

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OK. OK.

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Tomatoes, I've been salivating on these.

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A lot of influence is going on. There are a lot of influences.

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Tomatoes were French, looking at this lamb,

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it's more Mediterranean to me. I know. And then you have gone

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Far East with your samphire,

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you took it from England, of course, and then...

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The asparagus and the beans...

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The asparagus and the beans and the way you toasted it.

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Well, you've got creativity, I have to say that.

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You've done an excellent job, flavours work, the crunch is there,

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the spice is there, the tomatoes are absolutely sweet.

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Lamb works really well.

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If I was you, I would actually reduce one of the elements,

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just because the time was less.

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I would have gone to make a small sauce. It's not easy to pull

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flavours from different continents

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and put them on a plate, and you have done that. Thank you.

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It's amazing. Thank you very much. You should be proud of yourself,

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well done. Thank you. Oh, lovely.

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Here we have my lamb backstrap.

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I was actually very worried when she was cooking, how she's going to

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bring all these flavours around, and I was excited at the same time,

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because that's the kind of food I love.

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What she brought out to us was just absolutely amazing,

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I have to say that. Oh, good.

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I'm not a big lamb fan, but that's really nice,

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because it's cooked nicely for me. Yes. It was delicious.

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I can understand why a sauce...

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I would have had time to make a beautiful sauce, but I just didn't

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know how to incorporate that with the busyness of the flavours

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that I'd already selected.

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And, finally, it's Caroline with her Dish of the Day -

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monkfish wrapped in Parma ham, served on a bed of spinach,

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creamed potatoes with a Vermouth and lemon cream sauce.

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How did you find the challenge? It was nerve-racking.

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Was it? But I think I got it,

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I think once the nerves started calming down,

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then I really started to enjoy it.

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Ready to try? Let's tuck in. Let's tuck in.

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Extremely good dish, extremely good dish, good skill.

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I would still say that had you gone...

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putting the monkfish in the oven

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would have actually resulted in a lot better dish. Try it some time.

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The kind of dish you have done, that would sit on top of it like a king.

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OK? Like a crown of the king, I should say.

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Next time, I promise you I will...

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But it's still... This meal is fit for a queen, I would say.

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Thank you. Hello, guys.

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Oh, that looks lovely. Yeah. I'm feeling a bit stunned.

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I'm so happy, and despite the couple

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of things that weren't necessarily totally perfect, he still loved it.

0:17:290:17:33

You need to get that heat, and I think that's what was required.

0:17:330:17:36

I think if she had used a little bit more garlic and chilli together

0:17:360:17:40

in the spinach, that would shine out

0:17:400:17:42

and work incredibly well with monkfish.

0:17:420:17:45

Only three people can be taken through to the next round.

0:17:450:17:49

For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.

0:17:490:17:52

I really want to go on and win.

0:17:520:17:54

I'd be devastated if I left at this point.

0:17:540:17:56

However, the fact that I've cooked a curry for Atul,

0:17:560:17:59

that was just mind-blowing. I was really sort of kicking myself,

0:17:590:18:02

cos Atul felt there should have been a bit more heat and a bit more

0:18:020:18:05

kick in it. I'm sort of a bit cross with myself, really.

0:18:050:18:08

I perhaps went a little bit too fast, and I was worried on timing.

0:18:080:18:11

I hope I've done enough to get through. I would be gutted if I go

0:18:110:18:14

home at this stage, cos I would love to learn some tricks.

0:18:140:18:17

There's some really stiff competition, but to say

0:18:170:18:19

that I've cooked for Atul, I'm so honoured, and to have some of his

0:18:190:18:23

positive comments, it's something I'm going to take with me.

0:18:230:18:25

So there's always the silver lining.

0:18:250:18:27

So do you think you've seen enough of the four cooks to decide

0:18:270:18:31

who's going home? They have created some really fabulous dishes.

0:18:310:18:33

It makes it very hard for me, but looking at their skill levels

0:18:330:18:37

and the kind of flavours they have put on the plate,

0:18:370:18:40

I think I have a fair idea what I want to do.

0:18:400:18:42

Well, let's go break the news.

0:18:420:18:44

Let's do. This is the worst bit.

0:18:440:18:46

Firstly, I'd like to say well done to all four of you.

0:18:480:18:51

Unfortunately, only three of you can go through to the next round,

0:18:510:18:55

and Atul has made his mind up, so over to you, Chef.

0:18:550:18:59

Well, before I say anything,

0:18:590:19:00

I want to say each and every dish stood out in its own right.

0:19:000:19:04

Whatever you said, you delivered, and in terms of flavours,

0:19:040:19:06

it was bang on. Everything was there.

0:19:060:19:09

Unfortunately, the only dish which came not to my expectation...

0:19:090:19:14

..was Helen's. OK.

0:19:150:19:17

Where it was lacking - I needed more flavours there. OK.

0:19:170:19:20

And heat was lacking. Mm-hm.

0:19:200:19:22

Adding too much noodle took it away from you. OK.

0:19:220:19:25

I loved the way you used the spices,

0:19:250:19:27

the way you used your own infusion into it.

0:19:270:19:30

It's very important as a cook to bring your personality to the food.

0:19:300:19:34

You're an amazing cook. Thank you.

0:19:340:19:36

Oh, Helen. It was nice to have cooked for you. No, thank you.

0:19:360:19:39

An honour that I get cooked for by you. Love it.

0:19:390:19:42

I'm really disappointed to go but, you know,

0:19:420:19:44

having the experience of cooking for Atul has been absolutely fantastic.

0:19:440:19:48

Once in a lifetime. Continue to cook like that.

0:19:480:19:50

I will. And hope to see you again. Thank you, thank you very much.

0:19:500:19:53

So that leaves three home cooks.

0:19:530:19:56

They are model Chris,

0:19:560:19:58

publisher Annabel and social media manager Caroline.

0:19:580:20:01

This is round two, it's the Chef's Challenge.

0:20:010:20:04

So in this round,

0:20:040:20:05

Atul has devised a test to see who's got the skills he's looking for.

0:20:050:20:09

So, Atul, what's today's challenge?

0:20:090:20:12

Well, I thought I'd give them a little butchery challenge.

0:20:120:20:15

Remove the skin as intact as possible,

0:20:150:20:19

so that the skin of the chicken can be used for making a sausage.

0:20:190:20:24

Skin can be put into many uses.

0:20:240:20:26

A lot of people just take it off and throw it away,

0:20:260:20:29

but I always take pride in creating new dishes out of it.

0:20:290:20:31

OK? So the first thing I want to do is...

0:20:310:20:35

..remove the wing bones, OK?

0:20:370:20:40

And you have to cut it on the joint.

0:20:400:20:43

If you do it on the bone, it will not come out.

0:20:430:20:45

So it's much easier if you slice through the joint? Absolutely. OK.

0:20:450:20:49

And then you rest the chicken on its breast.

0:20:490:20:53

Its tail, the parson's nose, it's called,

0:20:530:20:55

we lose that, don't need that. Rest the chicken.

0:20:550:20:59

Cut a slit.

0:20:590:21:00

And this has to be really through and through.

0:21:020:21:05

If you don't do that, you will have problems.

0:21:050:21:07

Right through the skin, so make sure this is nicely separated,

0:21:070:21:11

through your index finger, just go underneath, not taking any flesh,

0:21:110:21:16

just the skin. Very gently.

0:21:160:21:19

Use your thumb, go under the skin,

0:21:190:21:22

use the index finger from the other hand.

0:21:220:21:25

Peel it very gently.

0:21:250:21:28

So, when I was a student,

0:21:280:21:30

I had to do this...under a minute.

0:21:300:21:33

Under a minute? Under a minute.

0:21:330:21:35

OK? But I'm not asking you to do that.

0:21:350:21:37

Yeah! And then on the other side, you rest the chicken this way,

0:21:370:21:40

and use your thumb this time.

0:21:400:21:42

So the idea of this challenge is to get it off in one piece?

0:21:440:21:47

Yes, as much as possible, to be honest. OK.

0:21:470:21:51

And then you peel, it comes off easier here,

0:21:510:21:55

and this part is the tricky part,

0:21:550:21:57

make sure you put your thumb through,

0:21:570:21:59

and then hold it with a cloth.

0:21:590:22:02

Wow.

0:22:030:22:04

You cannot tear it. If you tear it, you fail.

0:22:070:22:10

No pressure. No pressure!

0:22:100:22:13

OK? OK.

0:22:130:22:14

That's what I would like to see. Well, it's a fantastic challenge,

0:22:200:22:23

so any last words or tips for our cooks, Atul?

0:22:230:22:27

I think you saw how to do it, so you think you've got it all?

0:22:270:22:31

ALL: Yes, Chef! Good luck.

0:22:310:22:33

So our cooks have just 15 minutes to complete Atul's butchery challenge

0:22:330:22:37

and remove the skin from a chicken in one perfect peace.

0:22:370:22:42

Whilst Atul is looking for a partner with natural flair,

0:22:420:22:45

he also needs to know they can follow instructions,

0:22:450:22:47

and is watching closely for any mistakes.

0:22:470:22:50

It is, actually... I'm so worried about breaking it.

0:22:500:22:55

It is quite hard. It's a tough challenge,

0:22:550:22:58

and one they all know has huge consequences.

0:22:580:23:00

It's much harder than it looks.

0:23:000:23:02

Atul, you made it look really easy!

0:23:040:23:06

It's quite tricky, it's very slippery, as well.

0:23:080:23:10

If it's too slippery, wipe your hands and get on with it again.

0:23:100:23:14

Don't forget, you've got a cloth to help you.

0:23:170:23:19

A small slip can cost you.

0:23:190:23:22

I'm stuck on the wing.

0:23:240:23:26

OK, just go back, think how I did it, you'll get it.

0:23:280:23:31

The pressure is really on for our home cooks

0:23:310:23:33

in a challenge that requires concentration and a steady hand.

0:23:330:23:37

Gosh, you're shaking, trying to take the skin out!

0:23:370:23:39

I am!

0:23:390:23:41

And it's not just Annabel that's struggling.

0:23:410:23:43

Are you all right? Yeah. Squeak!

0:23:430:23:47

It's one of the hardest things, even though it's so simple,

0:23:480:23:51

but to do it without the tear is really hard.

0:23:510:23:53

Caroline has missed a key instruction,

0:23:530:23:55

and failed to cut right through the bone,

0:23:550:23:57

making it impossible for her to remove the skin,

0:23:570:24:00

and with the 15 minutes nearly up, it's all getting too much for her.

0:24:000:24:03

Just take a breath, here's some tissue if you want a bit of tissue.

0:24:030:24:06

I'll pop it there for you, OK? Thank you. Thank you.

0:24:060:24:09

Cooks, you have 30 seconds left.

0:24:130:24:16

Ten, nine, eight,

0:24:190:24:22

seven, six, five,

0:24:220:24:27

four, three, two, one.

0:24:270:24:32

That's it, guys, step away from your chickens, time is up.

0:24:320:24:37

Atul, that has been one of the toughest challenges yet.

0:24:410:24:44

It really has been. It looked easy when you did it

0:24:440:24:46

but, obviously, it was tough. Yes, it is tough.

0:24:460:24:49

SHE LAUGHS

0:24:490:24:51

OK, well, it's time to judge.

0:24:510:24:53

I generally did honestly feel very sorry for all three of you.

0:24:530:24:58

All three of you were shaking.

0:24:580:25:01

Some of you have gone wrong

0:25:010:25:02

purely because you didn't listen or you didn't see what I was doing.

0:25:020:25:06

So, if I may just guide you through this, what has happened here.

0:25:060:25:10

OK. This one is...?

0:25:100:25:13

Mine. Yours? I would say perfect.

0:25:130:25:16

Well done. Perfect. As I would have liked it to be.

0:25:170:25:21

You've pierced it once.

0:25:210:25:23

Good piece. It can be made into good sausages.

0:25:230:25:25

Perfect.

0:25:250:25:27

This one, you've pierced it,

0:25:270:25:30

you fiddled with it too much. Yeah.

0:25:300:25:31

You were trying to get it out, you were lucky that you got it out.

0:25:330:25:36

Normally, at this point, if you fail, if you don't do it properly,

0:25:360:25:39

the whole skin goes off, but you are lucky that you saved it, somehow.

0:25:390:25:43

Oh!

0:25:450:25:47

It was a tough bird.

0:25:470:25:50

It was a tough bird, tough old bird! It was a tough old bird.

0:25:500:25:53

OK, let's show you what you didn't do.

0:25:530:25:55

You made a massive error, this bone was to go out.

0:25:550:25:58

Oh! And that's why you were struggling.

0:26:000:26:03

I see. Remember?

0:26:030:26:05

You didn't chop it high enough.

0:26:050:26:07

OK.

0:26:070:26:09

Now, because I'm not under pressure... Yeah.

0:26:100:26:12

Gone. Wow.

0:26:170:26:19

Boom. Done. I got stuck. When I trained, I had to do it very quickly

0:26:190:26:23

because the last guy who finished the chicken

0:26:230:26:25

had to clean the whole butchery.

0:26:250:26:28

So, Caroline, I guess it's your turn this time to clean the butchery.

0:26:280:26:31

Oh, Caroline, what a shame.

0:26:320:26:34

But you're a great cook, you have a real good grasp of flavours,

0:26:340:26:38

you're a foodie. Thank you, Atul,

0:26:380:26:39

that is the biggest compliment I could have, so thank you.

0:26:390:26:42

No, thank you. That's lovely.

0:26:420:26:45

I am a bit gutted.

0:26:450:26:47

Atul makes it look so simple.

0:26:470:26:49

It's slippery, it's a beast, it's moving around,

0:26:490:26:51

and it seems to be stuck in more places than you actually realise.

0:26:510:26:55

So it's not the easiest challenge.

0:26:550:26:57

So just two cooks remain -

0:26:570:26:59

model Chris and publisher Annabel,

0:26:590:27:01

but only one can be chosen as Atul's partner for the Friday Final.

0:27:010:27:05

So it's now time for our third and final round, the Chef's Special.

0:27:050:27:09

In this round, our cooks will be given a set of ingredients

0:27:090:27:13

to one of Atul's signature dishes. Cooks, the aim of this round

0:27:130:27:16

is to see what you can make with the produce.

0:27:160:27:19

You'll get to see what Atul makes a little bit later on,

0:27:190:27:22

but for you at home, here's today's ingredients.

0:27:220:27:24

Atul's chosen a rack of lamb,

0:27:260:27:29

spinach, ginger, beetroot and garam masala, ground coriander,

0:27:290:27:34

cumin seeds, chilli powder and dried fenugreek seeds,

0:27:340:27:38

black cardamom pods, cinnamon bark, a bay leaf,

0:27:380:27:41

black peppercorns and cloves.

0:27:410:27:43

Easy enough for a Michelin-starred spice king,

0:27:430:27:45

but what on earth will our home cooks make?

0:27:450:27:47

Cooks, you have one hour.

0:27:470:27:49

Reveal your ingredients, because your time starts now.

0:27:490:27:54

So, the clock is ticking and this is the first time our home cooks have

0:28:020:28:05

seen these ingredients, but will they know where to start?

0:28:050:28:09

Chris wastes no time in getting started,

0:28:120:28:15

but Annabel appears less confident.

0:28:150:28:18

Because I'm looking at everything, thinking...it is quite hard.

0:28:180:28:22

Hi, Annabel.

0:28:250:28:27

Hi.

0:28:270:28:28

How are we getting on? Have you planned it?

0:28:280:28:31

Herbs and spices look very different when they're not

0:28:310:28:33

in their little containers. With the labels on?

0:28:330:28:36

Yes. You smell and taste them to make out what they are.

0:28:360:28:39

Exactly, exactly. So, where I'm heading at the moment is,

0:28:390:28:42

I know that lamb doesn't take terribly long to cook,

0:28:420:28:44

so I want to get my onions on. I'm going to soften my onions

0:28:440:28:47

and then add my tomatoes and then my spinach with a...

0:28:470:28:52

not aloo saag, but similar to that.

0:28:520:28:55

So that's what I'm up to at the moment.

0:28:550:28:57

Have you identified all the ingredients?

0:28:570:28:59

Yes, but please don't test me.

0:28:590:29:02

Good luck. Thank you very much. Good luck. Thank you.

0:29:020:29:04

Hi, Chris. Hiya. How are you doing? Good. Good.

0:29:100:29:13

How are you doing, more importantly? All right at the minute, I think.

0:29:130:29:16

I think I've identified all the ingredients.

0:29:160:29:18

At the minute, I've got sort of a stock that I'm going to boil down

0:29:180:29:23

to create the contents of a curry sauce.

0:29:230:29:26

I'm actually going to pan-fry the lamb, finish it in the oven

0:29:260:29:29

on top of a curry base.

0:29:290:29:32

So we'll see how it pans out, but I would like to use, I think,

0:29:320:29:35

as many of the ingredients as possible.

0:29:350:29:37

I've got quite a good idea of what I'd like to achieve.

0:29:370:29:39

Brilliant. Good luck. Cheers.

0:29:390:29:42

The smells that are coming through from the kitchen already excite me.

0:29:490:29:53

Chris has dived straight in there.

0:29:530:29:55

He has a vision in his mind what he wants it to look like on a plate.

0:29:550:29:59

Which is very rare.

0:29:590:30:00

So whenever I look at him and the way he's planning his work

0:30:000:30:03

and the way he's prepping, I think he's read all my books,

0:30:030:30:06

or he reads my mind very carefully.

0:30:060:30:08

It's dangerous.

0:30:080:30:11

Annabel, maybe it's a little out of her comfort zone.

0:30:110:30:14

I think she's got it in her. She's good.

0:30:140:30:17

She may not have figured out

0:30:170:30:20

which spice is what, but she'll have a pretty good clue how to use it.

0:30:200:30:24

She's an out-there cook, in my opinion.

0:30:240:30:25

I really love her approach to food. Yeah.

0:30:250:30:28

Both cooks know Atul has incredibly high standards

0:30:340:30:37

and is keeping a very close eye on them as they work.

0:30:370:30:40

No pressure there, then!

0:30:400:30:41

Atul is looking for someone who's creative in their cooking

0:30:450:30:48

and confident in the seasoning of the food.

0:30:480:30:50

He'll only accept the best to partner him in the Friday Final.

0:30:500:30:54

Hi, Chris. How's it going? Yeah, going well.

0:30:580:31:01

What are you aiming to achieve from this?

0:31:030:31:05

I'm trying to get the stock down so I can add it to the curry sauce.

0:31:050:31:10

Fantastic. Good luck. Thank you.

0:31:100:31:12

How's it going, Annabel? It's going not too bad.

0:31:150:31:19

Your plan is working? We'll see.

0:31:190:31:20

Well done. Good luck. Thank you.

0:31:200:31:23

Chris and Annabel are desperate to do their best,

0:31:350:31:37

but hard work can come at a cost in the kitchen.

0:31:370:31:40

That was hot. Are you all right? Yeah. I wasn't even thinking.

0:31:400:31:43

I don't have them pans at home.

0:31:430:31:44

But aware that time is ticking away, Chris bravely carries on.

0:31:440:31:48

OK, cooks, you have just ten minutes left. Ten minutes to go.

0:31:530:31:58

With time running out,

0:32:130:32:15

both cooks turn their attention to presentation,

0:32:150:32:17

and Annabel's not happy with hers.

0:32:170:32:19

My plating up is not very good.

0:32:190:32:21

I'm done.

0:32:280:32:29

Right, cooks, that's it. Time is up.

0:32:310:32:34

Step away from your dishes, you've done all you can.

0:32:340:32:38

It's time to taste.

0:32:380:32:39

First up, it's model Chris.

0:32:390:32:41

He's chosen to make a spiced rack of lamb,

0:32:410:32:43

served on a bed of sauteed spinach

0:32:430:32:46

with garlic, mixed spices and a curry sauce.

0:32:460:32:48

How was that challenge for you? Yeah, it was really interesting.

0:32:520:32:54

Obviously, I was pleased to see a lot of spices in front of me.

0:32:540:32:57

I've tried to utilise as many of the ingredients as possible and really

0:32:570:33:00

challenge myself. Let's try it. Yeah.

0:33:000:33:02

You like the chilli, do you?

0:33:140:33:15

Yeah. Really like it.

0:33:150:33:18

Spinach nicely cooked.

0:33:240:33:26

Sauce is amazing.

0:33:260:33:29

Tad bit hot for me. I'm not a fan of chilli,

0:33:290:33:32

in spite of cooking Indian food.

0:33:320:33:34

Yeah, yeah. I like the flavour of chilli, not the heat of chilli,

0:33:340:33:37

so it's very important for me.

0:33:370:33:38

I think you did the lamb very well.

0:33:380:33:41

There's only one bad point and that is, I think you overdo it.

0:33:410:33:45

Yeah. More is not good. Don't try to hard. Yeah, all right.

0:33:450:33:49

I'll happily eat this for my dinner. Fantastic.

0:33:490:33:52

Very well done. Thank you.

0:33:520:33:54

That is delicious. Atul said he would finish that plate of curry

0:33:560:33:59

for his dinner, and for him to say that

0:33:590:34:01

about one of my curries just blows me away.

0:34:010:34:03

The sauce was very hot. So you don't like very, very hot curries?

0:34:030:34:07

No. I like the flavour of the chilli.

0:34:070:34:11

Next into the tasting room is publisher Annabel.

0:34:110:34:13

She's made herb-crusted lamb, served with spinach, onions and tomato.

0:34:130:34:18

Are you happy with it? I look back now and think I should have perhaps

0:34:230:34:26

used the spinach for a salad.

0:34:260:34:27

I think you got bogged down looking at that many spices in front of you.

0:34:270:34:30

Absolutely. This is amazing, by the way, but I know,

0:34:300:34:33

I was expecting a lot more from you. I know. I'm sorry about that.

0:34:330:34:35

I just got puzzled.

0:34:350:34:37

One critique I want to give you now.

0:34:370:34:39

Yes? Where's the sauce? I know.

0:34:390:34:42

You can cook. Thank you. Love that.

0:34:540:34:57

You really know how to handle your meat, and that's an art.

0:34:570:35:00

Beautiful texture. Spot-on. I'll give full marks to that.

0:35:000:35:03

Thank you very much.

0:35:030:35:04

Fantastic. Atul said I was very good and I knew my flavours.

0:35:040:35:07

I do need to work out some sauces and I'm absolutely thrilled

0:35:070:35:10

with the feedback that I've had today.

0:35:100:35:11

There was a nice kick to her spinach, too.

0:35:110:35:14

She's used chilli in there. Fantastic.

0:35:140:35:16

So with the final challenge complete,

0:35:160:35:18

it's just left for Atul to deliberate over our two home cooks.

0:35:180:35:22

It's a really difficult one because there are a few things in Chris

0:35:220:35:25

I like, absolutely love.

0:35:250:35:27

The way he handles the spices, his understanding,

0:35:270:35:29

his in-depth knowledge of how to treat food.

0:35:290:35:32

And on the other side I have Annabel, who's just an amazing cook.

0:35:320:35:36

She's got everything right.

0:35:360:35:38

She's just too scared of spices.

0:35:380:35:40

She's keen, though, as well. She's very keen. No, no, she's amazing.

0:35:400:35:43

And she wants to learn but, however, you've got to think about Friday.

0:35:430:35:46

Cooking for Pierre Koffmann. You're talking about cooking for God.

0:35:460:35:50

Cooking for God. That's tough.

0:35:500:35:53

So, do you have any idea who you're going to take with you

0:35:530:35:56

to the Friday Final?

0:35:560:35:57

Honestly? No. Oh!

0:35:570:36:00

Before Atul announces the winner,

0:36:020:36:04

let's see what our Michelin-starred spice king makes with all this.

0:36:040:36:08

This is one of the dishes you make in your restaurant?

0:36:090:36:12

Yes. Yes, actually, yes.

0:36:120:36:14

It's an inspiration on one of the classics.

0:36:140:36:17

If you go to an Indian restaurant,

0:36:170:36:19

it's called saag gosht and this is a kind of saag gosht,

0:36:190:36:22

my version of it. You need to blanch the spinach.

0:36:220:36:25

That needs to cool down pretty quickly.

0:36:250:36:28

That's very important.

0:36:280:36:30

And it's incredibly important for spices to crackle so that they

0:36:300:36:35

release the flavour in the oil,

0:36:350:36:37

because that oil becomes the carrier of the flavour as it goes forward.

0:36:370:36:40

The idea is to colour these vegetables first.

0:36:430:36:46

So at what age did you start cooking?

0:36:460:36:48

My grandad was a baker and my dad had a catering business,

0:36:480:36:51

so I learnt first-hand from them. I went to hotel school and then

0:36:510:36:55

I trained with a very prestigious hotel chain in India.

0:36:550:36:58

They only take 12 students each year from all over the country. Wow!

0:36:580:37:02

So I was very privileged to go to that school.

0:37:020:37:05

Now, when you cook Indian food, onion is incredibly important.

0:37:050:37:09

Indians used to be vegetarians,

0:37:090:37:11

so for us to cook onion to get different sauces was paramount.

0:37:110:37:15

We would saute onions till they were translucent

0:37:150:37:19

to get light-coloured sauces, like kormas. We would cook onions

0:37:190:37:22

till they were light brown in colour, with the help of tomatoes

0:37:220:37:25

and other ingredients, we would get red-colour sauces,

0:37:250:37:28

like chicken tikka masala in this country.

0:37:280:37:30

And then you brown the onions,

0:37:300:37:32

deep brown them, to get sauces like rogan josh and vindaloo.

0:37:320:37:36

And if bones were there, it will be a lot easier, hence my punchline -

0:37:360:37:40

you want to cook Indian food, you've got to know your onions.

0:37:400:37:44

Yeah, yeah.

0:37:440:37:45

I want to add the tomatoes.

0:37:450:37:47

Cumin powder, and that's coriander powder.

0:37:490:37:51

We also add the paste and I'll take that stock and all I want to do is

0:37:530:37:59

bring it to the boil and let it simmer.

0:37:590:38:02

Let's take this beetroot juice, and the onions go in.

0:38:020:38:04

These pickled onions will turn absolutely ruby-red in colour.

0:38:040:38:07

Now let's do our lamb.

0:38:070:38:11

Now, what we do, we seal it very quickly.

0:38:110:38:13

The idea is, when I put it for roasting,

0:38:160:38:18

all the flavours should remain in.

0:38:180:38:20

I'll let it cook a bit.

0:38:200:38:22

I have garam masala.

0:38:220:38:24

And we will put this in a preheated oven.

0:38:300:38:33

180 degrees.

0:38:330:38:36

So let's cook it first... six to seven minutes.

0:38:360:38:39

Then it comes out, rests a bit, then it goes back later.

0:38:390:38:42

It's the most critical part of Indian cooking,

0:38:420:38:45

that spices should be sauteed properly at a good temperature.

0:38:450:38:48

Yeah. That's where you get the punch from. Yeah.

0:38:480:38:51

And we'll add a little chilli for the heat.

0:38:510:38:53

And some garlic. A good quantity of garlic.

0:38:530:38:56

Spinach goes in.

0:38:590:39:01

We have coriander powder. Not too much. Garam masala.

0:39:040:39:07

OK. So we add a little bit of cream.

0:39:090:39:11

This is good. I'll leave it aside.

0:39:130:39:15

Here's the lamb. There you go.

0:39:160:39:18

Perfect. Foil. We'll flash it again in the oven just before we serve.

0:39:180:39:22

OK.

0:39:220:39:23

Spice, which is fenugreek leaf.

0:39:250:39:28

OK, I think we're good. Now we're going for finishing.

0:39:300:39:33

Yeah. This goes back in the oven for three minutes, comes out,

0:39:330:39:37

rests and then we serve.

0:39:370:39:38

So let's balance the sauce now.

0:39:380:39:41

I'm going to add just about half a teaspoon of garam masala to finish.

0:39:410:39:45

Large blob of butter.

0:39:450:39:47

There you go. The lamb is done.

0:39:480:39:51

Beautifully cooked. It just needs to rest.

0:39:510:39:54

So, add one teaspoon of ginger in there and the cream.

0:39:550:40:00

And the butter. The remaining butter, that goes in last,

0:40:030:40:05

and we're done with that.

0:40:050:40:07

So let's take this out.

0:40:090:40:12

For me, it's perfectly cooked. Let's see. It is.

0:40:140:40:16

Look at that. Oh, I love that.

0:40:180:40:20

You put that...

0:40:250:40:27

There you go. Wow. Yum!

0:40:300:40:32

There we go, guys. Looks absolutely incredible.

0:40:320:40:36

Go on, Annabel.

0:40:370:40:39

Absolutely unbelievable.

0:40:390:40:41

Delicious.

0:40:410:40:43

Glad you liked it.

0:40:430:40:45

It's time to reveal who you're taking through to the Friday Final,

0:40:450:40:48

but before you tell us,

0:40:480:40:49

let's just have a quick recap of what they made earlier.

0:40:490:40:53

In the first round, Chris impressed by bravely attempting a variation

0:40:530:40:56

of one of Atul's own recipes

0:40:560:40:58

with his pan-fried sea bass and coconut curry.

0:40:580:41:01

Flavour wise, you've nailed it.

0:41:010:41:02

He rode his luck in Atul's butchery challenge.

0:41:020:41:05

You're lucky that you got it out.

0:41:050:41:06

And in the final round he utilised all the ingredients to produce

0:41:060:41:10

an impressive spiced rack of lamb dish.

0:41:100:41:12

But was the heat too much for Atul?

0:41:120:41:14

I'm not a fan of chilli.

0:41:140:41:16

OK. I like the flavour of chilli, not the heat of chilli.

0:41:160:41:19

I would absolutely love to win, and the opportunity to cook with Atul

0:41:190:41:22

would be absolutely amazing.

0:41:220:41:24

Meanwhile, Annabel impressed Atul with her fusion of flavours in her

0:41:240:41:27

stuffed lamb backstrap, samphire and honey tomatoes.

0:41:270:41:31

She stole the show by perfectly removing the chicken skin

0:41:310:41:34

in the skills challenge. Perfect.

0:41:340:41:36

And showcased her incredible cooking techniques in the final round.

0:41:360:41:40

You can cook. Thank you. You really know how to handle your meat.

0:41:400:41:43

But will her failure to make a sauce

0:41:430:41:45

cost her a place in the Friday Final?

0:41:450:41:48

I'm not sure if I've done enough to win today. I would love to win.

0:41:480:41:51

If I go out, I go out and I've had a great day.

0:41:510:41:54

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive well done to both of you.

0:41:540:41:58

The standards have been really high as well.

0:41:580:42:01

However, Atul has made his mind up.

0:42:010:42:03

He can only take one of you to the Friday Final.

0:42:030:42:06

So it's time to reveal your winner.

0:42:060:42:09

Well, it's a shame that I have to choose only one.

0:42:090:42:11

I wish I could take you both with me. Both of you put your heart

0:42:110:42:15

and soul into your cooking today,

0:42:150:42:17

but the person who's going to cook with me...

0:42:170:42:20

will be Chris. Well done.

0:42:200:42:22

Well done, Chris. Thank you.

0:42:220:42:24

It means absolutely everything to me to be working with my idol Atul.

0:42:240:42:27

I'm going to do everything that I can to make sure me and Atul win.

0:42:270:42:30

So, Atul, any tips for Chris for the Friday Final?

0:42:300:42:33

First thing, more is not good.

0:42:330:42:36

You don't have to bung everything on one plate.

0:42:360:42:38

And cook your meat really well.

0:42:380:42:40

Don't overcook it. If you do all that, we're winning.

0:42:400:42:43

Yes, Chef! Yay! Well done.

0:42:430:42:46

Tomorrow on Yes Chef -

0:42:500:42:52

four more home cooks go all out to impress super chef Ryan Simpson.

0:42:520:42:57

I honestly don't envy you, Ryan.

0:42:570:43:00

It's the chance for them to work alongside the best in the business,

0:43:000:43:03

but only one can become his partner for the Friday Final.

0:43:030:43:06

The person that's coming through is...

0:43:060:43:09

If there is nothing new, then the Court of Appeal

0:43:460:43:49

aren't going to change their decision.

0:43:490:43:51

You have to question everything.

0:43:530:43:55

Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar has his eye on the prize as he puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to remove the skin from a chicken in one piece. Atul will be judged by triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann in the Friday final, so his professional pride is at stake, but which home cook will he choose?


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