Michelin-starred chef Ryan Simpson puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect sauce vierge.
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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.
I'm making a mess!
Each day, a different Michelin-starred chef
will choose their perfect partner...
Gordon must be really impressed.
She's thinking like me. That's amazing.
..from four talented home cooks.
There's three cooks there that can take it to the next level.
Then, in the Friday final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head to cook for culinary royalty
What I look for, for a perfect dish, is to keep it simple and tasty.
For the professional chefs, their reputations are on the line.
We've got to go now.
But will the amateur home cooks live up to their expectations?
Anyone know what this is, guys?
What are you doing?
And who will win? This is Yes Chef.
Hello and welcome to Yes Chef.
Let's meet today's home cooks.
First up, it's Hesper Juhnke,
an expressive arts therapist from Chicago currently working in Dundee.
My cooking style is simple, but delicious.
It would be my greatest British adventure to win this show.
Next is Simon Howatson, a company director from Sunderland.
My cooking style is rustic, quick and flavoursome.
I've got this nightmare that I'm going to be asked to
debone a fish or something and it's going to be terrible.
Charlotte Hughes is a business development manager
I'm a really relaxed cook.
Presentation probably isn't my strong point,
but it always goes down well with family and friends, taste-wise.
And finally, Martin Mitchell is a podiatry student from County Clare.
So, my cooking style is kind of
Irish with a little bit of French influence.
I've been watching Michelin-star chefs on TV shows for years so
it's a dream to actually get to cook with one.
Well, our cooks are standing by so it's now time to meet our chef.
He was awarded his first Michelin star back in 2010.
It's Ryan Simpson.
Ryan Simpson was just 26 when he earned his first Michelin star.
OK, check on, guys.
At his restaurant in the heart of rural Oxfordshire,
he's committed to using sustainable and seasonal ingredients
and his passion for food began at a very early age.
As a young child, I cooked with my gran quite a lot
and I'm a bit of a greedy lad.
Side order of chips, yeah?
And I loved all that food and I just loved tasting things.
The passion that drives me is because it creates happy memories
and everybody comes together
with food and if you love to cook and you produce happy food,
you're going to get happy results.
Having trained with some of the most prestigious French restaurateurs,
including Guy Savoy and the legendary Troisgros family,
Ryan combines classic and modern techniques
to produce inventive dishes.
OK, check on, guys. Cuttlefish and ox tail.
Quite photogenic, that.
His standards are extremely high and he knows exactly what he wants from
his home cook. I am really looking for somebody who can be methodical.
I'm looking for somebody who's very tidy as well.
Because a tidy chef, a clean chef, is a tidy dish.
I'm very competitive. I have a very competitive streak.
However, it is all about the home cooks.
We are in it to win it.
Welcome, Ryan. It's brilliant to have you here today.
It's a pleasure to be here.
So, our four home cooks are going to be doing all they can to impress you
today in the hope you'll pick one of them to be your partner in
the Friday final. What will you be looking for?
I'm looking for a lot of enthusiasm, guys,
and excitement about food and just keep it calm.
Brilliant! Well, let's get on with it.
This is round one, Dish Of The Day.
Now, home cooks, you are going to be preparing a dish that you believe
will set you apart from the rest.
Now, you need to make it count because, after this round,
one of you will be going home.
You've got 45 minutes so use your time wisely.
So, Chef, it's over to you.
Just remember, don't panic, and cook with fun, OK?
ALL: Yes, Chef!
So, our cooks are off and, with one of them destined to leave
the competition at the end of this round,
they are going all-out to impress Ryan with their Dish Of The Day.
Our cooks know that Ryan won't accept anything but the best
and is looking for someone who's methodical and tidy in the kitchen.
I'm going to get my hands dirty here!
Hi! How are we?
Good. How are you doing? All good?
Yeah. It's going.
Good. What are you making today?
I'm making pad Thai.
One of my favourite dishes. Big, powerful flavours going on, yeah.
Exactly, with a nice combo of different things.
Salt and sweet and sour all together. I love it.
So, are you using little tiger prawns over there?
Mm-hmm. OK, and how are you going to incorporate them,
last second sort of thing into the sauce?
Yeah, so just until they're just pink enough.
Most of the flavour's coming from the sauce
so I'll get those in there sort of last minute. Well, good luck.
Enjoy! Thanks! See you soon.
Hi, Simon! Hiya! What are you doing? What are you making?
So, we're making a cote de boeuf steak with a Cafe de Paris butter.
Oh, lovely. And just sauteed potatoes and a nice green salad.
How many ingredients have you got in your Cafe de Paris? 11.
11? Very interesting. Including salt and pepper.
Can you show us it? Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah.
Is that garlic there?
Oh, wow. So, 11 ingredients in there.
11, yeah. That's amazing. Good luck.
I like the sound of this one. Good luck.
Hi, Charlotte. Hi.
Hi, Charlotte. Are you OK? Yes.
What are you making?
I am doing a fillet of beef on a fondant potato with
a cream and garlic spinach and a balsamic and red wine reduction.
Oh. Lovely. Nice French influence there, yeah?
Yeah. And how are you for time?
The fondant potato, really, is the thing that needs the longest time.
Yeah. Yeah. So, habitually, no opening the oven.
And the beef? How are you cooking the beef?
So, just simple fillet steak. Just roast it in the pan?
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, rare, hopefully - nice and rare.
Sounds lovely. Yes. We are in for a treat.
Good luck, Charlotte. Thank you. Thank you.
Hi, Martin. Hi, guys. How are you doing, Martin?
You OK? Not too bad, thanks.
So, what are you making for us, Martin?
I'm making a rhubarb pork with brown bread and walnut crust,
and that's going to go with a rhubarb and port sauce,
whisky fondant potatoes and black pudding croquette.
Oh. Interesting. I'm interested in the whisky.
How are you doing the whisky? Oh, whisky fondant potato.
So, I'm going to reduce the stock and the butter down at the end.
Yeah? And add a load of whisky and just flambe it in the pan, there.
Fantastic. Lovely. Brilliant. Good luck.
Thank you very much. I'll let you carry on.
Cheers, guys. Enjoy. Thanks.
So, let's talk about Hesper first.
Yeah. She seems very confident.
She is, yeah. She knew exactly what she was going to do with the dish.
Lots of flavours going on. The only worry for me
is it is a little bit simple, maybe.
Simon, he impressed me with his menu, and also his butter,
which I was... 11 ingredients.
Yeah, I know, it's a big flavour. It should be, you know, like
a garlic butter, what you get on steak - it's the same principle.
Yeah. I mean, it's a classic, isn't it?
You know. Steak and chips, essentially.
OK. Now, Charlotte.
The only worry for me is fondant potatoes, obviously,
because they can take a good while.
She's got it in the oven. She's got a bit of butter in there.
As long as the butter don't burn, she should be absolutely fine.
It'll be interesting to see how she cooks the beef as well.
Yeah. She says she's going to cook it quite rare.
OK. So I'd expect her to be seasoning it up quite early.
I didn't see any seasoning on there. Did you? I didn't, no.
And finally on to Martin.
Yeah. Who is giving himself so much to do.
This guy, this guy excites me the most.
Right. In the fact that, we've got, like, an easy dish -
almost, sort of, oriental kind of stuff cooking.
But I'm a bit worried about his whisky. Are you?
I like to drink the whisky but I don't know if I...
I don't know if I like it in a... in a fondant potato.
Oh. Maybe with a bit of haggis.
Well, Ryan might be concerned about the whisky,
but Martin's got bigger worries of his own.
I don't have enough time to do what I want to do.
I think I've bitten myself off more than I can chew.
It's over halfway through the challenge and the pressure
is starting to get to our home cooks.
The panic is setting in.
Anyone know what this is, guys?
And it's not just Martin who has problems with his ingredients.
Is...is there a bigger pan somewhere?
I know, it's overflowing on me.
But I can take some out.
Just two minutes to go, guys.
As our cooks start thinking about plating up,
Charlotte has concerns about her presentation.
The only thing is, I was going to sit my steak on top,
but the steak's bigger than the potato, so it's not going to sit.
And some of those. Yeah.
Look at those shrimps cooking...
Ryan is looking for someone who is methodical and can keep calm under
pressure, so these last few minutes are vital to our home cooks.
It's crucial they avoid any culinary calamities.
But disaster has struck for Martin.
I completely forgot about the whisky. Can I get a blowtorch?
Martin isn't the only one struggling under the pressure.
I'm making a mess.
Five, four, three...
'It's kitchen catastrophe for Charlotte.
'Her fears have come true.
'But, with seconds to spare, she manages to rebuild her dish.'
Step away from your plates.
Time is up.
Well, that's it. End of round one, Dish Of The Day.
It's time to taste.
Yeah. I can't wait.
First to be judged is Hesper, with her Dish Of The Day -
shrimp pad Thai served on a bed of rice noodles,
bean sprouts and shredded cabbage.
Hi. There you go. That looks lovely, doesn't it? Yes.
How did you find the challenge? Oh, well, it was fun.
I feel like I had to steady myself and just, kind of, go at a pace,
and then at the end, I said, "Oh, I'm running out of time.
"I'd better do this quick." So...
OK, well, let's try.
Yes. Certainly. I'll try one of these prawns here.
It's nice. Lots of texture in there. This is quite interesting, isn't it?
The prawns are very juicy, aren't they? Mm-hmm. Mmm.
I do like them. Love the texture of the noodles.
Mmm. Very nice. And all these little sprouts
all come together quite well. Yeah.
Yeah, lots of texture. I would have put a little bit more, sort of,
soy sauce, that sort of thing.
Mmm. You know, just to get that little bit more saltiness
and then maybe a little more lime, so you get that, sort of,
balance with the salt and the acidity.
Yeah. But, other than that, it's a nice, fresh plate of food, yeah.
Well done. All right. Well done.
Impressed? Yeah. The only thing that I just thought,
a bit too simple. Yeah.
I think maybe throw a bit more of acidity in there.
Get a bit more salt going on. Yeah.
And get them tastes in your mouth.
I think my fear is that I wasn't ambitious enough. We'll see.
Next to take the taste test is Simon, with his Dish Of The Day,
cote de boeuf with Cafe de Paris butter,
served with sauteed potatoes and a fresh green salad.
There you go, Chef. That looks lovely, doesn't it? Yes.
How did you find the challenge?
It's tough getting it all done in time.
I thought I was all organised and everything but obviously not as much
as I'd like to be. Shall we try? Yes. Go on, then. Let's go.
Yeah, the beef's cooked very nice.
Mmm. I like the spice in the butter.
It's quite nice. I'd have liked a little bit more acidity, maybe,
in the butter. Maybe, like, lemon.
Lemon juice. Lemon peel maybe.
Mm-hmm. Like zest, that sort of thing.
I'll try these potatoes.
Yeah, good. I like this because what you've done here,
you've put heavy, heavy, loads of butter, loads of flavour,
and then you've just got this little bit of fresh salad.
Yeah. Just to almost...
almost cleanse the palate. Freshness.
Mmm. Excellent. Brilliant. Well done. Thank you.
What is this? They're potatoes - sauteed potatoes.
It was cooked nice, and the fundamentals of the dish,
it really worked. Yeah. It was nice. So he can understand flavour.
Yeah. That's what you're looking for. Yeah, definitely.
I think I could have made stuff a bit prettier and done a bit more,
but I got everything out in the end,
so I'm pleased I got it on the plate.
Time for Charlotte to be judged by Ryan.
Her Dish Of The Day is fillet of beef with a fondant potato,
served with creamed spinach
and a balsamic red wine and shallot reduction.
Here you go.
Fab. How was the challenge?
Good. Yes. Yeah, I think it went really well.
We'll find out when you cut the steak.
Yeah. Right, I'm going to pull this off, here.
OK. Just cos I don't want it to go flying off the plate.
OK. I'm just going to look into your fondant.
Make sure we're all cooked, there, which it is, which is good.
Could have done with a little bit more salt on that, for me.
The balsamic's just coming through, the acidity, which is good.
Now we'll have a look at the beef. So, you aimed to cook it rare?
Yes. Which is cooked perfect. That's how I like it.
Nice caramelisation on that.
I like that crustiness. Very good.
Do you use much salt in cooking?
I do, yes. Yeah. I would put a little bit more on this.
OK. But, apart from that, it's bang on.
Lovely. Lovely. Thank you very much. Yeah. Happy?
Mmm. Well done, Charlotte. Well done. Thank you.
Oh, yeah. I'm not waiting about.
Yeah, it's cooked lovely. It was on the big side.
Could have maybe trimmed it down.
A little bit more salt for me. Yeah. A bit more seasoning.
Oh, that's sweet. That piece of meat is amazing.
A little bit of criticism would have been, obviously,
to make the spinach not so wet... Yeah. ..so it didn't leak
into the sauce, but that's only a presentational thing.
I was happy with the way the beef was cooked.
It could have been presented a little bit better but, all in all,
I'm very happy with the end result.
And, finally, it's Martin, with his Dish Of The Day -
black pudding croquette, brown bread and walnut crusted pork loin,
whisky fondant potato and a port and rhubarb sauce.
Brilliant. How did you find the challenge?
Mmm, it was tough enough. My sauce at the bottom,
I don't think I got it right.
I was looking for streaks,
so I didn't have it cooled down well enough,
but other than that, I think it's OK.
I'm going to attack the black pudding first.
OK. I'm a big fan of black pudding.
Very nice. Mm-hmm.
And then we're going into the pork. OK.
It looks how I would cook it. Yeah.
I think your fondant's just... maybe a little bit under.
A bit under, yeah.
But it's edible but it's just a little bit under.
You don't want that when you go through.
I can't really pick up the whisky much.
Were you trying to flambe it at the end?
I didn't have enough time to flambe it at the end.
Right. So I just dripped a little bit of whisky on top and I was
going to blowtorch it. Right, OK.
But, again, didn't have enough time for that, so... OK.
I mean, it's a very adventurous plate of food.
It works but I think just
a little bit more thought on the dish, I think, with...
Some nice, positive comments, there.
Yeah, not too bad. Thank you. Brilliant.
Are you happy with it? Reasonably.
So, I was going to flambe my fondant potato with whisky.
Instead, I had to drizzle it over the fondant potato,
and that's what I was looking for the blowtorch for -
just to, kind of, get off the alcohol, basically.
Yeah, the apple's gorgeous in that. That's gorgeous. That's good, yeah.
It'd have made a perfect starter
with a bit of mustard. Yeah. Yeah, delicious.
And then maybe less like a little quenelle of that sauce
with a bit of greens, a bit of gravy... Yeah.
Attention to detail. He's got something. He has got something.
Interesting. Yeah. I left it very, very difficult for myself for time
but I think I got there in the end.
Ryan is looking for someone who's enthusiastic
and can work methodically and cleanly under pressure.
For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.
I don't know whether I've done enough to get through.
I'm getting more competitive as the day goes on.
Yeah, I'd really like to win.
There's some amazing food here and some amazing cooks, so we'll see.
I'd love to go through to the next round, but,
after tasting the other guys' dishes, you know, who knows?
Well, I'm here now, so I might as well give it all I've got.
The lads are amazing cooks as well, so we'll see.
So, do you think you've seen enough to make your decision?
There's three cooks there that,
obviously, can take it to the next level.
OK. There is one cook, yeah, just lacking a little bit of seasoning,
lacking a bit of flavour.
Well, let's go and break the news. Let's go.
Firstly, I'd like to say well done to all of you.
However, only three of you can go through to the next round,
and Ryan has made his mind up.
So, Chef, it's over to you.
Yeah, somebody does need to go at this stage,
and I'm losing this person just because the dish really needed to
demonstrate that little bit more
just to go through to the next round, so, unfortunately...
..we're going to have to lose Hesper.
OK. OK? Mm-hmm.
OK? Oh, oh, well done, anyway.
I'm a little disappointed but I kind of knew it was coming.
So, that leaves three home cooks.
They are company director Simon,
business development manager Charlotte,
and podiatry student Martin.
Round two - it's the Chef's Challenge. In this round,
Ryan will be testing to see who's got the skills he's looking for,
so, Ryan, what's today's challenge?
A sauce vierge.
Basically, all it is is like a tomato salsa, so very, very simple,
but what I'm going to be looking for, I'm going to be looking for
the way that you actually dice the tomato - the precision.
The precision on dicing the shallot.
Also the level of acidity and salt.
So, taste, taste, taste, all the time.
So you're going to take the tomato,
just going to pierce the top and then just going to take the eye
out with the knife like so.
And, as that's boiling there,
we're going to pop the tomato in for 30 seconds. OK?
We don't want to cook it cos we'll end up with mushy tomato.
See, guys, how it's just peeling back like so?
Yeah. Should that come off just dead easy?
Yeah, that will come off very easy.
As soon as we put it into the ice water, it'll peel.
We'll leave them there for a minute or so
and we're just going to take the shallot
and we're going to cut fine julienne.
Julienne is just a nice, fine strip
and it gives uniformity when you're cooking,
so that's what I'm looking for.
This should demonstrate your knife skills, guys. It is very, very fine.
So, that's all in there like so.
OK? Now, we're going to look at these tomatoes.
So, as you can see, pull that back.
That peels back nice.
And you should give that a little... almost like a little wash off.
So that becomes nice and smooth.
Just cut it like so.
Take out the centre, removing all seeds,
and then we're going to get the coriander seeds
and all we're going to do is
just crush them with the back of your knife, OK?
So, the next point, we're going to get the tomatoes,
we're going to lose the outer pieces,
so we're squaring it up, as such.
OK? So you want to get the balance right as well, guys.
You think with two tomatoes
that half a shallot is absolutely perfect.
Right, so the tomatoes are in.
OK, so the next point is your herbs, so your herbs, chervil.
You're just pushing them together.
It's kind of like chiffonade -
that's the name we would use in the trade.
OK, so, again, we want almost equal quantities of the herbs,
cos you don't want one herb drowning the other one out.
So I'm looking for them big strands of parsley.
And then finally we're going to put a little bit of tarragon in.
Not too much. OK?
And the last thing to go in, a clove of garlic,
and then we're going to put a little bit of sea salt on there.
So, grind it together, like so.
And there is your garlic paste that you want.
So, all your big flavours are in,
and now we've just got to finish off the sauce.
Just give that a little mix together.
A nice little mix. You see that?
OK. And now we're going to add the olive oil.
And when it's starting to run free like that,
that's what you're looking for. See?
And then we're going to add the lemon.
Put half the lemon in there.
Give it another mix. And now this is the important part.
This is where I'm going to see if you can season.
Sea salt, crushing it in between your fingers,
and then I'm just going to...
But you're still leaving it quite coarse, OK?
I'm just going to have a little taste.
What you want, you've got all that texture coming through
but then you've got this big hit of salt.
That's what you want. And then the acidity just cancels it all out.
So, is this about balancing it out, basically?
This is getting the balance now.
You're just going to present it in this little bowl here.
Mmm. And there we go - sauce vierge.
Would you like to taste, guys? So you can... Absolutely, yeah.
I'll move this along here. Thank you very much.
I'll take that.
Mmm. Mmm. That's delish.
It's nice, isn't it? Delicious.
It's quite salty, actually.
So, you get that saltiness bang,
and then the acidity cleans it all through after.
Yeah. Great challenge, Ryan.
Excellent. Any last words for our cooks?
OK, guys, you all know what you've got to do? Yes, Chef.
So, our cooks have just 15 minutes
to complete Ryan's skills challenge and perfect their sauce vierge.
Whilst Ryan is looking for a partner with a passion for food,
he also needs to know that they can follow instructions
and is watching closely for any mistakes.
Our cooks know if they want to progress to the Friday final,
they need to show precision with their cutting and dicing.
Hi, Simon. Hiya.
All good? Yeah, hope so.
Yeah, the tomatoes look good.
I'm pretty impressed at your chopping skills.
You are awesome.
Well, we'll see at the end, won't we?
Yeah, but... I suppose. Give me a run for my money, eh?
I know. I'm impressed. I'm not so sure about that.
Hi, Charlotte. Are you OK?
It's all very tense, isn't it?
It is, yeah. Are you OK? Feeling confident? Yeah.
Hi, Martin. Hi, guys. How are you doing?
Not too bad.
All going OK?
The tomatoes look good. Yeah.
All going to plan, I think.
Slowly but surely.
Is it making you nervous?
A little bit. The pressure?
Steady hands with that knife, eh? I know.
It probably doesn't help that we are staring down at you either, does it? No, definitely not.
OK. Well, we'll let you get on.
Yeah, we'll let you crack on. Cheers.
They all seem to be getting on OK.
Yeah. They'll be interesting.
I think you're going to get three very different bowls, to be honest.
Yeah. And that'll show their personality as well and their taste buds,
because one guy actually said he felt it was quite salty, my one,
which is good, because you want the saltiness to come through.
Yeah. So it'll be interesting to see if they overcompensate
and put too much salt. Yeah.
Everyone seems confident that they've mastered the tomatoes,
but can they achieve the perfect balance between salt and acidity
in their sauce vierge?
The final stages of this challenge are crucial
and any slight over-seasoning
could cost our home cooks a place in the Friday final.
Two minutes left, guys.
Just two minutes.
Five, four, three, two, one.
That's it. Time's up.
Step away from your bowls.
Based on these three little bowls of sauce, one of you, sadly,
is going to be going home.
Right, OK. I'll have a little taste.
OK, so, the winner has to be...
..this one. Hey.
Thank you very much. Well done.
It hit every spot that I'm looking for.
The balance of flavour, perfect. Well done.
Thank you. Well done, Martin.
OK, the next one that I'm going to choose to go through
would have to be this one.
Um, the reason I've not chosen this one, unfortunately,
I think you may have forgotten the lemon juice.
There's not enough lemon juice in there, and so it's just salty.
So, all I can taste is the salt, so the balance, for me,
is not there at all. Oh, Charlotte.
Have you enjoyed it? Yeah, I've really enjoyed myself, yeah.
It didn't go as well as I had hoped.
I did feel like I was running out of time a little bit, so, at the end,
it was a case of just throwing everything together
and crossing my fingers.
So, just two home cooks remain -
company director Simon and podiatry student Martin.
But only one can compete for the title of Yes Chef champions
alongside Ryan on Friday.
Now, time for the third and final round, the Chef's Special.
In this round, our cooks will be given a set of ingredients
to one of Ryan's signature dishes.
Cooks, the aim of this round is to see what you can make with the same
ingredients. You'll get to see what Ryan makes a little bit later on.
But, for you at home, here's today's ingredients.
Ryan has chosen turbot, pancetta,
sultanas, butter, fennel, samphire,
verjus, an acidic grape juice, vermouth, radishes,
a leek and purple potatoes.
Easy enough for a Michelin-star chef,
but what on earth will our home cooks make?
Right, cooks, you've got one hour to create a delicious dish.
Reveal your ingredients because your time starts now.
It's turbot, isn't it?
This is the first time our home cooks have seen these ingredients
and the clock is ticking,
so will they know where to start?
I don't know where to start with it. Literally not a clue.
I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
I've got to work out how to get the...fillet out of it.
It's slightly stumped me, but I know the backbone's here,
so I'm going to try and just come down the backbone first.
For Simon, his worst nightmare has come true,
as he is faced with filleting a fish.
And things are no easier for Martin,
who has very little experience of working with fish either.
Simon has finally filleted his fish.
Now he's just got to work out what he's doing
with the rest of the ingredients.
Meanwhile, Martin's fish isn't going quite as well,
but he's determined not to give up.
I don't even know what that one is.
I'm trying to figure out what to do, so I think I know what I'm doing,
I think I know what I'm doing, but we'll see.
I'm trying to pair up the ingredients that I think
will go best with each other and will work well.
Hi, Simon. Hiya.
How are you doing? Are you all right?
Yeah. I'm OK, thanks. What's your plans?
What are you going to do? I'm going to pan-fry it in, maybe,
butter and either thyme or rosemary. I haven't decided which yet.
And I am probably going to try and slice a piece of pancetta really thinly
and bake it in the oven and try and get that into, like, a...
something crisp to place on top.
Well done. Fingers crossed.
We'll see. Well done.
OK. All right.
Hiya, Martin. Hi, guys.
How are you doing? All good? Not too bad.
Confident? Um, no.
No? No. OK.
Oh, no. I rarely cook with fish, and I'm just, kind of, winging it.
OK. So, what's your plan?
What are you going to make? I'm going to use fennel, leek,
and the head from the fish, a bit of vegetable stock, garlic,
salt and pepper, samphire, and I'm going to, kind of, reduce that down.
Make a nice sauce out of it.
I'm going to pan-fry the fish.
Yeah. I haven't got it all figured out yet.
All right, we'll let you get on.
Thank you very much. Enjoy. All right, thanks.
So, both our cooks are finally on their way.
Simon has a plan and is sticking to it,
but after failing to fillet his fish neatly, Martin's got other ideas.
Hiya, Martin. Hi, guys. So I've slightly adapted what I'm going to do.
I'm just going to poach the fish at the end in the cooking liquor that I've made.
It's going to be kind of a stew,
with leeks and the purple potatoes and a stock that I made and some
samphire and some vermouth.
Brilliant. That's where we're going. OK, cool. Excellent.
Simon filleted his fish, and it looks beautiful,
although he hasn't identified all the ingredients.
No, I think it's a bit daunting when you see it like that,
you're thinking, "Wow, what am I going to do?"
You start off with a plan and it all starts to come together.
Martin seems to kind of just be going along with the flow.
I like the way he has used the fish in two ways, so he's filleted it,
all right, he's not made a brilliant job of filleting it,
but he's made a sauce with the head, which is fantastic.
Yes. That's what I'm looking for.
All right, so that's impressive.
You'd better get back and see how they're getting on.
Let's go. Let's have some fun.
This is the last chance for our home cooks to prove to Ryan that they are
his perfect partner for the Friday final.
Cooks, there's just two minutes left, two minutes to go.
With time quickly running out,
our cooks need to start plating up their dishes.
That's come out better than I expected!
It looks OK.
That's it, time is up, you've done all you can,
step away from your dishes.
It's time to taste.
First to be judged is company director Simon.
He has made pan-fried turbot, served with pancetta crisps,
purple potatoes and fondant leeks.
There you go. What did you think of the challenge?
When the fish came out, I was a bit overwhelmed at first,
and then I figured out what to do with it.
Just tried to keep it simple from there.
Fingers crossed. Right, let's try it.
It's a shame about the colour of the potatoes,
because it's nice to see them vibrant,
so maybe if they were open a little bit, it would look quite...
So the fish is cooked absolutely perfect.
Not overcooked at all.
That's nice, very nice.
And then a little burst of acidity, works quite well.
Little burst of sweetness.
Thank you. Fantastic.
All well-balanced, really good.
Well done. Thank you.
There we go. Simon, this looks beautiful.
It was my worst nightmare. Pulled back the tea towels and there was a
big...not just a little fish, a big monster fish, and I was like,
"Oh, my... What am I going to do here?"
What did you think, Ryan?
You're going to get the same kind of flavours with my dish.
We are? Yeah. Wow!
So that's exactly what I'm looking for.
You've got that saltiness at the back of your mouth there,
you've got the acidity, the sweetness, yeah...
You must be impressed if that's the kind of thing you're doing?
Yes, he's thinking like me. I think that's a first, actually,
that we've had someone who nearly got it to how the chef has made it -
Next to be judged is podiatry student Martin.
He's chosen to make a poached turbot broth with purple potatoes and leeks,
garnished with radishes and fennel.
There you go.
How was the challenge for you, Martin?
I've never seen a turbot before, nor had I filleted a fish,
so it was a challenge, but it went OK.
Because I didn't fillet it correctly, and as cleanly as I wanted to,
I knew I had to go with something like this.
Yes, because at first you had a different plan, didn't you?
Yeah. So I wanted to go with something like a broth,
get lots of flavour in there from the turbot as well.
Yeah, so, hopefully it tastes nice.
Brilliant, OK. So let's tuck in.
Nice level of sweetness there, isn't there?
It's very moreish.
And the fish cooked lovely as well.
Big, punchy flavours.
The leeks, lovely. I like the way you have done the leek, not al dente...
Just with a little bit of bite.
Nice little punch there at the end because the sauce is acidic,
a little bit of sweetness to it, the fish is lovely and sweet,
and then a little kick of salt.
Lovely. That's a really good plate of food.
Thank you. Well done, Martin.
Considering I'd never filleted a turbot before,
I think I made a pretty good dish out of it,
and Chef seemed to enjoy it.
So I'm happy.
Yeah, really good. To be honest with you,
if you look at the balance of flavour, he thought,
"Right, OK, backtrack, let's fix this now." I like that.
Yeah, because he'd never filleted a fish before. Yeah.
And he did it to the best of his ability,
but realised it didn't look that great, so he changed his plan.
And, wow... Yeah.
..what he changed it to.
I honestly don't envy you, Ryan.
So with the final challenge complete,
Ryan has to decide which of our two home cooks will return as his partner
and compete against his peers on Friday.
I was pleased I managed to put up a nice dish.
Chef said he liked it, so hopefully he did and he wasn't lying to me!
I think overall I'm pretty happy.
I did as good as I could do.
Now, have you got an idea of who you might be taking through with you?
I did have before he brought that bowl of food in!
Before Ryan announces the winner,
let's see what he makes with all those ingredients.
So, Chef, it's over to you.
So what we're going to do, we're going to do turbot pan-fried,
we're going to make a little stock out of the bones
and then we're going to make a verjus reduction,
sweet and sour sauce with the sultanas,
serve it with samphire, a little bit of Alsace bacon,
purple potatoes that we're just going to fry off,
a bit of raw radish and some leek.
Right, OK, so I'm going to start by prepping the turbot.
Find that backbone,
and then you can see that purpose-made line,
so we know exactly where to run the knife.
Straight on the back.
So I'm taking the head away.
So we're just going to put this in, you can see as the oil hits,
it's really, really hot, it's exactly what we're looking for.
Hear that? Just let that tick over nicely, just roasting away.
So we'll pick out the best piece of fish that I'm going to
impress you guys with.
So just straight down here, like this.
He makes it look easy!
And then take off that skirt.
I'm just going to take a nice portion off...
..and we're going to go for this lovely piece of fish here.
That's what we're going to be serving, OK?
OK. OK, so we're just going to have a little look at these bones.
It's nice and roasted. OK.
So, leave that to roast,
and we're going to pop in a little bit of leek into that stock.
We're going to pop a little bit of fennel,
a bit of flat leaf parsley, OK?
That already smells nice.
OK, so I'm happy with that.
I'm just going to add a little bit of vermouth.
You can see it just cleaning the bottom of that pan.
All I'm going to do now is just add the water...
..over that. OK, so, that's it.
Now we're going to get the verjus reducing down.
And that will reduce down by half.
Love that. Before we put the fish in,
we're going to start by building the flavour of this dish, OK?
I'm going to start by putting the bacon in.
Put about five pieces on the fish.
When did you start cooking, Ryan?
When I was a kid.
Yeah, just from an early age.
OK, but when did you decide that you wanted to do it as a career?
I think I've always wanted... I always knew from about 14 or 15.
Wow, OK. Yeah, I just said I want to do cooking,
I want to travel the world. Went to my auntie's in France,
spent a few weeks over there, and that was it.
And you stayed in France for five years, was it?
Yeah, just shy of five years.
Wow. Working with some of the best chefs in the world.
So as you can see, all the flavour of this bacon is coming out.
A little bit of caramelisation on these leeks, not too much.
We've got all the flavour from the bacon going into the leeks.
OK? So, to finish, we are going to serve it with a verjus sauce,
and to finish the verjus sauce,
we're going to finish it with spring onion and sultanas,
which is going to give us a kind of sweet and sour savoury sort of flavour
going on. So it's a lot of flavours bouncing around in the mouth.
OK. So the next step, we'll prepare the radishes, again for presentation.
These are so beautiful, these breakfast radishes.
So I think we're ready now to add the fish.
We're going to get the fish into that pan now, OK?
So I'm just going to get a little cloth here to drain this off onto.
I want a nice caramelisation on that fish, it's getting there.
So we're going to drop the potatoes.
OK, so the fish is cooking nicely, looking lovely.
I've decided to put the samphire in there.
That's how I'll finish the samphire,
so the samphire is going to be ready to come out now.
So that was in there for, what, 30 seconds?
These potatoes, we're just going to pull out like so,
let them cool down for a second.
So that's all I wanted that stock for.
I've got my little radishes there, I'll bring them back in a second.
So that's going to reduce, we've got the fish on the go over here.
Just pull off these radishes.
We're going to start plating this up now.
Finish off the sauce, we're going to Monte au Beurre,
so that means thicken with butter.
OK? So that's my French influence coming out.
So, potatoes, as simple as this, guys.
Push them and crush them.
Look at these beautiful colours.
You know, we don't want too much carbs on there.
Can I have a trusty assistant?
There we go, just keep moving around like that.
So last-second, spring onions, sultanas, got that perfect.
Amazing. Bon appetit.
What do we think, guys? It's absolutely gorgeous.
It's beautiful. The sauce is unreal.
Absolutely amazing, Ryan.
Thank you so much.
Thank you. Now, it is time to reveal who you're going to be taking to the
Friday final with you, but before you do,
let's have a quick recap of what they made earlier.
In the first round, Simon impressed Ryan with his cote de boeuf
and Cafe de Paris butter.
Yes, the beef's cooked very nice. I like the spice in the butter.
He scraped through the skills challenge with his sauce vierge.
And in the final round, he was faced with his worst nightmare but
successfully managed to fillet a fish
and really impressed Ryan with his pan-fried turbot,
served with pancetta crisps, purple potatoes and fondant leeks.
You'll get the same kind of flavours with my dish.
Wow! So, yeah, that's exactly what I'm looking for.
I started off just not wanting to go out first,
and I've got more competitive during the day,
and now I really want to win.
Meanwhile, Martin impressed Ryan in round one,
despite a mishap with his recipe.
I can't pick up the whisky much.
Were you trying to flambe it? I didn't have enough time to flambe it.
He stole the show in round two by creating the perfect balance of flavour
in his sauce vierge.
Hit every spot that I am looking for.
Well done. And in the final round, he struggled to fillet the turbot,
but his quick thinking enabled him to change his plan and produce a
poached turbot broth.
That's a really good plate of food. Thank you.
Simon's dish was also beautiful, very different kind of dish,
but it's up to Chef, so we'll see.
Firstly, I would like to say well done to you both.
You've impressed me, and I know you've impressed Ryan.
But, unfortunately, only one of you can go through to the Friday final with Ryan,
and he has made his decision.
So it is over to you, Chef.
I made my decision and the reason I've chosen this person is because
I feel as though this person could represent my dishes in a kind of
methodical way, and does it exactly how I want to do it.
So the person that's coming through...
Thank you very much. Congratulations. Well done.
Well done, mate. Cheers. Well done.
Thank you. Sorry about that, but you know, it was really, really close.
Martin put up a fantastic plate of food, but I'm over the moon.
I can't wait for the Friday final now.
With the acidity and the sweetness, great.
Thank you very much. Well done.
When you come on Friday, make sure you keep focused and most of all,
enjoy it. Yes, Chef.
Tomorrow on Yes Chef,
four more home cooks go all out to impress super-chef Maryanne Gilchrist.
It was by the skin of your teeth between you two.
It's a chance for them to work alongside the best in the business.
Oh, dear. Not getting the point of it.
But only one can become her partner for the Friday final.
It's a health and safety issue. I apologise.
Michelin-starred chef Ryan Simpson has his eye on the prize as he puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect sauce vierge. Ryan 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?