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'Four of the best chefs in Britain
'are on the hunt for their perfect partner.
'For the first time ever,
'amateur home cooks will be paired with the best in the business
'for the cooking experience of a lifetime.'
Let me back in there!
'Each day, a Michelin-starred chef will choose their perfect partner
'from four talented home cooks.
'Then, in the Friday final, all four pairs will go head to head
'to cook for culinary royalty Pierre Koffmann.'
What impresses me with food is the end result.
The taste is the most important.
'For the chefs, their professional pride is at stake.'
Bring the home cooks in!
'For the home cooks, it will be the ultimate test.'
It looks like a dog's dinner.
'But who will win?
'This is Yes Chef.'
Hello and welcome to Yes Chef.
Let's see which home cooks are in the kitchen today.
First, it's Jo Cooksey, an account manager from Stockport.
I'm a very organised cook.
I can't bear to come into a kitchen and see lots of pots and mess.
It just annoys me!
Next is Paul Fibag, a factory worker from Scarborough.
I really want to win today but, to be honest,
I just really want to get through to the first...to the second bit,
after I've made my dish.
Andy Nightingale is a software developer from Northampton.
I'm looking forward to working with a Michelin-starred chef.
It's top of my bucket list.
I'm here to win.
And finally, Alyisha Vaughn is a barmaid from Dudley.
I'm so looking forward to cooking today.
I'm so excited.
I've been looking forward to it all week.
Our cooks are at the ready, so it's time now to meet our chef.
He's held his Michelin star for the past ten years.
It's Luke Tipping.
Luke Tipping is the executive chef at Simpsons in Birmingham,
which has held a Michelin star since 2000.
Our cooking style is very simple.
We don't put too many ingredients on the plate.
It's just a very free-flowing, natural kind of food, really.
With his continued success,
Luke's creative style of cooking truly speaks for itself.
He knows exactly what he's looking for to stay ahead of the game.
Service? Salmon ready.
I'm looking for someone who can work cleanly, efficiently,
know what food is really supposed to taste like,
and not too over-seasoned or under-seasoned.
I'd love to win. Cooking against my peers,
there's always that challenge and we're mad for it.
It's fabulous to have you here today, Luke.
-Lovely to be here.
-So, our cooks today
are going to be going all out to try and impress you
in the hope that you'll pick one of them
to be your partner in the Friday final.
What will you be looking for?
Respect for their ingredients,
clarity of flavours and just keep it nice and clean.
That's the big thing for me.
OK. Let's get on with it.
This is round one, dish of the day.
Now, home cooks, you're going to be making one dish for Luke
that you believe will set you apart from the rest.
You've got 45 minutes, so use your time wisely.
Chef, it's over to you.
So, just enjoy yourselves.
Have fun and cook your hearts out.
Our cooks are off and with one of them destined
to leave the competition at the end of this round,
they're going all out to impress Chef Luke.
There is only 45 minutes on the clock,
but, just moments into the challenge,
home cook Andy is already in tears.
I love onions!
Hello, Jo. How are you doing?
-All right, thank you.
-How are we getting on?
Good, thank you. We're doing a seafood risotto...
So, have you got some alcohol in there at all?
Some white wine, yeah, a little touch.
Some for the pan, some for me.
Good! So we've got some scallops and prawns.
-Any other fish going in there?
-No, just those two.
Is this a sort of thing you cook at home?
It is, it is.
Normally with chicken and broccoli, but jazzed it up a bit for today.
-For the telly.
-For the telly.
-That's one of my favourite things, broccoli.
-BOTH: Oh, damn!
While Jo wishes she had stuck to the original recipe
for her family favourite, are the other home cooks
managing to stick to their plans under pressure?
It's going really well so far. Just see how things are doing.
My main concern is timing -
just to make sure it's done on time and that the rice is cooked.
-Hey, you all right?
-Yeah. How you getting on?
-Very well, thank you.
Something smells nice!
What are you making for us?
-..with guacamole, salsa, sweetcorn relish.
So, this is some breast of chicken?
-Yes, some breast of chicken.
-So, what's the spices you have?
Cumin, oregano, chilli powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper.
I'm going to put some cocoa powder in towards the end.
It shouldn't be too spicy.
-Well, we'll let you carry on.
Luke's looking for technical ability as well as a great-tasting dish.
Pulling out all the stops is key
when you're cooking for one of Britain's top chefs.
When you cook risotto rice,
the secret is to wait until you can hear the rice crackling,
because it means it will start absorbing the liquid.
There it goes. It's like Rice Krispies.
Hi, Andy, how are you getting on?
Not too bad, thank you.
It's all more or less together, on time.
-A nice, simple...?
-It is simple, that's my concern.
It's just too simple, I don't want it to be...
-So, what is it, a mushroom risotto?
-It's a wild mushroom risotto, yes.
-Oh, WILD mushroom risotto!
What mushrooms are you putting in there?
I've got some wild mushrooms - dried, so I've soaked them.
I see you've got some porcini in there.
-That's right, porcini, shiitake...
-Do you do all the cooking at home?
-Oh, you don't?
-My wife does the day-to-day cooking.
-How do you get away...? I do!
-I get home late, so...
-"How do you get away with that?"
-SHEREE LAUGHS Well, good luck.
-Thanks very much.
So, both Andy and Jo are making risotto,
but Andy's worried about the lack of complexity in his dish.
For Alyisha, it's all about timing.
-Hello, Alyisha. How are you doing?
-Actually, it's going quite well.
-I'm quite shocked.
-So, your lamb's in the oven. How long...?
-12½ minutes to 13 minutes.
-Because it's quite a big piece.
Yeah. Yeah, I like my lamb just to be rare to medium-rare.
Well, not too rare.
Yeah, not too rare.
-Can we have a look at the lamb?
-Yeah, of course.
Smells good. So, what have we got on the top there?
Some breadcrumbs, some herbs?
Yeah, I've got some breadcrumbs, I've got basil, mixed herbs,
nuts, and salt and pepper and a bit of cider vinegar, as well.
Oh, right, lovely, OK.
-Bit of acidity. So, we are just doing a sauce here.
What's this - red wine sauce?
Yeah, I'm doing a red wine and shallot sauce,
because I think, personally, it tastes absolutely beautiful.
-I love it.
And is lamb your favourite meat?
1,000%! It's my favourite meat to cook,
-and my favourite meat to eat, as well.
Good luck, anyway. We'll leave you to it.
Halfway through and the cooks have just over 20 minutes left
to wow Luke with their dish.
So, we've had a walk round.
Whose dish excites you at the minute?
Well, it's funny because there's two that are very complicated
and two that are very simple, so it should be interesting.
I've kept it simple, but it's a dish that takes a while to cook, risotto.
It will be fine, it will be good.
It's all about the taste.
Andy's is very simple.
If he nails a mushroom risotto really well
then it could be really nice.
He seems a bit concerned that it's too simple, but...
Maybe because everybody else is kind of...
He's looked around, thinking it's all going on.
I'm all for simplicity. I've got no problem with that.
I keep meaning to have a look around at other people,
but I hear noises and I hear spices and I hear ingredients
and I'm thinking, "I've got one major ingredient - rice."
Got a big piece of lamb going on there.
That's going to take a little while to cook.
Hopefully, she'll get it cooked.
Do you think Alyisha's given herself long enough?
It is a concern, got to be honest,
-because if it's too rare, it's not going to be good.
It's harder than it normally is normally, let's just say that.
-And then there's a lot going on with the fajitas.
He's made his own shell, which should be nice to taste,
but he's got a lot going on. There's a lot on his plate.
Honestly, I think I've been quite ambitious with my dish.
It's supposed to be a tortilla! Would you believe that?
And do you look at things like people's work stations
and how clean they were?
Yeah, I'm a stickler for cleanliness.
-Yeah, yeah, so we'll see.
-We'll try the food first and...
Cooks, you have just five minutes left.
With time ticking down, will Alyisha's lamb be cooked in time?
-Jo, you've finished with five minutes to spare.
-I have, I know!
If there is no more you can do, you might as well let it rest.
-I know, just wait.
-It looks lovely.
So, while Jo has stormed ahead, all that Andy needs to do
is top his dish off with a perfectly cooked egg yolk,
but things aren't going to plan.
-What have you done?
-Broken two egg yolks, which was what I was trying to avoid.
Do you want me to get another one?
I've got one there, so if you've got some spare,
-that would be great.
-Go and wash your hands.
And it looks like he's not the only one
having problems with the finishing touches.
It looks like a dog's dinner.
Wow. I tried.
Time, that's all I'm saying.
I don't think I've got much of it left to do everything I need to do.
Two minutes to go, cooks.
Start thinking about plating up.
In the final moments of the round,
Luke's concerned Alyisha's lamb hasn't cooked evenly,
so he steps in to offer her some advice.
OK? Is it cooked enough?
-Go from that end. That'll be cooked a bit more.
Don't break, don't break...
The egg looks all right, but it's one of these things,
I won't know until it gets cut into
and it either oozes and looks brilliant
or it just...doesn't.
30 seconds to go.
Three, two, one...
Stop cooking. Step away from your plates.
So, our four home cooks have served up their dish of the day.
It's time to taste.
First to be judged is Jo with her dish of the day -
seafood risotto with scallops, king prawns,
saffron, thyme, dill and peas.
How did you find that challenge?
It was OK, yeah, it was good.
You happy with your dish?
Yes, I think so.
-I hope you are.
-Shall we tuck in?
-Yeah, after you.
-You can go first.
The rice is nicely cooked.
That's a good sign.
Lovely flavour of the saffron, as well.
Apart from the white wine,
is there any other acidity, any lemon or anything in here, or...?
There isn't, but maybe it could have done with it.
-Would you say that?
Yeah, a little bit, yeah. Just to wake it up again,
but, no, it's not bad, I like it.
Nice comments, there.
It's nerve-racking to serve up for a Michelin-starred chef,
but, yeah, it was good.
-Do you want to have a try?
-Shall we have a taste?
Are you pleasantly surprise?
A little bit heavy, but the flavour was quite good,
nice flavour of the saffron,
and the peas give it a nice pop in your mouth.
Next is Paul with his dish of the day -
chicken tortillas with guacamole,
served with charred corn and tomato salsa.
-How are you going, guys?
-Good. How are you after that challenge?
I'm a bit flustered, to be honest, but I'll recover in due time!
So you produced, anyway - that's the main thing.
-I got it all on the plate.
-You had a lot to do.
OK, let's have a...
You take one and I'll take one.
Not too spicy, as you say, the spices are just coming through.
-You happy with it?
I think I probably could have done better on my corn salsa,
-to be honest.
-Why, in what way?
I think I put a bit too much vinegar on it.
-I like it.
-Brilliant, OK, some nice comments there.
I'm quite surprised he liked it in the end,
because I had quite a few elements I hadn't tried to make before,
and I had quite a lot of elements to put on the dish,
but I think I managed to get them all down eventually.
-That is lovely.
-I like that.
-I think he's incredibly nervous...
..which doesn't help, does it, when someone is super nervous?
-But it tasted good.
Time for Andy, with his dish of the day -
wild-mushroom risotto with watercress and Parmesan,
topped with a boiled egg yolk.
So, how did you find that challenge?
It was all right in the end.
-I just hope it tastes nice...
-I can relax now!
So, yeah, hope it's all right and the egg is also oozy,
cos it should have been poached long enough for it to set on the outside.
Let's see if it oozes.
-That's a relief!
-You can breathe now!
-I really can.
-Any dressing on this at all?
-Just olive oil.
I didn't have time to do anything more complicated
and I thought, well, it's a risotto, primarily,
that's just to cut through the richness.
Are you happy with that, the seasoning?
I think so. I tried it continually and I think it's all right,
but taste's all subjective.
My wife likes more salt, I like less salt,
-so it's quite hard to get...
-I'm the opposite in my house!
-Oh, are you?
Is this a starter or is it a main course?
-We tend to have it as a main.
But it certainly could be half the size,
but then the egg might be too rich for a starter.
-Is there any mascarpone or anything in there?
-Just a bit of cream,
single cream and butter and the rice.
-Parmesan on top, yes.
I'm not sure I did enough to be in the next round,
because it's such a simple dish to make.
It's a risotto, it's stirring rice,
but hopefully the egg on top and just the flavours
are good enough to make it through.
-That's lovely, that.
-Yeah, that's lovely!
-Obviously, he looked really panicked by...
He's worried that's simple, but the first one was simpler than that.
-I wouldn't say it was simple, his one.
And finally, it's Alyisha, with her dish of the day -
rack of lamb with mashed potato, baby carrots
and a shallot and red wine jus.
Hi, Alyisha, come in.
-Are you OK?
-Yeah, are you?
Are you glad that's over?
Yeah, it's the quickest I've ever known in my life!
-So, are you happy with your dish?
-I've got to be.
Do you think the lamb is a little bit too undercooked?
I like it medium to rare, so...
OK, because that is very rare, but we'll try this bottom bit here,
see how we get on.
Have a bit of the crust.
-The sauce is nice.
You're proud of your sauce, aren't you?
I am proud of my sauce!
-Yeah, that, I would say, it is a little bit...
It needed longer in the oven
-and more resting at the other end, as well.
How long would you have left it in for?
Well, we cook it in the restaurant really, really slowly.
It's got to get up to a temperature of 58 degrees
-to be sort of pink all the way through.
But it's not... It's... The bit on the end's quite tasty.
But it is a bit raw, that's the thing.
I'm not disappointed for the pure fact,
I done everything from the book and everything went absolutely fine,
except the meat being a little bit undercooked.
Mm. I like your jus.
Thank you. You like it?
It's a shame because, obviously, it's undercooked.
Thinking forward to Friday, it's a massive thing.
Only three people can be taken through to the next round.
For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.
I want to go through so much.
I've got so much more to show.
I want to go further now, see how much further I can get with this.
Technically, it might not have been enough to get through.
But I think flavour-wise, maybe I'll get through.
I'm hoping I've done enough to get through to the next round.
But we'll see, won't we?
So, have you got a good idea of who you want to leave the competition?
-Yeah, I think so now.
-OK. Well, let's go and tell them.
First, I'd like to say well done to all four of you.
It's not an easy challenge, but you all did really well.
But, unfortunately, as you know,
one of you has to leave the competition at this stage
and Luke has made his mind up.
So it's over to you, Chef.
OK, I think you all did really, really well
considering the time and the pressure you were under,
but obviously, someone has to go, so unfortunately, today,
-it's you, Alyisha.
-OK, that's fine.
-Sorry, but well done. The lamb was a bit undercooked.
That was the big issue, but keep doing what you're doing
and keep cooking, That's the main thing.
Thank you. Thanks.
I'm fine. Yeah, my lamb was undercooked,
so everyone else's tasted absolutely amazing so, believe it or not,
I was already expecting it.
That leaves three home cooks -
Jo from Stockport,
Paul from Scarborough,
and Andy from Northampton.
Round two, it's the chef's challenge.
So, in this round, Luke is going to be testing you
to see who's got the skills he's looking for.
So, what is today's test?
Today's test is one of the most classical sauces you could have.
It's a creme anglaise, or an English cream.
We've got some milk, sugar, some lovely vanilla and egg yolks.
We will put our milk on to boil, we put half our sugar in.
Right, so we've got our vanilla. Can you all smell that?
Mm, my favourite flavour.
We need to split the vanilla to get all the pods out.
There's all our lovely pods.
It all goes in.
The rest of the sugar into the eggs.
-Why do you do half and half?
-Hopefully, with the sugar in there, it won't boil over.
So, what we're doing now
is just whisking the eggs and sugar together.
We just want them to go slightly pale.
Any of you made creme anglaise before?
I have. I make a lot of brulee.
-I made a custard once, but it went a bit lumpy.
-Oh, did it?
-Those are the pitfalls.
If you don't get it right, you're either going to get scrambled eggs
or it'll be like double cream, I suppose.
-We've just brought it to the boil?
-Just up to the boil.
-If it gets too hot, it will turn to scrambled eggs.
Or, if you don't cook it enough, it's going to be too thin.
So, we can take our spatula now.
Just take your time with it, that's the thing.
What consistency are we looking for?
What we want it to do is just coat the back of the spoon.
-So it will leave a trace on it.
And do you feel quite confident, the three of you?
-It seems simple enough, doesn't it?
-I would in my home kitchen...
-..where nobody can see me!
-You can see how it's starting to get...
-You can see is starting to...
-..a little bit more.
-See how it's shaping up now?
OK. That should do it.
-There we go.
Have a try.
So, what will we be looking for?
Obviously, that vanilla aroma coming through
and the most important thing is, not too thick, not too thin,
just enjoy it and let's have some nice custard.
ALL: Yes, Chef!
So, our cooks are attempting to make the perfect creme anglaise.
Luke's looking for a silky texture and a glossy finish,
all in just 20 minutes.
The cooks must follow Luke's instructions to the letter
and the first key stage in the process
is to separate the egg yolks,
and already, Andy's made a huge error.
I think I've made a mistake.
I think I've used the egg whites, as well.
Well, I know I've used the egg whites.
I don't think I was meant to.
(I can't remember.)
No, I wasn't meant to use the egg whites.
Andy is mortified by his error,
but with no more eggs, he can't do anything about it.
-How are we doing?
-Not so good. I've made a bit of a mistake.
I, er...didn't observe properly
and I added the egg whites as well as the yolks.
Well, carry on, that's all we can do...
Make it the best I can and hopefully...
Exactly, see what happens.
-You might have invented something, you never know.
-Don't worry, keep going.
Luke's looking for a smooth consistency,
so the cooks must be careful.
Overwhisking the egg yolks and the sugar
will thicken the sauce too much.
-How are we doing?
-It's making my arms ache!
-Any problems so far?
-No, I've put the half sugar in each and...
-Just don't want to make scrambled eggs!
Paul, how you doing?
I'm a bit concerned about overworking my eggs, to be honest.
Well, I'd probably stop there, then, if you're concerned.
With his eggs already well beaten,
Paul must stir gently or his sauce will continue to thicken.
-So, we've both said it's a nice, simple task.
But things can go wrong, and they clearly have...for Andy.
Yeah, yeah, poor Andy.
He's made the classic mistake of using the egg whites and the yolk.
-It's a shame. He's realised it, but it's too late, I'm afraid.
I'm so frustrated.
-But the other two seem to be doing fine.
There's a couple of... mess issues with Paul.
Is he just a bit chaotic?
Yeah, he just needs to, like, slow down a little bit
and, you know, just think.
Oh, yeah, I'm just not entirely sure what I'm doing, to be honest.
Time is ticking away
and our home cooks must use every last second
to make sure their creme anglaise is properly cooked
and the right consistency.
-A watched pot never boils.
Cooks, you have just 30 seconds left.
All right, that's it, everybody, time is up!
Step away from your bowls.
Could be worse.
That's it, end of round two.
It's time to taste.
Only two people can be taken through to the next round.
For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.
How did you find that challenge?
-It's funny, isn't it?
And so easy to go wrong!
-Nowhere to hide.
-No, there's not.
You go ahead first.
The consistency's probably a little bit too thick.
That's probably from over-whipping the egg yolks.
A little bit thick.
-Now, we know what happened...
Well, there's not a lot, really, we can say.
You know your mistake, that is the main thing.
I do. As soon as that sugar went in...
We was watching and I could see straightaway.
Very good, lovely.
That's perfect, really good.
So, Luke, in your mind, who is going straight through?
OK, so, it's definitely that one.
-So, we have two left.
Both have had errors, which you can probably see.
But the person I'm taking through is...
-Well, I got through the first round.
-Yes, you did.
-You've done a great job, Paul.
-You did well. Well done.
-No, it's fine. Cheers.
-Thanks a lot.
I'm not too disappointed.
I got as far as I expected to get and the two best people won,
so I'm happy.
So, Paul wasn't up to scratch for you. What was...?
Well, I think they both made... big errors there.
Andy instantly knew straightaway what his error was
and was obviously mortified.
But from his previous round, and I think going forward,
he will be a better bet for me.
And Paul, he obviously made some mistakes, he overwhisked.
Yes, but he was still a little bit messy and a bit chaotic
even with quite a simple-ish challenge.
And that worries you because, on Friday, two of you together,
there's not a lot of room.
I can't do a lot to sort of help him in that respect.
His cleanliness and...
His organisational skills would let us down, I think.
Just two cooks remain -
account manager Jo from Stockport
and software developer Andy from Northampton -
but only one can be chosen as Luke's partner for the Friday final.
Round three, it's the chef's special.
In this round, our home cooks
will be given a set of ingredients to one of Luke's signature dishes
so the aim of this challenge, cooks,
is to create a dish from these ingredients.
You'll get see what Luke makes a bit later on.
For you at home, here's today's ingredients.
Luke has chosen salmon,
lemon oil, radishes,
Jersey potatoes, butter,
double cream, white wine vinegar,
asparagus and watercress.
Easy enough for a Michelin-starred chef,
but what will our home cooks think?
So, cooks, you have just one hour to create a delicious dish.
Reveal your ingredients because your time starts now.
-Thank you. Oh, salmon.
So, the clock is ticking
and it's the first time our home cooks have seen these ingredients,
but where will they begin?
Putting his salmon to one side, Andy decides to start with the basics.
I'm still trying to work out what I'm going to do,
but there's a few things that will have to happen,
like an onion has to get peeled at some point.
Initially, I'm thinking crushed potatoes with the cream mixed in,
pan-fry the fish in some butter,
but that's as far as I've got so far.
Meanwhile, Jo is focusing on Andy.
I just keep glancing, having a quick glance.
-What are you doing?
-What are you doing?
And also her veg.
I'm just trying to work out my timings,
which will take the longest to cook
and which will be the quickest to cook.
Just bringing my potatoes up to the boil and then think about my sauce.
I'm going to try and do a beurre blanc, but without a recipe...
I'm just sort of guessing.
-How are we?
-Are you OK?
I THINK so.
What did you think when you saw the ingredients?
Nice. I eat a lot of salmon.
I wasn't sure what to do for the best with the other bits,
so I've done a bit of a vinaigrette salad
-with the watercress, the radish and some onion.
-I'm attempting to do a butter cream sauce.
-OK, interesting, good.
Whether the two would go together is another thing.
But I've never done anything like that without a recipe before.
Oh, haven't you? Well, you know what it should taste like.
This is me, I just make things up as I go along.
-That's fine, fine.
-I've spent all day stirring!
So, Jo knows what she wants.
Andy, on the other hand, knows what he definitely doesn't want.
-Andy, how are we doing?
-Not too bad so far.
I'm pleased there is no eggs.
I'll be doing some crushed new potatoes with some cream.
Griddled asparagus, I'm going to pan-fry the salmon,
and then dressing it with watercress and maybe some sliced radish.
-Any sauce or anything?
-Maybe. I haven't decided yet.
Your caviar, are you using that?
I'll probably use it for dressing at the end.
-It's actually avruga caviar, it's like a herring roe.
I like it because it's nice and smoky, you can cook well with it.
Well, it's nice to have on some canapes.
I'm just trying to keep it simple.
Is that your theme, being simple?
-I thought you didn't want to be simple?
-I want to make the final, but I want to deliver something good.
Try and aim for less but deliver that,
rather than aim for the sky and maybe not reach it.
All right, we'll let you get on.
Whilst Andy is playing it safe,
Jo has hit disaster with her sauce.
It's split, so she adds cream in the hope of rescuing it.
-How far off are you?
-I'm just waiting on my asparagus.
I'm the same - asparagus is cooking, then I need to wait for my fish.
Do you know when asparagus is cooked?
-Neither do I!
Right, Luke, what are we thinking?
The final two.
They both took their time to deliver
and have a think what they were going to do,
so that is a good sign - they didn't rush into it.
In terms of dream ingredients, I'm quite happy with what it is.
Shame it's not wine, because I could do with a glass right now.
Otherwise, I'm all right.
Jo is going for it, almost living off the edge of her seat.
It could all go horribly wrong.
Do you quite like that, though?
There's nothing wrong with that.
If it comes out, then good luck to her, definitely.
I am feeling quite calm, but I'm also internally
feeling quite nervous because I feel I'm not doing enough.
Andy is playing it safe. He is a very nice guy,
but he needs to step up to the plate a bit now, this is his final chance.
You'd better get in there and have another look.
I'll see what they're up to.
Oops, smoking. Smokin'!
That's too much cream.
There's no such thing as too much cream.
Cooks, you have ten minutes left.
You know how I was calm earlier on?
I'm not feeling calm now.
Luke wants a partner who has good timing, good clarity of flavours,
and can work cleanly.
With such delicate ingredients, there is no room for any mistakes.
-How's it going?
-Are you happy with everything?
Yes, I'll be ready to plate up in a couple of minutes.
OK. You work quick, don't you?
How did your sauce come out, all right?
Because it had been sat, it did split,
so I just bunged a bit more cream in it.
-And it's all right?
-I think so, yeah.
-How are we doing? OK?
Yeah, it is just a timing game.
-I used a bit too much cream in my potatoes.
-I think that's just nerves. And now it's plate up.
Did you say you were using the caviar?
I might try, just for a dressing at the end,
just for a little bit of a different flavour.
-Good. Good luck.
Right, guys, you have just five minutes left.
With time ticking, these last few minutes are crucial.
The salmon needs to be cooked to perfection.
If it's overcooked it will be too dry and start to flake.
Undercooking it will result in a spongy texture.
Argh, too soon!
So, both cooks get their fish onto the plate,
but whose salmon will secure them a place in the final?
Right, cooks, that is it, your time is up.
It's time to taste.
First up, it's Jo.
She's made griddled salmon and asparagus
served with cream, lemon and butter sauce
with new potatoes and a watercress and radish salad.
How did you find that challenge?
OK. That was the one I was most nervous about.
It's difficult, but obviously you've managed a lovely plate of food here.
Nice idea, with the salad and everything.
-You had a thought about it and...yeah, good.
-Shall we have a try?
Nice, crunchy skin on the salmon... or the flesh on the salmon.
Would you think that was a little bit overcooked?
I was worried I would undercook it, but... Yeah, possibly.
Would you say it's a little overcooked?
I think so, for salmon, yeah, little bit.
OK. The dressing is lovely.
Yeah, lovely, it's very good. Really refreshes the palate.
As I say, the salmon, for me, is a little bit overcooked, but good job.
OK, thank you. I hope I've done enough to get through,
but obviously Andy is a good cook, as well,
so I think we're pretty well matched, really.
The salmon was a little bit overcooked -
could have done with a bit more acidity, a bit more seasoning.
But there was elements of good and bad in there, I think.
He said my salmon was a little overdone.
-It seemed to turn really quickly.
-It just flips, doesn't it?
-It's simple things, they're easy to get wrong.
It's been the story of the day.
Next into the tasting room is Andy.
He has made pan-fried salmon
topped with caviar,
served with griddled asparagus,
crushed new potatoes and a watercress and radish salad.
-Andy, how are you doing?
-Not too bad, thank you.
-How was that?
-Straightforward, but difficult, ironically enough.
The simplest things, we appreciate.
It's the timing, as well. We have... It's things like,
the fish doesn't take long to cook
but all of a sudden it's overcooked and in the blink of an eye
you've lost the plan, the plot.
-There's nowhere to hide in simplicity.
-There is not. Absolutely.
-Let's go for it.
So, you pan-fried your...?
Yes, I used butter, as well, lots of butter.
It's still got some moisture in there,
-it is a little bit overcooked.
It's difficult, salmon, because...one minute, it's gone.
And you didn't use a dressing at all?
No, I had a go, but I just abandoned it at the last minute.
So that's watercress and a bit of oil.
I'm not sure if I've done enough to win
because I didn't challenge myself enough,
so potentially that's one thing I need to learn from today,
is just to take risks, to try things.
Mm, those potatoes are lovely.
-I think he wants to push himself,
but he's just so worried that it's going to go wrong.
-So it's maybe a bit too safe.
A little bit, I think, yeah.
With the final challenge complete,
it's just left for Luke to deliberate over our two home cooks.
I'd love to win, it would be great to be back on Friday,
that would be fantastic.
I would love to win it, it would be fabulous,
a real feather in my cap.
So, do you think you've made up your mind
about who your partner is going to be on Friday?
Yeah, it's changed a few times. But, yeah, I think so, yes.
Well, hold that thought, because now
we're going to get to see what YOU make with those ingredients.
-My favourite part, so come on.
So, cooks, before we find out
who will be joining Luke in the Friday final,
he's going to show us what he makes with those ingredients.
So it's over to you, Luke.
OK. We've got the same ingredients,
but we're going to put the fish in first.
-What I'm going to do
is liberally season the fish with the salt and sugar,
and this is like dry curing it and we're going to cook that
at 65 degrees in a very slow oven, on the plate with clingfilm,
so it will just tick away nicely
and keep that beautiful salmon flavour.
So what we're going to do is a very classical beurre blanc sauce.
We take our shallot.
So, what age did you start cooking, Luke?
-Is that quite late, in chef terms?
Yeah, well, when I see some of the guys in the kitchen now,
coming to us at 17, 18 and they've already done their college course,
it is very late. So in goes our white wine vinegar.
And some water.
And the shallots can go in, as well.
That needs to be reduced by about two thirds at least
to get the bitterness out of the white wine vinegar.
We've got some asparagus, what I'm going to do
is some raw and some cooked.
I don't want to change the shape of the asparagus,
just keep it natural so it's still round rather than gouge it.
OK, so, that is ready to cook.
So, now this for salad, we can just take these stalky bits off,
minding our fingers.
Oh, I hate these things.
That can be just popped in some ice water.
I'll leave that there.
-OK, so we're nearly there with the...
What salmon needs is some acidity because it's sort of fatty,
so it needs something acid.
So, we've got our cream in there now, this is just to stabilise it,
and we just reduce that a little bit more.
We'll put some salt...
Obviously, for green vegetables, we need some salt in our water,
so we can cook the asparagus.
Basically we're calling...
This is now building our sauce and this is what we call
monter au beurre - it's mounting it with butter.
Very, very slowly.
A bit like the creme anglaise, if we boil it, it will split.
On Friday, obviously, you will be cooking for the king of...
-The King, I call him!
Does it make you nervous, cooking for him?
Yeah, he looks at food very differently to everyone else,
he will know stuff that us mere mortals don't even know,
so that should be a challenge, for sure.
-If you want to try that...?
There's a lot of acidity there,
-but you need that to cut through the richness of the salmon.
So, do you only want the shallots for flavour?
Yes, I just discard the shallots, but I did like the way
you utilised your shallots, that was good.
So, if we can to just keep that warm, we don't want to boil it.
The asparagus can go in,
just cook that for two or three minutes until it's tender.
This is virtually asparagus and hollandaise, really.
I've took the asparagus out now, I know it's cooked,
you can see it's nice and vibrant.
I can just pop that in there
to heat through.
So, we'll put that on our plate.
So, we've got our asparagus, we can put our caviar in.
And you said this caviar has a nice - did you say it's like a smoky...?
It's avruga, it's herring roe, it's not actually roe,
but it's from the herring, it's really, really smoky.
And then we just take our potatoes, like a potato salad almost.
-It looks amazing, doesn't it?
And then we just finish it with a bit of lemon to wake it up.
I love lemon.
Not too much salt, because there is salt in the smokiness of the caviar,
-and there we go.
-There is our little asparagus and salmon.
Ooh, let's taste!
Have a little tuck in, come on.
-Yeah, it has really kept its flavour, hasn't it?
Oh, my gosh, that tastes so fresh!
-That little but of lemon is wonderful.
-It just wakes it up.
-That is absolutely delicious.
But now it's time to declare your winner,
and who you're going to pick to join you in the Friday final,
but before you do, let's have a quick recap
of the dishes they made earlier.
In the first round, Jo impressed Luke with her tasty seafood risotto,
she showed off her sweet skills in round two
with her silky creme anglaise, then, in the final round,
she produced classic flavour combinations.
But was her griddled salmon too overcooked for Luke?
I hope I've done enough to get through,
but, obviously, Andy is a good cook, as well,
so, I think we're pretty well matched, really.
Andy wowed Luke with his flavoursome wild-mushroom risotto
in the first round, he scraped through
with his creme anglaise in the second
and in the final round, he showcased his cooking techniques
with his pan-fried salmon and griddled asparagus.
But did he play it too safe by not serving a sauce?
I would love to win, it would be great
to have come all this way and be back on Friday -
that would be fantastic, just to work with the chef,
which would be brilliant.
First, I would like to say a massive well done to both of you.
It's been a great day, you've completed three challenges,
but only one of you can go to the Friday final
and Luke has made his mind up. Luke, it's over to you.
-So, a long day, you've both done really, really well.
There can only be one winner, as you both know.
You're both really good,
but I think the person I've chosen
will be slightly more beneficial to me in the final.
And that person
-Well done, Jo!
I'm absolutely cock-a-hoop, I can't believe it.
I'm disappointed to be going home. I did my best.
Unfortunately, I made some silly mistakes, so I think it's only fair
that I'm the one taking the long journey home today.
Any final tips for Jo?
What sealed it for you, you was just consistent all the way through,
you haven't flapped, you've worked tidy,
and I think we could work together really well.
You ready to do me proud?
Tomorrow on Yes Chef...
..four more home cooks go all out to impress super chef Nathan Outlaw.
You've made it very difficult cos you were pretty much faultless.
It's a chance for them to work alongside the best in the business.
But only one can become his partner for the Friday final.