Cooking competition hosted by Sheree Murphy which sees professional chefs select an amateur partner to work with in the final. Theo Randall makes his choice.
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Four of the best chefs in Britain
are on the hunt for their perfect partner.
Because for the first time ever,
amateur home cooks will be paired with the best in the business
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
Take the risotto off for ten minutes!
Each day, a different Michelin-starred chef
will choose their perfect partner from four talented home cooks.
It's not about what you cooked, it's about how you cooked it.
Then, in the Friday final, all four pairs will go head-to-head
to cook for culinary royalty, Pierre Koffmann.
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.
Bring the home cooks in!
For the amateur home cooks,
they're about to be put to the test by the country's finest.
This is Yes Chef.
Hello, and welcome to Yes Chef. Let's meet today's four home cooks.
First, it's Jess Tummonds, an air stewardess from Manchester.
I'm very calm under pressure, I don't let too much get to me.
I just try and enjoy myself.
Trying to make it look pretty.
Taking part is fab, but to win would be great.
Next, it's John Cunningham,
an account manager for a food supplier, also from Manchester.
I think my strengths are timing, actually.
I just hope it'll be cooked OK.
I'd say my weakness is I'm not the most creative in the kitchen.
I do steal a lot of ideas off other people.
Simon Heaney is a solicitor from Liverpool.
I have two weaknesses - timing and presentation.
I'm a bit messy and I can take a long time.
Time is my enemy.
My strength in the kitchen is adaptability
and turning my hand to anything.
And Regan Anderton,
a strategy director for a marketing company in Kent.
I'm quite good at going out for a meal,
and if we've enjoyed something when we're out,
coming home and then replicating that.
Whew! I'm getting hot.
The worst thing that could happen today is I cut off a finger!
So, we have our four home cooks. All we need now is our chef.
He was awarded his first Michelin star back in 1997 at the River Cafe.
It's Theo Randall.
OK, new order. Nine sea bass.
Theo Randall grew up in south-west London,
but it was his childhood trips to Italy that inspired his cuisine.
My style of cooking's all about the ingredients
and making the most of the ingredients,
and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
Only the very best is good enough for Theo.
His no-nonsense approach to seasonal, rustic
and good-quality Italian ingredients has fuelled his success
and ensures his dishes are unquestionably authentic.
..With peas, one bavette. It's clear.
His current restaurant on London's Park Lane
is celebrating its tenth year, and having won a whole host of awards,
Theo is no stranger to competition
and knows exactly what he wants from his home cooks.
What I'm looking for in the contestants
is people that really love cooking and are really happy to cook.
That's it, that's the last steak. Thank you very much.
Welcome, Theo. We're absolutely thrilled to have you here today.
Thank you for having me.
These four home cooks will be pulling out all the stops today
in hope that you'll pick one of them as your partner in the Friday final.
What will you be looking for?
They've got some really nice ingredients here,
so I'm looking for really good seasoning, precise cooking,
just really great food.
So let's get on with it, then.
It's round one - Dish Of The Day.
In this round, cooks, you will be creating the one 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, sadly, will be going home.
Any last tips, Chef? Yeah.
Just enjoy yourself, relax, and just cook within your means.
ALL: Yes, Chef!
So, our cooks are off.
Just trying to get all my first ingredients done
so I feel a bit more at ease.
This is the cooks' chance to impress Theo
with their own style of cooking.
And for air stewardess Jess, there's only one potential sticking point.
The only thing I'm worried about is maybe my chicken not being cooked.
But I've done it a few times and I'm feeling confident.
Hi, Jess. Hello. How are we getting on? All right.
So tell us what you're making.
I'm doing a citrus chicken salad with a marmalade sauce.
And how is the chicken...? Are you just roasting it with the skin on?
I've taken the skin off, I've put butter, marmalade and garlic on top.
So that's going to create the sauce. Mm.
And is this a dish that you've perfected over the years?
Yeah, it's one that I've been cooking for years.
My mum used to make it for me.
Aww! Oh, lovely! It's one I'm quite confident with.
Oh, good. Hopefully! That's good. That's nice.
It's a little bit intimidating
seeing how good everybody is already, really.
Hi, John. Hi.
How are we getting on here? Hi, John. Hi. You OK? Yeah, good.
Not bad. I'm doing chicken breast, skin on,
pan-fried and roasted off in the oven.
Nice. With a fondant potato, which is also in there.
And I'm just doing some nice vegetables
with some heritage carrots and green beans.
I'm going to do a white wine and tarragon sauce.
Sounds delicious. Is this something you cook at home?
Every now and again, yeah. I just love chicken anyway.
You love chicken? Yeah. It's your favourite? I like the skin.
It's the skin that gets me every time, yeah.
But, yeah... Chicken's my favourite, I think.
Brilliant, great. I look forward to tasting it.
OK, great. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it. Good luck. Thanks a lot.
Everyone looks pretty in control, actually.
Hi, Simon. Hi there. Are you OK? Good, how are you?
A little bit nervous, but we're getting there.
Are you feeling nervous? Very, yeah. Aww!
But you're not shaking, that's good.
That's a good sign. I've got my hand...keeping it steady.
Steadying it! Absolutely. Yes.
Talk us through your dish. What are you making for us?
I've got pork belly, I'm doing a home-made stock with chicken thighs,
shallots and carrots, with a reduced down Madeira sauce,
and then we're going to do some tiger prawns.
Wow. Yeah. And how are you for time? Are you pushed for time?
I have to say, when I normally do this, I slow-cook it,
so it does take a few hours, and I'm not good at times, anyway.
We'll let you carry on and get out of your hair.
Thank you. See you soon.
I'm going through the recipe in my mind,
but I feel like there's something major missing.
I don't know.
Hi, Regan. Hello. Hi, Regan. Hi, Theo.
How are you? I'm good, thanks.
That's some lovely fresh-looking fish there. It looks amazing.
Lovely squid and monkfish. Yeah, monkfish, squid, mussels...
And then I've also got some new potatoes
that are cooking in saffron.
This sounds like a fish stew. It is a fish stew.
Shellfish stew. Yeah, great.
My kind of food. Very good!
And is this something that you make often?
I love cooking fish, cos I think it's like a takeaway food,
cos it's really quick to cook.
It's not takeaway food - it's fast food.
Fast food, sorry, not takeaway!
My husband takes it away!
Good luck. Thank you.
Trying to peel it without the whole thing going to mush in your hands
is always hard when it's a raw prawn.
Smells nice round here.
It all smells good, doesn't it?
Jess, I like the idea of marmalade with chicken.
It's kind of inventive. And I love marmalade.
I like the idea of the bitterness in the salad.
I'm not quite sure how it's going to work. She's got very soft leaves.
And if you put hot chicken on top of those soft leaves,
it's just going to collapse. Yeah.
John, I saw him cooking his carrots
and his green beans at the same time,
which I don't mind, cos I can't stand crunchy green beans.
But the carrot's that thick and the green beans are that thick.
You know, what's going to cook quicker? Yeah.
The carrot will have a lot more flavour than that green bean.
But I like the idea of his crispy chicken.
There's going to be a bit of skin,
getting that skin of the chicken crispy,
and his fondant potato sounds nice.
And, Simon, he's doing a dish that I'm concerned about.
He's doing a dish that would normally take him two hours
in 45 minutes, and that could have problems.
You can't really speed up that kind of cooking, because it's a muscle.
And if he's going to fry it, it might make it even tougher.
Hopefully, all the stock's getting into the pork and it's cooking.
I like Regan. I like the way she is, I like her attitude.
She seems very confident.
And the ingredients she's chosen are the sort of things I would choose.
OK. I like the way she was preparing.
She didn't seem flustered at all.
So, there's some pretty good things out there.
It's getting a bit too hot, the oil.
I don't want to burn my garlic.
For Jess, however, the moment of truth has arrived,
as she checks to see if her chicken is cooked.
Right, cooks, you have ten minutes left. Just ten minutes to go.
Look at this! You're way ahead of everyone else!
I am pretty much done here.
I'm nearly done. Just trying to make it look pretty.
I can't wait to taste it. Thanks.
So, with Jess first to the finish line,
Simon still has a long way to go with his sauce.
It's not reducing as quickly as I want it to.
The fish just all goes in for the last two or three minutes at the end.
So I'm just getting my sauce right.
Time is my enemy.
And I'm staring at the timer, hoping it'll go slower.
So while Simon and Regan play the waiting game,
John is next to plate up.
And in the last few minutes, Regan's fish finally hits the pan.
One minute to go.
Ten, nine, eight,
seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one.
Stop cooking, step away from your plates, you've done all you can.
And in such a rush, Simon does his best with his presentation.
Ran out of time, ran out of time. Sloppy.
First to be judged is Jess with her dish of the day -
citrus chicken salad with feta, orange and olives,
accompanied with a sticky marmalade sauce.
In you come, Jess.
You finished with about ten minutes to go, didn't you?
Yeah, maybe I rushed at the start. I didn't want to...
Obviously, it's presentation,
so I just wanted to make sure I had enough time to make it look pretty.
Can I go first? Yes, you can. Thank you.
OK. It's quite interesting. I like the marmalade.
And with the chicken, that's really nice.
But one flavour that I don't quite get is the feta.
I think the slightly saltiness of the feta doesn't quite match.
Here you go, guys. How did it go? It looks amazing.
He didn't really like the feta with it, but I do.
I think it's delicious.
It had this strong flavour of feta cheese with the sweet marmalade.
It was kind of like one of those sort of things you...
It's not that appetising.
Next is John with his dish of the day -
pan-roasted chicken breast with pancetta, fondant potato,
heritage vegetables and a tarragon cream sauce.
Did you enjoy that? Yeah, it was good. I enjoyed it, yeah.
Really nice. The fondant was worrying me a little bit.
Just hope it's soft. Yeah!
Apart from that, I think everything went OK.
Shall I put the sauce on the top of the chicken? Yes.
Let's try the sauce.
The tarragon's nice. It's quite subtle.
You've made the most of the ingredients.
So you've made the skin crispy,
which is important when you're cooking a breast of chicken,
because it's the one thing that's got a bit of texture to it,
cos it can be a bit bland sometimes.
And altogether, with the sauce... I haven't tasted the pancetta yet.
..it's a good plate, a good plate of food.
Very nice. Thank you.
The tasting went really well.
Good comments, and said it was seasoned well,
so I can't ask for more, really.
The chicken was cooked nicely.
It could have been cooked a little bit less,
cos it was slightly dry on the edge, but it wasn't dry-dry.
But what was nice is,
he got the seasoning and the balance in the sauce.
So you had that... You can't taste tarragon in your mouth now. No.
It just sort of worked really nicely with the chicken.
Time for Simon with his dish of the day
of pork belly and Madeira sauce
with tiger prawns and creme fraiche, Dijon mustard and lemon butter.
How did you find the challenge?
I was enjoying it until the last five minutes.
Time ran away from me.
So the presentation feels as though I've got a bag of cement
and thrown it on the plate.
OK. OK. Go on, taste. I'm going in. Go on, go in. OK.
The pork is undercooked, I have to say that.
It isn't soft. But it tastes good.
Now, surf and turf is not something that I kind of go mad about.
And sometimes it works, so let's see if this works.
And it does. It's nice.
I think a little bit less Dijon
would have made it a bit more subtle,
and a bit more kind of...
Maybe a bit of lemon juice in there as well
to have given it more of a balance with the prawn. Yeah.
The whole thing doesn't look amazing, but it's tasty. OK.
And that's important. Thank you.
How did it go? Here we go. Not a lot left on the plate!
No, no! Didn't make enough.
The flavour he got in that pork,
in some ways was kind of amazing in 45 minutes.
He's turned that into quite a nice dish.
OK, it should have been soft, it should have had a crispier skin.
The nice thing about him was,
he was so upset with himself for serving it.
I think that's encouraging, that shows that someone has...
they've got passion and they're proud of what they're doing.
And he really cares. And that's really important. Good.
And finally, it's Regan with her dish of the day -
a monkfish, squid and mussel seafood stew, served with toasted sourdough.
Hi. Hi, Regan. Hello. Are you all right?
Yes, good thank you. Did you enjoy that? I did enjoy it.
I think I probably left too much to the last minute.
I could have done with probably 30 seconds more.
Other than that, yeah, really enjoyed it.
And is this one of your favourite dishes? Yeah.
It's one of mine, too! Oh, good!
I'm going to go in. Pressure! Exactly.
That monkfish is so tender.
It's nicely seasoned, and also what's nice is,
you've cooked the fish,
and the saffron's there to kind of push it up, you know.
The spiciness is just tingling,
gives just the right kind of spiciness.
Good. I'd have just cooked the squid a little bit more.
But on the whole, it is...
Thank you. Well done. Thank you very much.
It went really well - I've just had a Michelin-star chef
tell me he liked my sauce, which was, yeah, amazing.
Felt, yeah, really good.
Hi! Hi there! Hi there.
How'd it go? Yeah, it was good. Did he like it? Yeah.
The only negative was that the squid
could have maybe done with a little bit longer.
That monkfish is nice and meaty.
She's not intense and kind of like,
"I'm the most competitive person in the world."
She's kind of like, "I can cook, hey, what's the big deal?" Yeah.
She seems spontaneous in what she does.
I think that's going to be a key to the next round. OK.
Only three people can be taken through to the next round.
For one of our home cooks, it's time to leave the competition.
Have you got a bit of an idea who it's going to be?
I do, unfortunately, yeah. Oh, you do? Yeah, I do.
I'd like to think I've done enough to go through.
But the competition is very strong.
But, yeah, now you're here, you'd like to carry on.
I think I'm probably struggling. I probably could be going home.
But, fingers crossed, let's just see if the taste brings it through.
He said he liked the sauce, the chicken was cooked well.
Just didn't like the feta.
He said that my squid could have done with a little bit longer,
so if that was the only criticism,
then I'd like to think that, hopefully,
it's good enough to go through.
It is a competition. Everyone knows the rules.
Yes, of course, of course.
OK, let's go and break the news. OK.
First of all, I'd like to say a big well done to all four of you.
However, only three of you can go through to the next round.
And Theo has made his mind up, so it's over to you.
For me, to take you to the next round,
it's very important I know you've got the skills.
Some dishes had more skills than others.
It's not about what you cooked,
it's about how you cooked it, and your potential.
So, the person going home, I'm sorry to say,
Your chicken was beautifully cooked,
but I saw more skills from these three than from you,
and I'm really sorry.
I think I might have played it a bit too safe.
I don't think there was enough technicality in my dish.
But I just didn't want to go out of my timeframe.
I wanted something that I could do in my timeframe
but, obviously, yeah, it was a bit too safe.
So that leaves three home cooks.
They are John from Manchester,
Simon from Liverpool,
and Regan from Kent.
It's round two - The Chef's Challenge.
Now, in this challenge,
Theo has devised a simple test
to see who has the skills he's looking for.
So, Theo, what's the challenge?
The challenge is a potato rosti.
OK, so it seems very, very easy, but there's a few challenges.
Let's crack on. OK, so we're going to peel the potatoes.
And then we're going to grate our potato on a box grater,
so on that sort of coarse edge.
So, potato in the bowl, then we're going to add some sea salt,
a nice amount of sea salt, a bit of black pepper,
and a few thyme leaves.
And then we're going to put some oil in the pan.
You can use sunflower oil or olive oil.
And then we'll pop that in... to the pan.
Can you hear that? Just a light...
It's very important that you use the starch
to sort of work together with the potato
to form this sort of perfect little potato pancake.
And then are you going to flip it like a pancake?
Yeah, but I've got to wait for it to cook. OK.
So, if you just look on the edges,
when you see the potato going slightly golden brown,
then that means it's ready to turn over.
Stand back. Stand back. OK, so...
Move it around the pan
so you get all of the shape of the pan all over.
And then flip.
Oh, wow! That's it.
That was perfection!
And then, that's what we want, just slightly golden.
And then just let that cook for the remaining time.
This is a nice thing to learn, you know, and it's like a simple dish.
It's simple but, you know, that, with some bacon on top
and a couple of poached eggs, is delicious.
Oh, my, yeah. OK, we're almost ready. There we go.
One last toss, make sure it's cooked through.
So it should be soft, it shouldn't be crunchy.
A little bit more salt on top. A bit of pepper.
And that's it. Pop it on the plate.
And that is your 15-minute challenge.
Would you like to have a taste?
I just don't think mine's going to look like this!
Be confident. Delicious.
OK, your time starts now.
For The Chef's Challenge, Theo is looking for a well-seasoned,
nicely coloured rosti.
To achieve this,
the cooks will need to follow Theo's instructions to the letter,
because if the consistency is too thin or too thick,
then cooking the potato evenly will prove tricky.
I've made Irish potato cakes and stuff like that, but never a rosti.
The cooks must be patient and let the rosti cook properly.
The right consistency and a decent seal will give a successful flip.
How's it going? Not bad. Hopefully...
I'm just looking for the outside now, and then I'll brave the flip.
Yeah, make sure you get the edges all nice and... Yeah.
So how's it going? Not too bad. I've got flipping phobia.
Remember that thing I said about the edges, light golden colour.
And then you know exactly that it's sealed.
If you flip that now, it'll just break apart. Yeah.
So make sure you get that seal, that crust on the potato. Yeah.
How's it going? Good.
I'm just trying to be patient and leave it to brown a bit,
and not touch it, like you said.
The thing about... You know, when things are in frying pans,
people just want to move them around or turn things. Yeah.
If you do that, it lowers the temperature.
Let it seal, get those edges, get that nice sort of golden colour,
and then you'll be ready to turn it over.
That'll be the hard bit. No, it won't.
It'll end up on the wall. It's just a flip! It's a flip.
OK. OK? Thank you.
And John is first to attempt to flip.
Here it goes.
Success for John.
And next up to flip, it's Regan.
I'm going to flip. I'm going to now.
OK. Thank you.
So, that's two out of three.
But will Simon's fear of flipping force an error?
They all seem to be doing quite well. They do.
I think they've listened to what I've said, which is great!
Yes! I wish my chefs would do the same!
No, it's really good.
It's probably going to make your job a little bit tougher.
It is tough. I think, you know,
what I'm going to look for is probably the thickness of the rosti.
They've got 15 minutes,
and I think Simon's one looks a little bit too thick. Oh, really?
But it's hard to tell,
because he just flipped it and it looked fine when it went back over.
But I think I'm going to judge it on seasoning
and the crispness of the rosti.
If this goes wrong, I'm never going to make rostis again.
Turn it up, get a bit of colour. SIMON: Yeah.
Because I've only got two minutes, I think.
I've got it now!
Cooks, you have just two minutes left.
Two minutes to go. I think I'm done.
Yeah, I'm done.
Confident in his colour and crispness,
John is first to plate up.
Cooks, your time is up.
That's it. It's time to taste.
You all seem very happy! Which is great.
OK, well, we'll get started. Shall we get started? Yeah.
I mean, they all look...
Let's just look at them first. They all look really nice.
Very even colour.
Slightly different shape there.
But on the whole, they look very, very nice.
So, let's go. Let's taste this one.
They're all delicious!
Phew! But there's good and there's very good.
That's the best. Thank you.
You're through. Thank you very much.
Congratulations. Thank you. Um...
A little bit uneven on Simon's one.
Nice amount of thyme in there. Very, very fragrant.
This one's very nice. Could've done with a little bit more seasoning.
I think this is more about kind of confidence.
And I think...
..John, you seem very confident cooking.
You were the first to plate.
You just go for it, which is kind of really nice to see.
Simon, you seem slightly not quite sure about yourself,
and you're a little bit anxious about tossing.
You did it perfectly well, you created a delicious rosti.
But I'm afraid I'm going to have to say goodbye to you.
OK. Oh, Simon. Well, well done.
You did really well. Brill.
A little bit disappointed, but I've really, really enjoyed it.
And I loved that challenge, I really enjoyed it, it was brilliant.
And some great feedback again.
So I go a little bit sad, but, yeah, I've enjoyed it.
So, that leaves just two cooks.
They are account manager John,
and Regan, who works for a marketing company.
But only one can join Theo in the Friday final.
Time for our third and final round - The Chef's Special.
Now, in this challenge, our cooks will be given a set of ingredients
to one of Theo's signature dishes.
Now, the aim of this challenge, cooks,
is to see what you can make from the same set of ingredients.
You'll get to see what Theo makes a little bit later on.
But for you at home, here's today's ingredients.
Theo's chosen ingredients are...
a squab pigeon, some thyme, Marsala, stock,
fresh pied de mouton mushrooms, Swiss chard, and sourdough.
Easy enough for an Italian maestro, but what will our home cooks make?
So, cooks, you have just one hour.
It's time to reveal your ingredients,
because your time starts now.
So, the clock is ticking,
and our cooks don't waste any time getting started.
Without hesitation, John gets busy dissecting his pigeon.
Meanwhile, Regan investigates her chard.
I'm not quite sure what this is.
So I'm just going to try it to see whether it's the leaf or the stem
that I'm going to be using.
But already, John is regretting
his hasty decision of taking his meat off the bone.
I think I've messed that bit up.
At this moment, I think I should have roasted it whole.
Cos they're only tiny, those, so...
How's it going? OK.
I think I'm going to use what I think is a guinea fowl,
cover that in some of the pancetta, cook the guinea fowl whole,
fry off some of the mushrooms and the garlic with a bit of the...
I think that might be brandy.
OK. You feel quite confident? Yeah, I think so.
Good. Best of luck. Thanks.
Hey, John. Hi. How's it going?
I think I should have just roasted that whole,
but I thought I'd try and take the breast off and do something different.
OK. So I'm going to grill the bread with some oil,
I'm going to try and get some sauce on the go,
and then get the mushrooms in there
and try and make some kind of saucey thing. Nice.
Nicey, nicey. I bet you can't wait, can you?!
So, do you think you've identified all the ingredients?
What do you think this is? I think that's a guinea fowl.
And I'm not quite sure what that is, to be honest.
Are you going to do something with that, whatever it is? I am.
Even though you don't know what it is.
I'm going to use everything. Oh, good. Great.
Good luck. Thank you very much.
So, both cooks are intending to serve up guinea fowl.
Which could prove tricky, given that they're actually cooking pigeon.
No, I've not cooked with these ingredients before.
So, yeah, this is a real challenge.
And with her pigeon taken care of, Regan has an idea for her bread.
Out of the two, whose dish excites you the most?
I'm a little bit worried about John, cos the first thing he did,
he saw the "guinea fowl" and started to take it off the bone.
And there's nothing wrong with that,
but he kind of left a lot of the meat on the bone,
so he's got these tiny two little breasts.
I'm not sure what he's going to do with the rest of the carcass.
He's sort of panicked, done a few things,
and then is thinking, "What am I actually going to make with this?"
So we'll just wait and see.
Regan, I love the way she's so confident,
and she yelped with excitement when she saw the ingredients.
It wasn't like, "What am I going to do?"
She was like, "Wow, I haven't got a clue what they are,
"but I'm going to cook something!" Yeah.
John tries to salvage his dish, bulking it up with some wings.
It tastes a bit tart, but I think once everything goes in,
then it should be good.
And as the pressure builds, Regan starts getting tactical.
I'm just having a look at what his bird's like!
Was that very pink when you cut into it?
I want to cut it, but I also want to let the meat rest.
Cooks, you have 15 minutes to go.
So this is going to go back in for another five minutes.
I think it just needs a little bit longer.
It isn't very good, this.
It's gone too thick. I did it too early, really, the sauce.
It's OK to serve rare, so I'm going to go with what I've got.
Meanwhile, John decides to ditch his toasted bread
in place of some roasted croutons he made earlier.
God knows what it's going to taste like.
But we can only try.
And with just a few minutes to go,
Regan decides to quickly pan-fry her meat.
30 seconds left.
The sauce has split!
OK, cooks, your time is up.
Look at the mess!
Well, it smells absolutely delicious, doesn't it?
It does. It's time to taste.
First, it's John.
He's made pancetta-wrapped roasted pigeon breasts,
mushroom in Marsala,
crispy croutons, and a shot of crispy fried wings.
There we go.
How did you find that? Tough.
I felt the confidence draining out of me.
Good luck. OK, well, tell us what you've made.
Well, I took the breast off the bird,
which I think was a guinea fowl.
OK. And I wrapped it in the bacon.
I cooked the mushrooms with the garlic,
and I've done a nice shot of wings.
Shot of wings! Shot of wings! That's a first!
So, it wasn't a guinea fowl. No. It was a squab pigeon. Oh, right.
They have got a very sort of lovely, subtle flavour. Right.
And they are actually quite tender.
So, let's tuck in. You go first. I'm going in there.
I love your croutons. They're really, really tasty.
They've taken on the fat of the pigeon. Yeah. It's delicious.
It's nice flavours.
The mushrooms - they're really nicely cooked.
You've done them really nicely. Thank you.
What do you think about...? Are you going to have a...?
I'm not sure about the serving vessel,
but I love anything on the bone.
That is...crispy and delicious.
It's delicious. Thank you.
Well, if you'd like to go back to the waiting room for the last time.
We will see you shortly.
Thank you very much. Well done, John. Thanks a lot, thank you.
The tasting went very well.
Really surprised, seeing as I didn't really know what I was doing
with the ingredients.
So, yeah, it went very well, it came out all right in the end.
And finally into the tasting room is Regan,
who's made roast pigeon on a bed of Swiss chard,
with garlic croutons and mushrooms in Marsala.
My dish. How did you find that challenge?
Quite hard, just because there were a couple of things on there
that I didn't really know what they were, and I hadn't had before.
But it was good. OK. Yeah.
Well, it looks delicious. It was actually squab pigeon.
OK. I'm going to try it. Yes. I hope it's nice.
That's really nice. The nice thing is, you've got the chard.
The chard's really important with it,
because you've got this sort of quite sweet flavour from the pigeon.
You need that kind of earthiness in there, and you've got that.
How did you find the mushrooms? Did you...?
Yeah, I kind of wish I hadn't cooked them for as long as I had. Mm.
Actually, could have cooked them a bit longer, actually. OK.
Really nice. I mean, you've cooked the pigeon nicely,
you've cooked it on the bone, which is interesting,
and the sauce is delicious, so really well done.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
It was good. I was quite pleased with the comments that I got.
A couple of little things that I probably could have improved on,
but, in general, he seemed to like it, which was good.
So, with the last challenge complete,
it's just left for Theo to decide
which of our two remaining home cooks
will return as his partner for the Friday final.
He kind of used his initiative and used the juices from the pigeon
to kind of make the croutons taste really good.
And the mushrooms were delicious, I must say. Mm.
Her sauce was lovely. Mm. There was a bit of finesse there.
Did you notice the croutons were all exactly the same colour?
Yeah. Absolutely perfect.
Do you feel like you've seen enough of what they can do
to make your decision?
Yeah, I think I have. I think I have. OK.
But before Theo announces the winner,
it's time to reveal what he makes with those ingredients.
So, it's over to you, Theo.
OK, so we've got the squab pigeon.
I'm going to chop off the head.
Then we take off the wings, and then you cut down the wing,
and you sort of dislocate the leg bone.
It sounds very gory, doesn't it?
It does a bit! And then you just pull the leg bone out,
and then you sort of go down to the breast.
You don't really want to cut it.
You just want to use the knife to sort of push the meat off.
That way, you don't waste too much meat.
You go over the breast bone, and then under.
And again, dislocate the leg bone.
And then just pull.
And there is the carcass.
What I've done now is I've then marinated the pigeon
with some thyme and some Marsala.
Right, so... Sea salt, black pepper.
And then I'm going to pop that in the pan skin side down.
Now, inside, there's the most delicious liver inside a pigeon,
so we're going to just pop that on the side of the pan, there.
And then I'm going to get some lovely sourdough bread.
So, it's the best fried bread in the world!
OK? And then we just turn the pigeon.
Pop a little bit more thyme. Chop the liver in half.
Put the liver on top of the bread, and just slightly sort of smear it.
Then we'll pick this up, pop that in the middle, pop the pigeon on top.
And then I've got some pancetta.
I'm putting this on raw, but what's going to happen is, as it's cured,
as there's salt in there,
it's going to actually season the meat as it cooks.
Then we're going to pop that in an oven for about ten minutes
at 180 degrees Celsius.
Now, I've got some Swiss chard here.
Would you use the stalks as well?
This is what I'm going to do. Oh, OK.
The stem, the stalk, is actually incredibly sweet.
So we'll pop this into some boiling salted water.
And chard stalks, in it goes.
We'll cook that for a couple of minutes.
And then we add the garlic in a pan, a bit of olive oil.
OK, then we've got our mushrooms.
These are called pied de mouton,
which are basically like lambs' feet.
So we're going to just fry them gently.
You first started working in a kitchen
when you were about 14 years old?
I think I was about 15. About 15. Yeah.
A friend of mine worked in this restaurant, this little kind of French bistro,
and they needed a kitchen porter on a Thursday night.
And I thought, "Ooh, I can earn a bit of pocket money."
So I went down there,
and I remember just loving the atmosphere of this kitchen.
It was like a theatre.
This crazy guy sort of telling the waiters what to do,
and the waiters telling him... It was just brilliant.
And so I kind of fell in love with kitchens very early on.
So I sort of went to a chef called Max Magarian,
who had a restaurant called Chez Max.
I remember going there on my 18th birthday and having dinner there
and saying to him, out of the blue, I just said, "Can I have a job?"
He was, like, "I can't give you a job in the kitchen,
"but I can give you a job as a waiter.
Now, I was the world's worst waiter.
I did my time on the floor,
and luckily enough, I got in the kitchen. Yeah.
And then I went to a restaurant
that had sort of just opened on the Thames
called the River Cafe.
And, you know, it was one of those places
that was being in the right place at the right time.
And then, in 2006,
this site came up at the InterContinental on Park Lane,
and they offered me the space. It was one of those moments
where you think, "Should I do it? What shall I do?
I thought, "Just go for it."
That's amazing. All very exciting. Yes.
Right, so - pigeon.
You can see the fat's sort of quite rendered down a bit,
like a duck, almost.
So we'll take one of these, pop that there.
And then put a bit of the chard... Do a little scattering.
And then get our pigeon.
We're just going to cut it through the middle,
so you get that lovely bit of the breast.
Nice. Put a few of the mushrooms around the plate,
and then we're going to put on our beautiful, juicy pigeon.
And then we'll get some pancetta, and then get some of that juice.
And there you have my version of the pigeon!
Well, let's have a taste!
Do you want to dig in?
Oops! You've got the bone. I've got the bone.
Really, really stunning. Yeah, delicious.
Wow! That's how to do it.
Thank you so much, that was absolutely delicious.
My pleasure. But now it's time to reveal
who you're going to pick as your partner for the Friday final.
But before you do, let's have a quick recap
of what our cooks made earlier.
John produced an impressive and well-balanced dish of the day
in the first round.
He was first to plate up his rosti in the second.
But lost his confidence with his pigeon in the final challenge.
At this moment, I think I should have roasted it whole.
It'd mean the world to win today,
because to cook with Theo in the Friday final would be fantastic.
Meanwhile, Regan impressed Theo
with her classic seafood stew in the first round.
It is delicious. Thank you.
Made a perfect potato rosti in the second.
And balanced her earthy flavours well in round three.
I hope I've got a chance of winning.
I like to think so, after the comments that I got.
They all seemed quite positive.
So, Theo, it's time to declare your winner.
Our cooks have completed three challenges,
they've done extremely well.
Very well. But you can only take one of them to the Friday final.
So it's over to you.
So, you've both been brilliant, I have to say,
you've both been amazing.
You've cooked really well,
you both have passion for food, which is really nice to see.
The person going through to the final...
..is Regan. Well done.
Thank you so much. Thank you very much, and well done. Well done.
Thank you. Be proud of yourself.
I feel amazing. I can't believe I've won.
I didn't really think there was that much between our dishes,
so really, really happy that I've won.
Disappointed to be out, but Regan was a great cook,
and I think she was more overjoyed
to see the revealed ingredients more than I was.
So, I think because of that enthusiasm for the ingredients,
she did a bit of a better plate of food in the end.
So, Theo, are there any last tips you'd like to give Regan?
Listen to what I say and look at my eyes. Yes, Chef!
So excited about working with Theo,
I think I couldn't have had a better chef to work with.
Yeah, can't wait.
Tomorrow on Yes Chef,
four more home cooks go all out to impress top chef Aiden Byrne.
It's a bowl of flavoured water. Mm-hm.
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.
I'm really torn, here.
Michelin-starred chef Theo Randall has his eye on the prize as he puts four home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect potato rosti. Theo will be judged by triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann in the final, so his professional pride is at stake. But which home cook will he choose?