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Four of the best chefs in Britain
are on the hunt for their perfect partner.
Three amateur home cooks are here to prove they have what it takes to be
paired with the best in the business,
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
That sauce isn't a sauce. It's solid!
Each day, a different Michelin-starred chef
will choose their perfect partner from three talented home cooks.
-I'm pleased with that.
-Don't throw it away, don't throw it away!
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.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line,
but will the amateur home cooks live up to expectations?
This is Yes, Chef.
Hello, and welcome to Yes, Chef.
Let's see who's cooking in the kitchen today.
First up, it's stay-at-home dad Darren Oldham from Leeds.
I find cooking therapeutic and easy.
It's a doddle to me, really.
I'd sooner be in a kitchen than in an office.
Next is Charlie Turrell, a Manchester-based events manager.
My friends and family are obsessed with me cooking constantly.
Everybody always wants to come over for tea and try something different.
And I've not poisoned anybody yet!
And finally, Ben Jones.
A business development manager from Puckeridge, in Hertfordshire.
I'd say I'm reasonably adventurous.
I don't cook with crazy ingredients,
but I'm not afraid to try something a bit different.
So all we need now is our chef!
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 is committed to using sustainable and seasonal ingredients,
and his passion for food began at a very early age.
As a young child, I'd cook 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.
I just love tasting things.
The passion that drives me is because it creates happy memories.
And everybody comes together with food.
Having worked with some of the UK's most prestigious restaurateurs,
including Gordon Ramsay,
Ryan combines classic and modern techniques
to produce inventive dishes.
OK, check on, guys. Cuttlefish and oxtail.
Quite photogenic, that.
His standards are extremely high,
and he knows exactly what he wants from his home cooks.
I am really looking for somebody who can be methodical.
I'm looking for somebody who is very tidy as well, because a tidy chef,
a clean chef, is a tidy dish.
Fantastic. 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, everyone, to Yes, Chef.
Now, Ryan, you're going to be picking one of our home cooks
to be your partner in this week's Friday Final.
-What are you going to be looking for?
Well, looking for passion and excitement for food -
you know, seasoning,
seasonality, all that sort of thing.
So show your passion for flavour.
Brilliant. Well, let's get on with it.
Good luck, because your time starts now!
So our cooks are off.
Today, Darren's making tarragon chicken in a white wine and chestnut
It's one of Darren's favourite dishes,
and even though he's made it many times,
cooking alongside the other home cooks is making him anxious.
Yeah, I'm a bit nervous now!
There's some really nice ingredients on the next bench to me.
-How are we?
-Not too bad.
-Are you enjoying it?
Yeah, just a bit nervous.
Slowly getting them under wraps, though.
Just pretend you're cooking for your mum, you'll be fine.
One of my favourite combinations is this, here.
-Tarragon with the chicken.
-Cos the aniseed, it works really, really well.
-Well good luck, you'll be fine.
Over at the green station,
Charlie's chosen a loin of venison with juniper salt,
served with braised cabbage and balsamic onions.
There's loads of different things that go into it right at the very
beginning. Once that's in there,
I'll hopefully get quite a lot of flavour out of it.
Charlie's hoping that her dish will deliver a distinctive taste to grab
Ryan's attention. But with just 45 minutes on the clock,
there's no time to waste.
-How are we getting on?
-Yeah, I'm all right.
Time goes way too quick!
-So, how did you get into cooking?
Because you're really into it!
It's a really ridiculous story.
When I was 18, I was walking home from work and got run over.
-Oh, my gosh!
I wasn't out of the house for about a year.
-Oh, my gosh!
-And full of metal.
So I tried to find a hobby that I could kind of get involved with,
and nothing would work. And then I bought a couple of cookbooks
and literally made every single recipe out of the book.
-And absolutely loved it, and just carried on from there.
I didn't even know what half the ingredients were.
What do you enjoy the most about cooking?
The way other people like it as well.
I like to do kind of meals with friends.
-That's a fantastic answer, actually.
-And everybody gets so happy and
-Well, I'm looking forward to tasting and smiling in a bit!
-OK, I hope so, anyway.
-Good luck, Charlie.
Business development manager Ben has decided on fish tacos served
with his own chipotle sauce,
inspired by a trip to the States.
-Hi. How are you doing?
-You doing all right?
-How are you doing, more importantly?
Good. I'm making fish tacos,
-Oh! From where?
-From New York.
-Yeah, so we found this little place
that's literally selling fish tacos out of an old camper van.
And they were just incredible.
So this is me trying to recreate them!
-What fish are you using today?
-I'm using loin of cod.
Wow, OK. Very interesting.
Is there a reason for that?
So... I've used a few,
and this is the one that I think, as long as I do it right, is amazing.
OK, well, we'll let you get on.
-Yep, thank you!
-We look forward to tasting your tacos.
-Yes, thanks very much!
I'll be putting my cream in shortly to start poaching the chicken,
with the tarragon.
Darren's dish really excites me,
cos he's thinking about how dry the chicken can get.
So he's roasting it first, which we've seen him do,
and then he's putting it in the sauce to finish it off.
Hopefully, the chicken will be poached in time.
Normally, I do it about two minutes on either side,
which is relatively rare, for me.
-Let's move on to Charlie.
-Now, she's got lots of things going on,
-lots of interesting ingredients.
-Yeah, she really impressed me.
I'm going to do it a little bit over, just in case.
She wants to put a smile on people's faces, cos it's enjoyable.
The flavours she's got, I mean,
I'd pay money to have that in a restaurant,
I hope I've been adventurous enough. It's quite a simple dish.
Ben, fish tacos, which... I love fish tacos!
Well, yeah, I mean, it's comfort food, isn't it?
It's one that I think is full of flavour.
And I'm confident with it, so hopefully it'll be enough.
Crispy fish, mayonnaise...
-You can't go wrong!
Cooks, you've got just 15 minutes left.
15 minutes to go.
Ben's Mexican menu is already appealing to Ryan,
but can he use his uncomplicated choice to show off his skills and
confidence in the kitchen to win a place in the Friday Final?
And over on the red station,
Darren's feeling less than positive about his meat.
The chicken could be cooked, it might not be.
I'm not 100% sure at the moment.
How are you getting on, Darren?
Getting there, I'm not sure my chicken's going to be cooked, so...
So you've just put that over to...
-Get it going along?
-I'm sure it'll be fine.
I want it to be nice and crispy, so, no, I think I'm ready.
Let's just do it. Let's get this done.
In a bid to stand out from the other two cooks,
Ben's using beer to make sure his batter is light and flavoursome.
He's hoping the bubbles in the beer will give it that all-important
Well, I've burnt my walnuts, so...
Meanwhile, a mistake with her timings
has left Charlie with some unplanned crunchiness.
I've totally burnt my walnuts.
I'm going to give that another go, which is why I only used a couple.
When you're not using kind of the oven that you'd normally use
at home, you don't realise how fast everything else cooks as well.
A lot of good smells.
You happy with the cooking on that one?
It's a little underdone, for me.
The best way to eat venison, rare.
It should be, best way to eat most meat!
Cooks, you've got just one minute left.
One minute to go.
Probably a little bit behind, but I should be all right.
It's a crucial moment for Ben's beer-battered fish,
as he's about to find out if his finished product is crispy enough.
I'm pleased with that. Nice and crispy.
But with moments to go, Darren's got a problem with his potato.
You all right?
-No, it's not...
-Do you want a hand?
-No, it's not cooked.
Don't throw it away!
I'll still have enough in there.
It's just not cooked enough.
-Is it not?
What you need to do is just roughly chop it with a knife.
-Roughly chop it with a knife, so it's a bit coarser...
-So it's like a hash.
-It'll be better.
-As Darren sets to work saving his spuds,
Charlie's counting on her sloe gin and balsamic jus
to add the right burst of flavour to her dish.
Ben is first to finish,
but Darren needs every last second
to get his chicken dish onto the plate.
Five, four, three, two...
Get it on there! ..one.
Right, that's it!
You've done all you can.
Step away from your plates.
It's time to taste!
First to face the judges is Darren.
He's serving tarragon cream chicken with a celeriac hash,
topped with crispy chicken skin.
-How was that?
I just hope my chicken's cooked.
OK, all right.
-Well, let's taste.
-Let's see if it's cooked first.
Yeah, cooked perfect.
-It's a relief!
-It's a big relief!
I hope it tastes nice now...
Yeah, it's cooked perfect.
Tasted this much, cooking it?
I didn't taste the celeriac, but I tasted the cream once.
The only thing I would really want
on that is more flavour, more seasoning.
I don't think you've seasoned the celeriac or the sauce,
but all in all, chicken is cooked lovely,
the skin is nice and crispy so you've got a balance of texture.
-It's a job well done.
-Good! Well done, Darren.
We'll see you shortly.
-All right, thank you.
It was touch and go, to be honest.
I had literally five seconds to get it on the plate.
That's really nice.
It's an art to get chicken moist.
-To cook a piece of chicken like that, well done to him.
-I like it!
-And obviously, Darren seemed really nervous.
-Does that worry you?
It does concern me, because you've got to think outside the box
-and you've got to go fast!
Initially, I were nervous,
but I was just happy with the comments at the end -
lacking a little bit of seasoning, but other than that,
everything was fine.
Next up is Charlie.
She's made loin of venison with juniper salt
served with a side of red cabbage and a sloe gin and blackberry jus.
Lovely! How did you find the challenge?
It was all right, actually.
Yeah, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I was going to be.
-Well, let's taste.
Really zingy and fresh.
So your venison's cooked perfect.
-You've got to eat venison rare.
-Cos it's a very lean meat.
-And this is the venison loin you've used?
Fantastic. Really, really good balance. Yeah, very good.
-Well done, Charlie.
-Yeah, I'm really chuffed! Thank you.
We'll see you very soon.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you so much!
I was over the moon with the comments.
He had nothing negative to say about it,
so that was more than I'd hoped for in the beginning, anyway.
It's absolutely gorgeous.
Everything was spot-on, really.
It was very seasonal. It was a good association with everything.
-Brilliant, brilliant start.
-I think we're in trouble, Darren!
The only criticism would be a little bit too much acidity.
I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult,
but I actually loved it.
And last to be judged is Ben.
He's made beer-battered fish tacos
with a red onion salad and a chipotle sauce,
served with a glass of beer.
-How did you find the challenge?
It was good, yeah, I really, really enjoyed it.
-OK, well let's taste.
-Cool. Yeah, let's try it.
I love cod like this.
-That batter is lovely!
-And it's still got the crunch.
-The crunch is there.
I would have thinned the batter out a little bit more.
-Bit more? OK.
-I'm going to try...
-Drink your beer!
-Yeah, do you want to try first?
-No, you go.
One of us has got to remain sober!
Yeah, it's just great. It's interactive, isn't it?
-It's good fun.
-Yeah, it's really nice.
-Thank you. Thanks very much.
-We'll see you really shortly.
-Thanks very much.
-Here's your beer.
-Enjoy the beer!
That looks so nice.
It was amazing to get such comments from such a brilliant chef.
Quite simple in my eyes, but it was really, really, really nice.
Did you make your own mayonnaise in the end?
He thought about putting the vinegar through the onions,
which is quite nice, cos it seasons it.
There's two other really, really good cooks in there,
and having tasted their food, I know it's going to be tough,
-but, yeah, no, I've got a chance.
-They are all strong.
I mean, it's really, really good standard.
So it's all still to play for?
All still to play for.
Ryan can choose only one of these three home cooks
as his partner for the Friday Final.
And he has just one more round to see everyone in action.
So Ryan has set you a skills test to see who's got the skills he is
So today, we are going to be doing steak tartare.
-Do you all know what that is?
So the cut of meat that I'm going to be using is called an onglet.
First, what you're going to find, you're going to find a big piece of
sinew straight through the centre.
So, you don't want to be eating the sinew.
And you're just gonna take that out, that little bit of sinew.
We're just going to do a little
cross-section against the beef, like so.
As you can see... We won't need all of this for one person.
So we're just going to put a little bit to the side.
I'm going to cut this into four little pieces,
so straight down the centre.
And then I'm just going to slice.
I'm going to get the meat, I'm just going to pop it into this bowl here,
Of course, next we're going to be making a mayonnaise.
We always start a mayonnaise with a little bit of mustard, OK?
So, a little bit of mustard.
We're also going to add a little bit of the egg.
Just like so.
We'll just whisk these in a little bit.
So this is just grape seed oil, now.
So you can see that's a lovely mayonnaise.
So I'd say we're there.
You've got a nice, stiff peak on your mayonnaise.
I'm just going to change the face of it now.
So a little bit of ketchup...
Now, it can take more ketchup,
but I'm going to use tomato paste cos it's a bit thicker,
so it's almost the same consistency as the mayonnaise.
I'm going to add a little bit of cognac to that.
A little bit of Worcester sauce.
A little bit of Tabasco, a little bit of a kick.
That is looking now like a Marie Rose sauce.
That's absolutely beautiful!
We'll start with the capers.
Pop them in whole. These are little lilliput capers.
You've got your shallot.
Push it down with your hand, OK?
To make it nice and flat. I cut it like this.
I'm going to pop the shallots in.
There we go.
Right, cornichons, gherkins -
straight down the centre and straight down the centre again.
We're going to take some parsley -
it really cleans your palate and cleans your mouth.
So there's your parsley, your herb.
Mix it all together. And we've got the finished dish.
Get the sauce in there. Like so.
You don't want it swimming in the sauce.
You just want the sauce to bind it.
OK? Put it in a ring...
It's more than a steak tartare, done!
Fabulous. Right, guys, have a taste.
-It's really nice.
You've got your flavours, you've got everything balanced.
That's really nice. I'm definitely copying that at home!
-Oh, wow. Right, you feeling confident, guys?
-Yeah. Why not?
Right, well, if you'd like to make your way back to your stations,
So, our cooks have just 15 minutes to complete Ryan's skills challenge,
and to make the perfect steak tartare with a Marie Rose sauce.
The first delicate step in the process is to combine
the egg yolks with the oil.
The part I'm most worried about is the mayonnaise,
cos when I've made it at home, in the past, it's split.
Hopefully, I'll be able to pull it off as well as Chef, if not better!
SHE LAUGHS Go on, Darren!
I've never, ever made a mayonnaise before, but
Chef made it look super easy, and I'm pretty sure it's not!
I am feeling confident about the challenge today,
it's my second attempt of the day to make mayonnaise.
See, I would have watched how much oil I put in there.
Like, he might think that's enough now, but that could take a lot more.
Ryan's looking for a rich, velvety mayonnaise.
Too much oil added too quickly will result in a runny mess!
My arm already aches, and it feels like I've not done anything yet!
I'm not going to have the energy to cut the meat at this rate!
They are all making a good start.
-And there's a few bowls flying around, but apart from that...
Charlie concerns me a little bit, cos she's kind of stirring it,
-she's going too slow.
So she should be really putting her arm in there and whisking...?
Yeah, so you're emulsifying.
Oh, my goodness me!
Even though you've been shown, it's kind of like, "Is it right?
"Have I added enough oil? Should I have a little bit more of this?"
-There's a lot of decisions to be made.
It tastes good. Just needs a bit of a kick!
I heard Darren say that he thinks his will be really good,
if not better than yours!
You like the confidence?
Yeah, yeah, that's what I always say.
I want to do it as good, if not better!
At the moment, it tastes more or less on par with Chef's!
Are you happy with your mayo?
I left it to one side, and then I'm going to try it again,
cos I think when you get a second go at it...
-..you can almost tell if you've done it right or not.
OK. Good luck!
Cooks, you've got just five minutes left.
-Five minutes to go. Are you OK, panicking?
-Yeah, no, I think I'll be all right.
-You've done your sauce, haven't you?
Yeah, the sauce is done.
Just onto the... Yeah, the final bits and pieces for the...
-for the steak.
-All right, I'll let you get on.
-You all right, Darren?
-Yeah, cutting my beef up.
-How is your sauce, are you happy with it?
-Yeah, really happy with it.
-I think it's better than Chef's, to be honest!
One minute to go, guys.
Just one minute left...
With time ticking away,
our cooks must use every last second to get the balance of cornichons,
sauce and parsley just right.
But Ben's made a huge mistake...
-Mix it in the ring.
30 seconds left.
Forgot the parsley, so I've had to chop it last minute,
and I tried to mix it in the ring, so we'll see how that turns out...
Ten, nine, eight,
seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one...
That's it, stop cooking!
Step away from your plates.
You've done all you can.
It's time to taste!
It's the moment of truth.
One of our home cooks will be leaving the competition
at the end of this challenge,
and keeping their performance from round one in mind,
Ryan will be judging their steak tartares to firm up his decision.
-All right, well, let's taste!
-Yeah, looks good.
-This one first.
Three totally different plates of food.
What I'm looking for, really, is the seasoning.
And this one in the middle, that really sticks out, the seasoning.
You've hit the flavour there.
For yourself, you've let yourself down with the seasoning again.
It's... It's a little bit, kind of...
-There's nothing sticking out.
I need that big hit of seasoning.
If I was to eat this in a restaurant,
I'd be happy eating this one because I've got the flavour there.
But other than that, they're all really, really good.
Yeah, well done, all three of you.
So obviously, Ryan's got to make his mind up now.
So if you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
we will see you very shortly!
-But well done.
-Well done, you did great.
-Cheers, thank you.
-You can take your plates.
The home cooks have done all they can,
so Ryan has a tough decision to make.
Overall, were you impressed?
Yeah, yeah. Really good.
Because they've done a mayonnaise.
They've got it all together, they've got it done in 15 minutes.
It went all right, it's just lack of seasoning, again.
I let myself down, like I did on the first course.
I forgot the parsley,
so I had to chop that up in about 15 seconds and then mix it in the ring,
but I think I got away with it.
I was pleased with how it looked on the plate, so, yeah.
I've never even made mayonnaise, but being able to watch the chef do it,
and then using such great ingredients,
I actually really enjoyed myself.
You've got to think about their first challenge.
-If that helps.
It does, yeah, definitely, cos nerves...
Because, I mean, when you're faced with someone like Pierre Koffmann in
-front of you...
-Even I crumble, so...
-So we've got to make sure...
-Have you got an idea who you think you're
-going to send home?
-I think so, yeah.
-Yeah, I think I'm ready to make a decision.
-OK, let's go tell them.
So you've all completed two challenges,
and Ryan has seen what you're capable of,
but sadly, he can only take one of you through to the Friday Final,
so we have to say goodbye to one of you now,
and Ryan has made his mind up. So it's over to you, Ryan.
Yeah, this is the difficult part now,
because you're all great home cooks,
but I do need to go through to the final on Friday.
I need somebody strong.
I've been there before, I know what it's all about.
So, unfortunately, I've chosen to eliminate...
It's sad to say goodbye to you.
Definitely gutted. It was just the seasoning that let me down,
a pinch of salt.
-Just keep cooking.
-Ah, I will.
Nowt would stop me cooking.
So that leaves just two home cooks -
events manager Charlie...
Yay! Oh, I'm really happy, actually.
I'm really happy I've got through.
..and businessman Ben.
I'm absolutely delighted to be cooking again this afternoon.
Hopefully, I can keep impressing him.
But only one can be chosen as Ryan's partner for the Friday Final.
So, cooks, you'll have one hour to create a dish of your own.
Ryan, any tips for our cooks?
Yeah - just keep calm, but taste everything,
and then just make it your own.
Remember, it's your dish, not mine.
Ryan's chosen mackerel, sugar, honey
and Greek set yoghurt, miso paste,
rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar,
mirin, soy sauce, double cream,
spring onions, lemon, shallot,
daikon radish, also known as mooli,
horseradish, red amaranth,
watercress and red radishes,
a sheet of nori seaweed, and oyster leaf.
You've got one hour. Reveal your ingredients,
because your time starts now.
That's a mackerel.
That's the biggest parsnip in the world.
Don't think it is.
This is the first time our cooks are seeing the ingredients.
And whilst some may be proving tricky to identify,
how much do they know about handling a whole mackerel?
I have never filleted a fish before.
So we'll see how this goes.
I've got a plan as to how I'm going to do it.
So what I'm going to do is play make a meal that I would've done at home,
maybe using a different main ingredient,
and then incorporate that into something that I already know.
Hopefully that'll work.
Both cooks seem to have a plan,
and while Charlie starts with the horseradish,
Ben gets straight to work with the messy task of filleting the fish.
That is so gross.
How are you doing with the fish?
Erm, I'm massacring the fish at the moment.
-You'll enjoy this bit.
-I actually can't wait.
-How are we getting on?
-Yeah, all right.
-These are my fillets of what I think is mackerel.
Erm, that's the first time I've filleted...
-It is mackerel.
-It is mackerel, yeah,
so it's the first time I've filleted fish.
-So I just need to pin bone it now.
-That is a giant parsnip, or something.
-A root vegetable that...
-It's definitely giant!
So what I'm going to do is try and make a giant root vegetable and
horseradish puree out of that.
-OK. OK, well, good luck.
Thanks very much.
-You'll be fine.
-Yep, I will.
This is really gross.
And it's probably the first time I've ever even touched
a real live fish before.
-All right, Charlie, all good?
Yeah. So basically, I think I'm going to do
some kind of Asian mackerel salad,
-I'm not entirely sure
what I'm going to do with the horseradish yet,
but I've peeled a couple, and I'm probably going to add little bits of that into the big salad.
-Yeah. That sounds nice, doesn't it?
Yeah, it does sound nice. Have you filleted a fish before?
This is the scariest thing I've ever done in my life.
So, no, but I'm just going to give it my best shot.
And hopefully everything will be edible.
-Well, we won't stand here and watch you.
-Yeah, stand here and watch me.
-Good luck, Charlie.
-Ta, thank you.
-Good luck. Enjoy.
-So let's start with Charlie.
What do you think of what she's going to make?
It sounds like what I'm going to do.
-Kind of like a bit of a radishy salad thing.
I'm going to cook the fish in a little bit of soy.
She filleted the fish quite well, you know,
for the first time and you've never done it...
I think it's so hard if you've never done it before.
You should've seen the first time I ever filleted fish!
Ben, yeah, I think he's got a bit of a problem identifying ingredients.
Do you know what this is, Charlie?
-No, I'm not entirely sure.
-It's just what it looks like to him,
so a mooli does look like a giant parsnip, but it's far from it.
So he says he's going to do a parsnip puree,
which is quite worrying.
So you try and puree a mooli, you're going to end up with water.
-Oh, my gosh.
-Grainy, grainy liquidy water.
That's good at squeezing the liquid out,
but that's not what you're supposed to do.
So that could be a disaster?
It could be a disaster, yeah.
I've just cooked something that I've no idea what it is.
-Have you tried it, though? It's...
-Oh, right, OK.
-Tastes like a fruit.
I might have invented something new. I'm pretty convinced I haven't.
There's nothing wrong with that.
It's very watery, yeah.
But I can... I'll be trying to bring that back.
Are you still convinced it's a parsnip?
No, I'm convinced it's not a parsnip.
It tastes like water chestnut.
-Well, do you know what to do with a water chestnut, though?
-All right, OK.
Ben might have mistaken the daikon radish,
also known as mooli, for a parsnip, but he's determined not to give up.
If anyone wants a recipe for sludge, let me know.
Cooks, you've got just ten minutes left.
Ten minutes to go.
And things are no easier for Charlie,
who has very little experience of working with fish.
I've never cooked it before.
So I'm doing a little bit of a tester.
I'm going to see how hot it needs to be.
I tried a mini bit of the fish.
For the first time in my life. Not actually. And, do you know what,
it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
-What don't you like about fish?
-It's because of when I was younger,
when I had some and then I wasn't well, and, you know,
when you associate that with it then being all fish?
I suppose if you don't eat it at home, you're not going to cook it,
Ryan's mackerel recipe is definitely pushing Charlie out of her comfort
zone. And over on the yellow station,
the unfamiliar ingredients are forcing Ben to experiment.
Oh, what have you done here?
Erm, I think I've made crispy seaweed.
But I don't know that for sure.
-What does it taste like?
-It tastes like crispy seaweed.
Oh, good. Have you done like a little radish...?
That's like a little radish, pickled radish salad
-that I'm going for there, yeah.
-Nice - that smells good as well.
-So it's all coming together.
Yes, it is, definitely.
-Keep saying it. Yeah, it's fine.
-It is - it will come together.
So while both cooks are desperate to impress Ryan with a perfectly
time is ticking on, and in the final minutes of the competition...
..they turn their attention to presentation.
But whose mackerel will secure a place in the final?
Ten, nine, eight,
three, two, one.
That's it, guys. Step away from your plates.
You've done all you can.
First into the judging room is Charlie.
She's chosen to make marinated mackerel,
served with an Asian salad of radish and watercress,
with a horseradish miso dressing.
-How did you find it?
-It was terrifying!
-I'm not going to lie.
-Shall we tuck in?
I love mackerel. It's one of my favourite fishes.
-It's a slight bit overcooked...
But it's very pleasant to eat, isn't it?
It tastes lovely and fresh.
The flavour's beautiful. Yeah.
You used honey in there, yeah?
Yeah, a little bit, right at the very end.
The honey's really balanced it. It's nice. Great texture.
The mooli's lovely. Yeah, it's really, really nice.
-Oh, that's fantastic. Thank you very much.
-Well done, Charlie.
-If you'd like to go back to the waiting room for the last time,
-we will see you shortly.
-Thank you. Ta.
-How did it go?
It went better than I thought it was going to go.
-That was lovely.
-It was, yeah.
-All the flavours really complemented each other.
-It's really nice.
-It's another good one.
-I think there could have been a bit more refinement as in
But with a bit of guidance, there's promising signs.
I've never cooked with fish.
I've never held a fresh fish in my hand before,
so to get something on the plate by the end that was actually edible
was a real surprise, and a little bit of a relief, really.
And finally it's Ben.
He's serving mackerel in a soy miso marinade,
with a side of pickled radishes, and mooli puree.
How was that for you?
It was pretty intense, actually.
But, no, I got to plate up, so I was pleased with that.
Cool, right, I'm just going to go for the puree first,
just cos I'm intrigued because I've never...
I've never pureed it before.
-Very strong radish flavour.
-It's all right, though.
-It's not bad, is it?
-It's all right.
Your fish is cooked beautiful.
Mm, I think the puree - it's not for me, personally.
It wasn't for me, to be honest!
But them two together, it was really, really good.
-Yeah. Quite interesting.
-Thanks a lot.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
-we'll see you really shortly.
That's all that's left?
Yes. It went well, actually.
Yeah, aside from the puree,
everything else on the plate was good.
I was pleased with it.
Poor Ben, and his puree.
Yeah, I mean, do a plate of them pickles with the mackerel on,
-and you've got a winning dish.
I don't want to try the puree!
-It's pretty grim.
-The mackerel was seasoned, it was cooked much better.
The comment about the fish particularly -
they said that was really nicely cooked.
What I did with the seaweed was really good so, yeah, all positive -
apart from the puree.
Have you any idea who you might take to the Friday Final?
They've both got strong points, they've both got weak points.
-Yeah. Well, let's see what you make
with those ingredients, and then you can make your decision.
Yes, let's go.
So this is the best bit, my favourite part.
You two get to sit down and relax,
and we get to see what Ryan makes with those ingredients.
So, Ryan, take it away!
Cool. Right, so we've got this lovely Cornish mackerel,
best mackerel in the world.
We're going to just go at a bit of an angle,
and we're just going to press down on the backbone, OK?
And let that backbone be the guidance for filleting, OK?
Follow that all the way down,
cos that's just taking out them little bit of bones from the top.
OK? Right, OK, so to cure it, we'll take some lovely Maldon sea salt.
Equal quantities of sea salt and sugar.
We've got some nice sugar there.
I'm just going to pop that on top like that.
So basically, we're going to put that to one side.
The first thing we are going to make now is we're going to start the
horseradish cream. So first, we are going to make a little shallot
reduction. So we're just going to get our shallot...
That's us done with the shallot. I would make a joke and say,
"That's ya lot," but...
-..I've done that enough times.
OK, so a little bit of red wine vinegar,
and all I'm going to do is reduce that until there's nothing left.
And I'm just going to pop that on the stove.
We're going to put a little bit of cream.
Just pour that in.
These shallots, as you can see, are reduced right down. See?
-OK, that was quick.
Just pop them in there, just to cool down.
There we go.
We're going to get the horseradish now.
Big fan of horseradish.
I think you both got that straightaway,
that that was horseradish, didn't you?
And we're just going to grate that into the cream.
-Can you see that going in?
It's quite bland at the moment, so it needs quite a lot of salt.
What we'll do now, we'll do the radishes.
-So we'll get the radish all prepped.
OK, so just some nice strips.
Now, what I'm going to do now is put it in a little bit of water,
and the water will almost refresh it,
-and it will make it a little bit crispy.
-So nice cold water.
We've got the radishes. Now, these radishes look absolutely stunning,
don't they? So I'm going to leave some of these whole, actually,
-because I'm a really big fan of radishes.
-So am I!
With the spring onions, I'm going to char them.
I'm going to really, really char them,
so we're going to get them on straightaway.
So we're just going to leave them on there, in the centre, just to char.
OK, so while that's charring there, we're going to make the honey miso.
We're going to get some honey in there. Big fan of honey.
Mixing the honey and the miso together, just like that.
And then we've got rice wine vinegar,
we've got a little bit of mirin,
and we've also got some soy.
So we want to balance it with these three.
Now, only a tiny bit.
A little bit of rice wine vinegar, not too much.
Cos you don't want too much acidity coming through.
Bit of soy sauce.
So all we're going to do now is a quick nori powder,
so we're going to use the nori seaweed.
So we're just going to pop that in.
So now you're going to pick a little bit of watercress for presentation.
I think that's good.
So we've got a little bit of red amaranth,
and we've got a little bit of coriander,
sticking with that Asian kind of theme.
OK? So we'll pop that in there, just bring it back to life.
Right, so I'm going to wash off the mackerel now.
And all you're going to do is wash off,
and you can see how firm it is already, the flesh.
So we're just going to wash that off, just like so.
These are going to be really kind of, like, heavy flavours going on.
And then we'll do these like that, at different angles.
OK, and we're going to take the fish.
We're just going to flip it,
so you can see you've got that real grilled look to the fish -
that's exactly what you want.
And all we're going to do is just deglaze with a little bit of lemon.
Done, and out, OK.
So it's almost raw, the other side, OK?
We're going to put a little bit of the honey miso on.
A little bit of salad.
-And there we go.
Right, well, let's taste.
That is incredible, yeah.
-Oh, my God.
-That is unbelievable.
-It is so good.
-Well done, Ryan.
Thank you so much.
But now it's the moment of truth.
Before you tell us who you've picked to be your partner
in the Friday Final,
let's have a quick recap of what our cooks made earlier.
In round one, Charlie produced some perfectly cooked venison.
Her well-seasoned sauce stole the show in round two.
And her first ever fish dish was a flavour hit in the final round.
I'm not sure if I've done enough to win, but I hope I have.
Meanwhile, Ben's beer-battered fish tacos impressed Ryan
in the first round.
His well-executed steak tartare
secured his place in the competition,
and in the third round he showcased his knife skills with mackerel,
but has his puree ruined his chances of a place in the Friday Final?
I hope that I've done enough.
I certainly did the best that I could, I think.
First of all, I'd like to say a massive well done to both of you.
You've been absolutely brilliant,
-and I hope you've both had a really good day.
-It's been fab.
-Yeah, it's been amazing.
-Yeah, it's been really good.
But Ryan can only take one of you to be his
partner for the Friday Final, and he has made his mind up.
So, Ryan, it's over to you.
Yeah, guys, honestly, fantastic cooking today.
But I had to come to a decision. I can't take both of you through.
If I could, I'd probably win.
So the person I'm going to be taking through is going to be...
-Oh, my God.
I actually can't believe that I'm going to be cooking on Friday -
I'm disappointed, having come all this way,
not to be coming back on Friday, but I've absolutely loved today.
So any last tips for Charlie for the Friday Final?
Basically, just take direction, just listen and just focus.
Just enjoy yourself. I think Charlie's going to be a great asset.
And she's got a bubbly character. She's a very likeable person,
so, you know, I think that's going to come through in the cooking.
I'm really excited to be working with Ryan in the final,
and I hope we do really well.
Tomorrow on Yes, Chef...
Three more home cooks go all-out to impress top chef Atul Kochhar.
I think I'm creatively stuck.
It's the chance for them to work alongside the best in the business.
30 seconds to go.
But only one can become their partner in the Friday Final.
Ryan Simpson has his eye on the prize as he puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect steak tartare. Ryan 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?