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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.
Oh, for goodness' sake, get some seasoning in that!
Each day, a different top chef will choose their perfect partner
from three talented home cooks.
Has anyone nearly finished, like me?
Then. in the Friday final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head
to cook for culinary royalty Pierre Koffmann.
The way they impress 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 meet today's home cooks.
First up, it's Seb Richardson.
He's an RAF driver from Lincoln.
I would describe my cooking as very rustic.
My biggest weakness would be my presentation.
Hopefully my flavour will make them oversee it.
Next is Lauren Grimes, a local government officer from the Wirral.
I wouldn't say I was the most confident in the kitchen
but I really enjoy it.
My worst nightmare would be that I didn't turn the oven on,
because I've done that before.
And finally, Ian Phillipson.
He runs his own car events business in Chelmsford, Essex.
I'm really looking forward to cooking for a Michelin-starred chef.
It's really nice to know whether your food actually stands up.
If it's good, it's good. If it's not, they're going to tell me.
Well, our cooks are ready to go, so let's meet today's chef.
Stephen Terry is the chef and owner of The Hardwick in Abergavenny
and earned his first Michelin star aged just 25.
My cooking style is modern British with French foundations.
Honest, seasonal - but, most importantly, tasty.
He trained under Marco Pierre White, Michel Roux Jr and Alain Passard.
Stephen's built up an impressive CV and knows exactly what it takes
to stay ahead of the game.
The qualities I'm going to be looking for in a home cook
are someone who can keep a cool head.
-How long on the haddock, please?
-Two minutes, Chef.
We're cooking for Pierre Koffmann.
There's a lot of pressure there, so someone who's going to listen to
my instructions and carry that out.
You want someone who is going to stand by your side
and help you do your best.
Welcome, everyone, to Yes Chef.
Now, Stephen, 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?
I think, most of all, confidence.
Stick to your plans and think about how you want it to be at the end.
It may not be 100% what you want
but sometimes you've got to settle for 95%, you know?
Don't beat yourself up about it if it doesn't go quite to plan.
OK, right, well, let's get on with it.
So, in round one,
you've got 45 minutes to create your best dish for Stephen.
Good luck. Your time starts now.
So, our cooks are off.
Stephen will be looking for
a partner that he can work together with.
He'll be looking for passion,
technical flair and a natural gift with flavours.
Today, Seb has chosen a Texas roadhouse chilli,
inspired by a trip to the States.
Despite being a simple dish,
Seb hopes his take on this American classic delivers big, bold flavours
that will make Stephen take note.
I went to visit family in America
and they took me to a Texas roadhouse
and the chilli there was phenomenal,
so I've tried to recreate it and then over time
added to it just to make it the way it is now.
Over on the green station,
Lauren is making a prosciutto ham-wrapped chicken breast
stuffed with goat's cheese and spinach,
served on a bed of creamy garlic mashed potato.
She's well practised at home but with just 45 minutes on the clock,
she must work fast to ensure the chicken has time to cook.
The main part is trying to get it all stuffed nicely.
I've cooked this dish quite a lot so hopefully it won't go too wrong.
Events manager Ian has also set himself a busy workload.
He's opted for a chicken, mushroom and tarragon pithivier -
that's a posh pie to me and you -
with a side of pea puree and heritage carrots.
The thing that really worries me
is not getting the pie in the oven early enough,
so I need to make sure I get this chicken cooked off quickly
and then I'm ready to go.
How are we getting on?
-So, what's the difference between
a Texas roadhouse chilli and a normal chilli?
The Texas roadhouse chilli has got lots of bold flavours and smoke.
How are you putting the smoke flavour into it?
-Burning something or are you...?
-I've got some liquid smoke.
-Can I have a smell of it?
It's a weird thing, isn't it, a liquid smoke?
It's so smoky.
Now, you call your rice dirty rice.
-Why do you call it dirty rice?
Originally, the dirty rice came from chicken livers,
which give it that colour.
I've got some cayenne pepper,
Cajun spice and some chilli seeds.
Well, we'll let you carry on.
-Thank you very much.
-Good luck, it's looking lovely.
-How you getting on?
I'm OK. My chicken's in the oven.
-Can I have a look?
Oh, that looks lovely.
Oh, wow, so what's in there?
Chicken breast stuffed with goat's cheese,
roasted pepper, a bit of spinach and thyme
and then wrapped in prosciutto ham.
Nice, I'm going to put it back in.
I understand your husband's a chef.
Yes, he is, yeah, in the Marines.
-In the Marines?
-So he's a hard chef then?
-Yeah, you could say so!
-He's very jealous.
It was actually him that pointed me to come on the show.
-We do compete in the kitchen a little bit.
What does he think of your cooking?
-He loves it.
-He does like it, yeah.
That's good. OK, we'll let you get on.
-Thank you very much.
-Best of luck, Lauren.
-See you in a bit.
-Oh, this looks interesting.
It's that critical point of trying to get these together
and get them in the oven in time.
Pithivier, we used to make them at Le Gavroche,
when I used to work with the Roux brothers.
What's inside, did you say?
It's a chicken, mushroom and tarragon.
-So you're giving yourself quite a lot to do then, aren't you?
In 45 minutes.
Is this well-rehearsed, this dish?
I have practised it. I have achieved it.
-So you can do it.
-This is the classic pithivier marking -
you sort of spiral it, this marking around the edge, which gives it...
that's what makes it a pithivier.
OK, so, Ian, you used to be a police officer, didn't you?
A long, long time ago, yes, I did.
So you're very regimented in the way you cook?
Not always, as you're starting to see!
Well, I didn't want to say!
Do you want me to have a little tidy round for you?
We'll have to get CSI in a minute, cordon this off!
Right, cooks, you're halfway through.
So, let's start with Seb. What do you think of his menu?
I like what he's doing with what could be quite a simple dish.
I just hope that it comes through and the layers are there
and all the effort that he's actually putting in.
Because there is a lot of effort, there's a lot of ingredients,
-lots of spices, and they're all well thought out, aren't they?
I think it's time to add in the smoke to the dish.
Hopefully now this is where the magic comes in.
-Well, let's move on to Lauren.
You know, she's got a nice dish.
Personally, I don't think the mash is really needed.
What would you put with it, then?
I would have done polenta and fried it or something,
because I think texturally it's going to be quite samey.
I was going to peel my asparagus but I decided to roast it instead,
so hopefully I'm going to be on time...
but I'm beginning to think I've forgotten something
because I've never got this...
I'm not normally this prepared!
And last but not least, Ian.
-He's given himself a lot to do.
-He has, yeah.
I think he's being a little bit too ambitious with the design
of the dish because in the time that he has, 45 minutes,
it's quite hard. Let's just hope that this pithivier tastes amazing.
Fingers crossed for him.
I'm just trying to pass this the pea puree
through a sieve to make sure I get rid of all the skins,
and then once that's done,
I can just check the seasoning on it again
and if I need to add a little bit more liquid, I can do so -
but I just want to make sure that there's no skins,
none of those horrible bits that get stuck between your teeth.
A pinch of salt.
Right, cooks, there is just ten minutes left.
Ten minutes to go.
Ah. Yeah, is anyone nearly finished, like me?
The plating-up's worrying me.
I just hope I can present it nicely and the chicken doesn't fall apart.
It just about should be OK.
The pithivier's starting to brown off.
Yeah, we're OK.
A little bird tells me you've got a tattoo on your bum of a chilli.
That's right. Well, I'd love to say it's a chilli,
but it looks more like the strawberry from Munch Bunch!
Why did you get that?
It was a dare from when my son was seven and he had dared me,
because he put a transfer of a chilli on his bum and he says,
"Look, Dad, I've got a hot bum!"
And I got challenged and I thought, "Challenge accepted."
Good on you, good on you!
Right, cooks, you have just two minutes left,
so you really need to start thinking about plating up.
'Our three home cooks are on the home straight,
'each one trying their hardest to impress Stephen -
'but to prove further that this is no ordinary chilli,
'Seb adds a final twist.'
Time for the magic.
How's that chocolate working out?
I'll tell you what, there's some extra for yous.
Oh, thank you.
'Seb has one final flourish up his sleeve.
'As well as adding liquid smoke to his chilli,
'he's adding to the intensity by charring the peppers.
'Meanwhile. Lauren has some unwelcome charring in her mash.
'It seems she may have ruined her spuds.'
Oh, burnt mash potato.
Oh, dear me.
-I've just left the pan on without realising!
-Don't worry, it's OK.
One minute left.
Get that food on the plate.
'Ian has reached his goal.
'The pithiviers are about to come out of the oven
'and he's hoping they deliver big on looks and flavour.'
-Yeah. We'll get there.
Ten, nine, eight,
seven, six, five,
four, three, two,
one, that's it.
Step away from your plates.
You've done all your can.
It's time to taste.
First into the tasting room is Seb with his Texas roadhouse chilli
served with dirty rice and cheese.
How did you find the challenge?
Time seemed to just dwindle away quite quickly
compared to when I'm in my kitchen at home.
-OK, shall we have a taste?
-Oh, it should have been ladies first.
-Oh, it's all right.
Excuse me. I was just too eager there.
I've never had Texas roadhouse chilli before.
You get that smokiness, but it's really light, it's not too much.
I'm going to taste some rice.
Oh! SHE LAUGHS
-Yeah, it's got a bit more of a heat delivery there.
Try both together.
-That was my next move, that was.
-Oh, was it?
-It's got to be a together thing, hasn't it?
I think that works really well.
For that...to get maximum delivery from this dish
you need to have them both together, which is how it's designed.
That works well for me.
-I'm enjoying that.
-Well done, sir.
That went better than I expected.
-Can I have a little taste?
-So the rice is spicy?
-Yeah, the rice is quite spicy.
I got it down to the last second,
but I achieved everything I wanted to.
- Thank you. - That's good, that is really good.
I really enjoyed it. I mean, that rice was super spicy.
In terms of flavour and everything, that's spot on, it's good.
With the comments they made,
I just hope I can live up to their expectations.
Next up is Lauren with her dish
of chicken breast stuffed with goat's cheese, roasted pepper,
spinach and wrapped in prosciutto ham,
served with red onion and balsamic jus,
garlic and parsley mash and a side of Parmesan-roasted asparagus.
-There you go.
Calmed down yet?
-Yeah, just about.
-Did you enjoy it?
-Do you know what? I did,
-I thought it was really good fun, yeah. Really good.
-Let's tuck in.
-Well, it's cooked nicely.
-Mm, really nice.
Oh, I got it on my chin.
THEY LAUGH Always me!
Everything you've cooked, you've cooked perfectly.
It's the ratios, you know?
The carbohydrate needs to be a little bit less
so that protein can come forward and take prime position -
but cooked nicely, presented nicely. Good job.
-Thank you very much.
-How did that go, then?
-Oh, it went good.
-Yeah, it did, good.
-Were you happy?
Yeah. You know, those onions worked really well with the mash.
-It was executed very well and presented nicely as well.
He said I'd cooked the chicken perfectly,
so I was blown away by that, really.
-Is there goat's cheese in there?
-I can notice.
Gravy's really nice, sauce is really nice, lovely.
And finally, it's Ian with his Dish Of The Day -
a chicken, mushroom and tarragon pithivier
with pea puree, served with roasted carrot,
cauliflower and asparagus.
Lovely. Did you enjoy the challenge?
I did, yes. It went very quickly, though.
-It does, it flies by, doesn't it?
It's amazing how fast 45 minutes passes.
-Let's have a taste.
-What are you going to...?
-Try some of these veggies.
I do like the way the cauliflower has been sliced so finely.
Yeah, nicely cooked, as well.
Soft, but it's got texture. Yes, it's a good dish.
I like the ambition.
-It could have done with a little bit more cooking, the pastry...
..but time was against you, really.
Flavours are good. A bit of seasoning here and there but, yeah,
-Thank you very much.
-Well done, Ian.
Time just flies by, but I was quite pleased with how it went,
and I managed to plate up everything I wanted to plate up,
and that was the most important thing.
How did you get on?
Yeah, good. I think generally they quite liked it.
I think overall it was a good effort. It was an ambitious dish.
I think it came out better than I thought it was going to
when I saw him getting it together
when it was just about to go in the oven.
I love the way you've done the cauliflower, it looks really nice.
-The next test is going to be so important,
because the next thing is about following instructions,
-and that's key.
So, we'll see how they do with the Skills Test
and make some decisions after that.
With someone leaving the competition after the next round,
these three home cooks have just one more chance to prove to Stephen
that they're his perfect partner.
So, Stephen's obviously seen you all in action,
but before he decides who leaves the competition first,
he's going to set you a Skills Test
to see who's got the exact skills he's looking for.
We're going to make some meringue, OK?
We're going to make an Italian meringue.
There are different types of meringues,
there's the way you add the sugar. I am no pastry chef, OK?
I'm just telling you what I know,
and I have a little knowledge of pastry -
but I know this. So it's making some Italian meringue,
which is what you'd normally use for a baked Alaska.
-So, let's get the sugar.
It looks like a lot of sugar, but once it's in with the water...
and this is a glucose, which is always a bit tricky.
Have you ever tasted glucose?
It's probably the unsweetest sugar you'll ever taste in your life.
-It's a real disappointment!
It's got to get to 118 degrees.
So I'm going to separate the egg white.
-Oh, look, it's got a feather on it.
We're going to separate the eggs. We need 100g of egg white.
These egg whites are going to take about a minute or so to whisk up,
so while that's just whisking up, we can get our banana ready.
Just going to lay these on here
and I'm going to dust them with the icing sugar.
I can hear from the sound of the egg whites,
that's where you want to be - don't want to over-whisk them.
Just dust, and we'll blowtorch those in a minute.
There we are.
What you want to do is...
..from a height, just slowly...
I find it easier just to look at where it's going
instead of where it's coming from, you know, and just...
You're quite handy with a blowtorch, Seb,
so you'll be all right, won't you? THEY LAUGH
So that's the texture we're looking for.
It's nice and thick and glossy.
You can feel the warmth there but it's not too hot,
we've got a lot of the heat out of them.
That's enough to do what we want to do,
so what I'm going to do
is put this piping nozzle into the bag.
How are your piping skills?
Not bad? Have you piped before?
You haven't got to write anything, it's fine.
I know it's funny, put it around your hand like that.
Right, turn him off.
Let gravity help you out here.
Gravity is your friend when it comes to piping bag and meringues.
Twist it so you've got, you know, it's there.
So then we need to get our ice cream scoop.
Don't be too worried about trying to get this super round scoop.
What we're going to do, we're going to put it on here first
so we don't make too much mess.
So I'm just going to...
-That looks like heaven.
Get the blowtorch again.
Get underneath it.
-Pop it on.
-There we are.
There we have our little banoffee Alaska.
Right, guys, you can have a taste.
That's so good.
-Banoffee heaven, isn't it?
So, how do you feel? Confident, guys?
-Ready to go?
-What could possibly go wrong?
Our cooks are attempting to make a perfect baked Alaska.
Stephen is looking for a silky texture and a glossy finish,
all in just 15 minutes...
..and the first stage in the process is to mix the sugar and glucose
with the water to make a hot syrup.
Hopefully I've understood Stephen's instructions.
I'm just hoping when I separate the eggs,
I don't get any yolk into the whites.
Sometimes even the simplest ingredients can pose a challenge,
and already Seb has made a huge error.
-He needs to be on the scales.
What, the eggs?
He's supposed to be weighing them out...
Our home cooks have no notes, and a sympathetic Stephen steps in
to save Seb's meringue.
Don't forget you're supposed to be weighing those, Seb, yeah?
'Seb's back on track, but his error has cost him valuable minutes.
'As only two cooks can be taken through to the next round,
'it's essential they can follow
'Stephen's instructions to the letter.'
Eggs already on? Happy days.
'And once again, Seb needs a nudge.'
You'd better get that sugar back on now, Seb.
You've got plenty of time.
That will shoot back up, that will.
Mine did that.
-Overall, everyone doing OK?
-They seem to be doing OK overall.
I think Seb's timing is a little bit out, to be honest with you.
-He didn't weigh his eggs, did he?
Luckily you stepped in and said,
otherwise it could have been a real disaster.
Ten minutes previous to that,
we were weighing egg whites at the demo.
I need someone I can speak to and say, "We're going to do this,
"this and this, I need you to do this,"
and if they can't retain that, it's going to be an issue for me.
-It's a worry.
I think they're nearly done so let's get back out there.
'In the final minutes, it's time to build the dessert.
'The consistency of the meringue is crucial.'
It's always harder when it's not something that you've done before.
'Whisking the egg whites until they're stiff and shiny
'will make them easier to pipe.'
Right, cooks, you've got just four minutes left,
so get piping.
'A steady hand will be crucial here, and Ian's speeding ahead,
'but Stephen's spotted a different design.'
-You going for the hedgehog, Ian?
As long as it's on there and it's nicely coloured, happy days.
'Ian's first to cover his ice cream,
'closely followed by a hesitant Lauren...
'..and a shaky Seb.
'With plenty of time to spare, confident cook Ian
'is first to cross the finish line.'
-Are you happy?
I wasn't sure how long it was going to take,
but fortunately it was one of those ones that just clicked.
Oh, it's all going off.
But, for Lauren, plating up her pudding
under the watchful eye of an award-winning chef
is adding extra pressure.
And using every last second, Seb's dessert is served.
Right, that's it, time is up.
'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,
'Stephen will be judging their baked Alaskas to firm up his decision.'
Right, OK, so we're going to taste.
So we've got Ian's.
-We'll be bouncing off the walls after all this sugar!
I am seriously in heaven.
You just can't beat it, can you?
Cold ice cream and a warm meringue.
It is, isn't it?
It's the taste combo sensation.
You know, I think you've all done
an exceptionally good job with this meringue.
Something that you haven't really made on a regular basis,
or at all for some of you, good job.
With regards to the caramelisation of the bananas,
I think Ian's nice and even, consistent.
-A little bit more so than yours, Lauren.
I mean, yours, Seb, was a little bit anaemic on the back.
There could have been a little bit more going around with the blowtorch
and a bit more evenly. Thank you again, great job.
'Only two can go through to compete to become Stephen's partner.'
That's quite a hard challenge to judge on, I would say,
-because they were all pretty good.
-The meringue was pretty consistent -
it's just the way they finished it
and the way they applied the blowtorch.
I don't think I made any mistakes.
I was quite happy with the end result,
it's just down to what the chef thinks now.
I'm really nervous about the upcoming result.
It's come to the crunch time now where you're either going
or you're staying, and I want to stay.
For a dish I've never made before, I thought I did really well
and I'm hoping I've done enough to get through to the next round.
So, do you have an idea of who you might be sending home?
No, at the moment I'm struggling
-because I just can't get that quite right in my head at the moment.
Well, I'll give you a few moments to think about it
and hopefully it will come up.
'Stephen's got a big decision to make.
'He can choose only two cooks to compete in the final round.'
So, you've all competed two challenges
and Stephen has seen what you're capable of -
but he can only take one of you through to the Friday final
so, sadly, we have to say goodbye to one of you now
and Stephen has made up his mind, so over to you.
There was very little in it, really.
You know, thinking about Friday's final
and picking someone who can absorb the pressure
and have that confidence to hopefully win Friday's round.
So, the person who will be leaving at this stage and not going forward
..Seb. So, thank you very much, buddy.
-The chilli was delicious.
-It was the best chilli I've ever had!
-Thank you very much.
Yeah, I'm gutted I'm out,
but I knew I was beaten by two better home cooks.
Ready to cook again are civil servant Lauren...
Hey! I'm absolutely made up.
..and businessman Ian.
It's so difficult, not knowing what we're going to be cooking.
You're just going to have to try and go for it.
Now it's time for our third and final challenge.
Our home cooks have been given all the ingredients
to one of Stephen's dishes.
They'll have one hour to identify all the ingredients
and to create a dish of their own.
So, for you at home, here's what Stephen has chosen.
Salmon fillet and mussels,
double and whipping cream,
potato, garlic and shallots,
lemon, parsley and spinach.
Easy enough for a culinary wizard, but what will our home cooks make?
So, cooks, this is your last chance to really impress Stephen.
Any last tips for them?
Yeah, absolutely - just take your time,
have a good look at the ingredients. Don't think, "What could this be?"
-I think it's how well you cook it, really.
-Good luck, guys.
Reveal your ingredients because your time starts now.
Best of luck.
I like the ingredients. It's all what I like to eat,
it's just what to do with it.
I'm still not quite certain exactly which leaf this is.
I don't if it's goat's milk. I don't know.
Is there anything you would have hated to have seen
-under that reveal?
-Yeah, red wine with fish!
I just don't know how to incorporate the red wine.
Is that to drink?
How are you getting on?
All right, I think I'm going to try and do some sort of chowder.
I'm just trying to think how I'm going to incorporate the red wine,
and then I'm going to pan-fry the salmon, I think.
Maybe some wilted spinach in there to give it a bit of colour.
OK. Well, at least you've got a plan and you know what you want to do.
That's a really good start.
-OK, good luck.
Oh, lots of things on the go here.
-Trying to make a start,
trying to get myself into a position
where I can suddenly have a spark of inspiration.
What are you thinking, where are you going?
I'm thinking somehow some sort of seafood broth,
potentially with the mussels, and do something with the salmon -
but again, it's trying to glue all these ingredients together
into a single dish that is slightly confusing me a little
at the moment, if I'm honest.
Have you managed to identify everything?
The only thing I'm a little unsure on is these leaves.
I'm not quite sure if it's a form of chard.
-Do you think you'll use them?
-I'll do my best. Absolutely.
-Well, good luck.
'Both cooks feel the ingredients are driving them
'to some sort of seafood soup.
'But both are thrown by the myth that red wine and fish don't mix.'
It's just this red wine and the pancetta,
they're just two very strong flavours.
Just a little bit off-putting.
'And the tension is already starting to show.'
-I've started again.
I wasn't happy with the pancetta, it was too chunky.
I don't want it to be the prominent flavour.
You have got time to change your mind.
I have to say, that does look a bit neater.
There's some lovely smells coming from that kitchen.
That's the power of pancetta.
The power of pancetta, it's just wonderful.
Have you decided what you're cooking?
I sort of had but I think I'm changing my mind as I go along.
I'm still trying to work out how to glue all these ingredients together.
They both, to me,
seem like they're winging it a bit at the minute.
Well, I think that's what they're supposed to do.
They're both keeping the salmon back, they're going to pan-fry it.
Don't overcook the salmon. Don't overcook the mussels.
There's two things not to overcook, the rest of it is fine.
Cooks, you have just 20 minutes left.
20 minutes to go.
-Lots of time.
-Lots of time, plenty of time.
'Finally, both cooks are back on track.
'Lauren is more confident with her newly-refined chowder
'and Ian has plucked up the courage to go for the red wine
'and is using it to poach his mussels and pancetta.
'Stephen's looking for more than just a creative cook -
'he'll also be judging how well they work in the kitchen
'to see who he feels he can partner.
'Ian might be making good progress with his dish,
'but he's also created quite a mess.'
-Look at the state of this!
Come on, have a clean-up.
Do you want a hand?
-I need to keep that piece of lemon.
-What's going on?
-I'm not getting very far, really.
I'm just trying to incorporate the red wine into it.
-So I was going to do a red wine reduction.
That looks really good. Is it tasty?
It does taste all right, actually.
I just don't know how I'm going to...
Because ideally with a chowder there would be more liquid to it,
-but there's nothing to add to it.
-Can't you add water?
I could do, couldn't I?
I'm off to get water.
I hope I've not led her down a path that's not right.
Cooks, you have just ten minutes left.
-Ten minutes to go.
-I've added water to this.
I was going to say, that looks thin. It looks like milk.
-I think you need to get your mussels going.
You need to just crack on with the mussels.
I can't make out whether these are cooked or not.
-No, they're not cooked.
-They're not cooked? Right.
'Lauren quickly brings her mussels to the boil -
'but will she have enough time to salvage her seafood chowder?
'Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen,
'Ian's decided to change direction.'
Initially I was thinking along the lines of some kind of chowder
or broth, but now I've decided to do a more traditional dish.
So there's a mash, cooked the mussels...
Did you cook them in the red wine?
A little of the red wine, not too much.
A little of the cream, as well,
to give them a bit of a coating and a glaze.
I'm going to serve them on the plate with the pancetta
and I've made a parsley cream sauce to dress it with.
Nice. That sounds good to me.
Well, it's all changing around in there, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
-At the beginning I said they were winging it,
but I thought they might have had a plan - but they've changed ideas.
I like that, I like that, because I think things should evolve
and I think things will change.
Lauren, she's at sixes and sevens, isn't she?
She's trying to do this chowder,
she's trying to work out how she's going to incorporate the mussels
-and the red wine.
-But she actually thought they were cooked
-and they're not cooked.
Whereas Ian, he's a little bit more...
He's got a bit more clarity, I think, in where he's going
and how the dish is going to finish up.
OK, not long to go now.
'In the closing minutes of the challenge,
'Lauren turns her mind to presentation
'whilst Ian is first to finish for the second time today...'
All done and dusted, are we?
I ran out of ideas of other things to do
so I thought I might as well plate up what I've done.
I'm fascinated to see what Stephen does with it.
'..and finally, Lauren serves her seafood chowder.'
Right, you've both finished early, so it's time to taste.
'First to be judged is Lauren, with pan-fried salmon on a bed of potato
'and pancetta chowder with mussels in red wine.'
-Hi, Lauren, come in.
-You got there in the end.
-In the end, yeah.
How did you find it?
It was challenging. The red wine just completely threw me off.
I was like, "What do you do with it?"
But just trial and error, really.
I think it's a very pleasing plate of food.
It looks very pleasing on the eye.
I like its simplicity, it's quite rustic.
It's honest, you know? I like the look of it.
It's not overworked.
I like the stalk on the spinach. It's appealing
and I would look at that and think, "I want to eat that."
-So, shall we have a taste?
-Yeah, let's do it.
-You tuck in first.
Oh, it's nice and pink.
I like my salmon like that, but...
-That's how it should be cooked, that's perfect.
The spinach is really nicely seasoned.
I just got a big hit of that, yeah.
-I'm going back for more!
I like it. I think it's a very accomplished piece of cooking.
The salmon is absolutely on the money.
The potatoes are cooked lovely as well.
And because the fish is so fresh and is beautifully cooked,
it goes really nicely with the creamy potatoes.
-It complements each other, I think.
It's like a thick chowder but it works, it's good.
-I like it.
It was nerve-racking
because I didn't know for a while what I was going to do.
I kept changing my mind and then I just thought, "Do you know what?
"I'm just going to stick with the original plan,"
and he said it was nice.
That chowder underneath the salmon was a real success.
The potatoes were cooked nicely, the pancetta was not overpowering,
just enough of it there. The salmon was cooked perfectly.
-That's really nice.
-That's a one-star dish, that.
SHE LAUGHS Good!
I can't believe an award-winning chef has said my food was nice,
so that's amazing.
Last into the tasting room is Ian.
He's also pan-fried his salmon, but served it with a mussel broth
on a bed of mash with a spinach and parsley cream sauce.
Lovely. How did you find it?
Nerve-racking to start with,
I just couldn't focus on exactly what to do -
but once I'd decided what I was going to do,
ultimately that's pretty much what I was looking to try and produce.
-Did you enjoy it?
-I did enjoy it.
It's always nice, trying something new.
-Let's have a taste.
Because, you know, looking's one thing.
You go in, you tuck in first.
OK, I'm going to taste some mash first.
-That's well seasoned.
-So, this is the sauce you blitzed, isn't it?
I did, yes. It was just some parsley sauce,
a little garlic and some of the cream
cooked through for a while and blitzed.
Yes, lovely, nice garlic. Pancetta's there.
Try a bit of salmon.
-It's nicely cooked, isn't it?
Spot on there. That's good.
It's lovely. Yeah, it's good. Tasty.
The sauce is maybe a little bit wetter, maybe.
-Just a tad.
I think the mash could, you know...
..has something going on in there a little bit, just a wee bit -
but the spinach is cooked nice, it's seasoned good,
the salmon is cooked beautifully.
-It's a good piece of cooking, Ian.
-Yeah, it's good.
-Brilliant, well done.
You're not making my life easy, that's for sure!
I was really pleased, Stephen made some quite nice comments.
It would mean a lot to be chosen because obviously
if someone of Stephen's stature wants to cook with you,
that's a very high honour.
So, are you impressed with Ian's efforts?
Yeah, it was a good piece of cooking.
The sauce could have been a little bit more wet,
you know, it was more of a sauce.
He spent all that time cooking the shallots and the garlic
for the mussels in the red wine and then just left it.
Which is a shame, isn't it?
So, have you got any idea?
Do you know what? No, not really.
Well, you've got a little bit more time,
but let's go and see what you make with your ingredients.
OK. What am I doing again?
Right, cooks, this is the best bit,
because you get to put your feet up and watch the master in action
and we get to see what he makes with these ingredients.
OK, so, the first thing I'm going to do,
which I wouldn't have expected you to do this,
but I'm going to make a little salmon mousse.
I'm going to take it down there.
I'm going to take the skin off, anyway, so it's reasonably simple.
I'm just going to pop it in here first.
Spread it on here. It only needs five minutes in the fridge.
Just spread that out. The thinner it is, the colder it will get.
-OK, so, with the pancetta,
I want that smoky flavour, which is good because it was very evident
in both of your dishes. So we want to start cooking this.
We'll have a bit of shallot.
I'm going to put some parsley in with that.
That's going to go in there
and we're going to add some garlic in there.
I saw you guys using these earlier so I thought I'd have a go on these.
What's your least favourite food?
My least favourite food? Blimey!
My least favourite food...
It's probably not the answer you're looking for,
but it's food that someone clearly hasn't put any effort into.
I don't mind what I eat as long as someone's put some effort into it
and they've thought about it. It's food that's had no attention...
I'll turn this up a wee bit.
As long as it's been cooked competently,
I really don't mind, to be honest with you.
So, I'm going to add some red wine into this now
before I add the mussels.
A lot of people do raise an eyebrow when you cook with red wine.
This is good red wine.
It's all right, actually, yeah. I'm getting the train!
That's fine. So I want to bring the heat up on there.
-Do you want to grab that salmon out of the fridge, please?
So you see that's now nice and cold.
So, just put the mussels in now and take a couple of minutes.
So, the whipping cream just gets it going a little bit first...
..and then a bit of double.
What sort of consistency are you looking to get?
A soft sort of texture on the salmon.
So we're just going to season that, a little bit of salt and some lemon.
-Nervous about cooking for Pierre on Friday?
Let that rest on there a minute.
So, we're making a wee sandwich, there.
-I can't believe we didn't pick up on that.
I can't believe you didn't make the mousse!
Honestly, I'm so disappointed in you(!)
I'm going to pop it in the steamer.
So, the mussels are just cooked.
-Right, going to cook some spinaci.
-So you're cooking it in the pan?
This is reducing now, this is the mussel and the red wine.
I'm just going to put a little bit of double cream in and that's it.
We'll just finish the sauce in there.
The spinach is ready.
So I'm just going to bring...
OK. Let's hope this is cooked.
Put some oil, finish with a little bit of oil.
It gives it a nice glaze.
-There we are.
So, it's not too dissimilar to what you both did.
Right, guys, time to dig in.
There you go.
-That is amazing.
It's absolutely delicious.
Thank you so much, Stephen, an absolute star. It was delicious.
It's almost time to reveal who you're going to take through
to the Friday final, but before you do,
let's have a quick recap of what our cooks made earlier.
In the first round, Lauren impressed Stephen with her stuffed chicken,
she held her nerve to master the meringue challenge in round two
and produced a flavoursome pan-fried salmon
with seafood chowder in the third.
I would be absolutely over the moon.
I'd be shocked because the competition is really high.
I'd love him to pick me.
Meanwhile, Ian wowed Stephen with his technical ability in round one,
he aced the Alaska challenge in the second,
and after some quick thinking in the final round,
his seafood broth became salmon on a bed of creamy mashed potato.
I really don't know. Ultimately Stephen will decide
and we have to respect his decision but we'll just have to wait and see.
Congratulations to you both, you've been absolutely amazing today,
but it is time for Stephen to declare his winner
and who he's going to take to the Friday final with him,
-so, Stephen, it's over to you.
OK, well, you've both cooked exceptionally well.
It's been neck and neck and if I'm honest,
it came down to the final dish and the scales were tipped in...
-Oh, my God!
-Well done, Lauren.
-Thank you very much!
'I can't believe I've got to the final on Friday.'
I can't believe it's me that they're taking through.
To be honest, I think Lauren did fantastically well.
I just want her to go on with Stephen and win on Friday.
So, any last tips for Lauren?
Communication is everything.
If we've got to stay in contact and communicate,
I do feel that you will respond to direction
-and I think we'll do a good job.
-Are you going to win?
Yeah, I do think I made the right choice.
It was a tight decision but I think she will relish it
and she'll have a good time.
I'm so proud of myself for getting this far and I'm so excited.
Roll on Friday.
Tomorrow on Yes Chef,
three more home cooks go all out to impress top chef Mary Ann Gilchrist.
That sauce isn't a sauce, it's solid.
It's the chance for them to work alongside
the best in the business...
-I think I put too much juice in.
..but only one can become their partner in the Friday final.
Top chef Stephen Terry has his eye on the prize as he puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make a perfect baked alaska. Stephen will be judged by three-Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann in the Friday final, so his professional pride is at stake, but which home cook will he choose?