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Four of the best chefs in Britain are on the hunt for their perfect partner.
Three home cooks are here to prove they've got what it takes to be paired
with the top chefs in the business,
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
That sauce isn't a sauce.
Each day a different Michelin-starred chef will choose their perfect
partner from three talented home cooks.
It's the calm before the storm, I guess.
Then, in the Friday final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head to cook for culinary royalty Pierre Koffmann.
My best piece of advice is to keep it simple and tasty.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.
One minute left!
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 Steve Welch.
He works for a chocolate company in Slough.
I enjoy cooking and I'm quite meticulous with the detail.
I don't like to cut corners, I like to try and do it properly.
I can get a bit stressed if it doesn't go my way.
Next, it's Karen White, a full-time mum from Chester.
People describe my cooking as challenging, because I like to experiment,
I like to try new things.
And finally, Jason Matthewson is an Irish-born actor living in London.
I don't stress too much about really anything.
But a little luck of the Irish would definitely be welcome.
Well, our cooks are ready to go, so let's meet today's chef.
Matt Gillan is chef and owner of the Redroaster Pike & Pine in Brighton,
and is renowned for his fresh and original approach to high-end cuisine.
My cooking focuses on seasonal ingredients,
and to that I add an interesting flavour combination or different
techniques to bring the best out of an ingredient,
and that transcends into something very unique and very me.
As a protege of Gordon Ramsay,
Matt won and retained a Michelin star for five years,
and knows exactly what it takes to succeed in the kitchen.
I'm looking for somebody that can take instruction,
but uses a bit of initiative when things aren't going quite right.
I really want to win this competition.
I'm going to do everything in my power to pick the right person
who is going to help me deliver the best dish for Pierre
in that Friday Final.
Welcome, everyone, to Yes Chef.
Matt, you will 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?
A little bit of flair, some imagination, confidence.
I want some confidence in the kitchen, going into that Friday Final,
just someone to go out and that's going to enjoy, have some fun.
Brilliant. Round one, you are going to be cooking your best dish for Matt.
You've got 45 minutes, Matt will be walking round the kitchen,
checking your every move to see how you cope.
At the end, obviously it's the all-important taste test,
which is my favourite part.
Good luck, guys,
if you'd like to make your way to your stations because your time starts now.
So our cooks are off.
They have just 45 minutes to make Matt fall in love with their food and
prove they're his perfect partner for Friday's final.
Today Steve's signature dish is a seafood linguine,
inspired by happy memories of family holidays.
It's a dish that me and my family love.
We go to Padstow through the year and it's my little tribute to Cornwall,
where we go. A lot of it is making sure that the clams and the mussels
are cooked, not too well done, so I want it just cooked.
Full-time mum Karen is also aware of overcooking her dish.
She's opted for fillet steak with a bone marrow butter and aligot
potatoes. That's cheesy mash to me and you.
The most important factor of the dish is going to be getting the steak
right, because you need perfect crust on the steak.
You never know if you're going to be under pressure,
until if something could go wrong or timings could go, so I'm hoping not,
but I feel quite relaxed about it all at the moment.
Over on the yellow station,
actor Jason is making pan-fried scallops with black pudding and a minted pea puree.
His dish is well rehearsed at home,
but in this kitchen he's hoping his menu will be one that Matt will rate.
I've done this dish quite a few times, so, yeah,
I'm pretty confident with the cooking of it.
Well, I've never cooked it for a Michelin-starred chef before,
so I guess that bit's pretty new.
-How we doing?
I'm a little bit nervous but I think once I start cooking and get things
start heating up, and you get into it, don't you?
Yeah, absolutely, just enjoy it.
-Yeah, that's the plan.
-You know what you're doing.
You've got some of my favourite ingredients here so I'm looking
forward to trying this.
Oh, good. Good man.
-How we getting on?
Yeah. I'm getting nervous.
-You grow your own vegetables, don't you?
-Yes, and I keep bees, and my honey, bees too.
Bees, oh, how lovely!
I'm getting ready to get an allotment, too,
so I want to do as much local growing as I can,
and then using local ingredients.
So you really understand, like, the ingredients you're using.
And trying to do it as seasonal as possible, too.
Love these ingredients - beef, bone marrow.
-I love bone marrow.
-I think it adds richness to the fillet steak because
you don't have the fat of the steak.
Certainly, you kind of put it...
This way you get a nice kind of additional roasted flavour note to the beef.
And have you tried it?
Have you done this in 45 minutes?
39 minutes, so...
Ooh, get you!
We'll see. It's a bit more pressure on me at the moment.
Well, good luck, we'll let you get on, OK?
I'm using a chopstick to get the bone marrow out.
You just twirl it around and pop it out.
And save those for the dog.
She'll love them.
-Hello, hey, how are you?
Good, how are you, more importantly?
Good, things are going well.
-What are you making?
-I am going to make for you guys today black pudding,
pan-fried sea scallops, with minted pea puree,
pancetta and a little bit of truffle oil.
-Oh, nice! For good measure.
-Just for good measure.
-You're an actor, aren't you?
-For my sins, yeah.
You've done quite big movies.
I've just done a movie with Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman called Hunt The Killer,
which will be out next summer.
We'll let you get on, get out of your hair.
Awesome. Perfect. Thanks, guys.
So let's start with Steve.
It's quite a classic dish and it's certainly a dish that can go
horrendously wrong because of the different cooking times on the
shellfish, but if he nails it, then it's going to be delicious.
It's quite a nice story behind the dish, you know,
it reminds him of his family holidays and that's really nice.
That's often where the best dishes come up,
because there's an emotional attachment to it,
so you naturally want to make it really good anyway.
I've got the mussels and clams cooking,
they only take two or three minutes, linguine takes nine minutes.
I want to try and make sure that's not overcooked so I think I'm on track
at the moment, yeah.
Now Karen and her bone marrow butter,
I think that's such a mouthful to say.
I can't say it quickly. Don't say it.
And I won't try. SHE LAUGHS
Karen's dish is bold flavours and I like the idea of the fennel and the
pomegranate and the blood orange in there.
-So, I like that.
-Confident. She's confident.
Normally when I make the bone marrow I use a hand-held
blender, which makes this part of the job a lot easier,
but it is coming together gradually.
Although I can't feel my forearm. It hurts!
OK, and last but not least, Jason.
Quite a classical dish, really, with scallop and pork and pea puree.
The thing with only using three ingredients is that everything has to be
perfect. The balance has to be right, so it could go either way.
-I have high hopes.
Everything's gone to plan, yeah.
I'm wary of the clock, you know, not too terribly worried about the dish,
it's just normally I'm not under a time limit to do it in, but, yes,
it's going pretty well, I think.
Jason's well-practised dish is starting to pay off
and Karen appears to have everything under control.
I think I'm coming together now.
It's the calm before the storm, I guess.
But Steve is starting to panic.
My pasta has gone in slightly later than what I would have wanted.
Hopefully, just as I plate up it should be al dente.
That's what I'm looking for.
Yeah, I'm starting to feel the pressure a little bit.
We have to get it on a plate pretty soon.
Cooks, you have just two minutes left, so get that food on the plate.
Despite her calm appearance, things aren't quite going to plan for Karen,
who's not happy with her bone marrow butter.
I think I've iced down the bone marrow a little bit too much so it's gone
a bit hard. If I can get this plated up,
I can take it off and try to warm it up.
Warm it through a little bit. We'll see how fast I get on with this.
And on the red station, Steve is in danger of disaster.
I don't think I'm going to be ready.
I think we've got about a minute and a half to go,
so I want to turn these fellows over, not sure they're cooked.
But on the other side of the kitchen, Jason is on target.
He's hoping his scallops will deliver on both texture and taste.
-You look ready.
-I think I'm good.
Think I have everything. I'm just going through it in my head here,
making sure I haven't forgotten anything,
but then if I have at this point it's a bit too late.
30 seconds to go.
Time is running out as Karen adds the finishing touches to her dish.
-Awesome, looks great.
-But trying desperately to stay in the competition,
Steve's using every last second.
Come on, Steve.
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.
First to be judged by Matt with his dish of the day is Steve.
He's made seafood linguine with crab, mussels and king prawns.
That's a big plate of food.
-It is, isn't it?
-How was that?
It was good. I really enjoyed cooking it.
I had a few timing issues, but that's the way it goes, isn't it?
If you turn the clock back...
We've all been there, yeah, turn the clock back...another ten minutes.
No, it was really good fun and I've enjoyed doing it.
-Let's taste it.
Yes, let's taste.
I'm bound to make a mess.
So that was my worry. You always try and cook pasta al dente, don't you?
I do try.
It doesn't always come out like that.
There's al dente and there's...
The prawns are always nice, aren't they, any time of the day?
Delicious. Really, really delicious.
-I really like that.
-I think the langoustines are really nicely cooked...
Very moist, still.
-Pasta just slightly under.
-Slightly under? OK.
But it's not too bad.
-I thought it was going to be much, much harder.
-And there is just enough chilli through it for my palate.
It is really pleasant. It's just a nice bit of heat.
-I enjoyed doing that,
had a few timing issues at the end with my pasta.
The pasta's a bit hard, but hey-ho.
So you enjoyed that?
Yes, I did enjoy that. The pasta was a bit under that point of being,
-you know, al dente.
-But it was tasty.
But everything was cooked really nicely.
The competition is tough but I'm just here to learn and have a good day, really.
That's really nice.
Karen is next. She's made fillet steak with bone marrow butter, aligot potatoes,
salted mushrooms and a fennel, rocket and pomegranate salad,
with a blood orange and lemon basil dressing.
Lovely. How did you find the challenge?
I enjoyed it. I think I was prepared, and I think that was key.
-Because it goes quite quickly, doesn't it?
-It does go very quickly,
and when you have people talk to you, too, it's kind of...
-Putting you off.
-Sheree's talking to you.
It takes your mind off things slightly.
So it's been lovely. I've really, really enjoyed it.
Fennel was one of my favourite things.
I was originally only going to use just fennel,
but it made the plate a bit too grey, so you needed the lift of colour.
Yeah. The salad's nice and fresh.
For me, the steak's cooked, like, perfectly, for me.
-Love the potato, cheesy potato.
I'm a fan.
It's more interesting, yeah.
Salad's really nice, with the potato and the beef.
I think the fennel, you kind of lose it a little bit.
Bone marrow, I think where it's just chilled down a little bit,
it's a little bit firm,
maybe a tiny bit of salt in there would help lift the flavour from the bone
marrow, because there's loads of flavour to be had from that, but overall it's really nice.
-Thank you very much.
It was amazing, I really, really, really enjoyed it.
She seemed super-relieved when you said you loved the steak, you know,
because obviously she really cares.
It's a hard thing to do. There's even so many chefs that do it for a
living that get it wrong, so you know...
She's done a really good job. She has done a good job.
-The meat's cooked perfectly. It's very nice.
You know, the critique is great because these are things that I need to learn from.
And finally, it's Jason's turn to take the taste test,
with his dish of pan-fried scallops and black pudding
served with a minted pea puree.
Hi, Jason, come in.
-Hey, you guys, how are you?
-Good, how are you after that?
A little bit more relaxed now.
It looks fantastic.
-Dive in, guys.
Mmm. That pea puree is lovely.
I think it gives an extra little dimension to the flavour, as well,
which I think is nice.
The pancetta's delicious.
This puree, though, is so good.
The scallops are really nicely caramelised, that really comes through.
There's a bit of a mismatch in the amount of black pudding to scallop,
but the scallop is cooked really nicely.
Well done, well done.
Thank you so much, guys, I'm super-glad you liked it.
Yeah, it went really well, the guys really liked the food,
they had really positive comments.
I did enjoy it. I enjoyed all the elements of the dish.
If I had to eat the whole thing it might be a little bit different.
It might feel like breakfast with the amount of black pudding.
I know, it was super-thick, wasn't it?
I hope I've done enough to impress. Who knows?
-Fabulous, well done, mate. It's a really tasty dish.
Is anybody standing out at the minute?
I have an order of people at the moment.
-Oh, do you?
-But we'll see with the next challenge.
We don't have to decide yet because we've still got your Skills Test
-to go, so let's go and do it.
-Let's do it.
With someone leaving the competition after the next round,
these three home cooks have just one more chance to prove to Matt
that they are his perfect partner.
Now Matt's seen what you're all capable of in the kitchen,
he now wants to test you, so he's going to do a skills test for you.
So, Matt, it's over to you.
So we're doing a poached egg on toasted brioche and a hazelnut emulsion.
So I'm going to start the emulsion,
because the emulsion is going to be the thing that can just sit there
and kind of wait. So, we've got two eggs.
We are going to separate those, we just want the yolk.
To make sure the cooking is more gentle, and for flavour,
we are going to add some white wine.
How long would this take from start to finish?
It takes about four or five minutes,
depending on how risky you want to be.
It could take you two minutes if you want to crank up the temperature.
But that's kind of good.
The bowl's not touching the water, the heat's nice and gentle.
-Add sunflower oil.
So, slowly pour it in?
Slowly. Yeah. It's becoming thicker,
-like a mayonnaise would.
-What happens if it does start to split,
is there any way you can rescue it?
There is, but it's probably easier to start again.
And then to that I'm going to add some hazelnut oil as well.
So that's fine like that.
So here we've got some brioche.
I love brioche.
-So nice, so good.
-So we're going to put it into a dry pan.
Right, so while that's toasting, just a little garnish,
we're going to chop up some hazelnuts.
We want a nice mix of coarse and fine bits,
just makes it a bit more interesting.
Right. Into the water I've just put white wine vinegar,
egg as close to the water as you possibly can, and really slow.
And how long will they have to be in there for?
So while we're waiting on that, I've got some baby watercress.
So this is going to add a little pepperiness to it,
without adding pepper. Just check your water every now and again.
If it starts to boil hard, the egg white will break down.
I'm so doing mine all wrong.
I'm changing my technique now.
When you've finished with your pan, with the emulsion,
don't get rid of it. These eggs are now going to taste of vinegar, so...
-Give them a little wash.
-But hot water.
So I'm not putting that straight on the toast,
because it's still a little bit wet.
That looks good.
It does, doesn't it?
A few hazelnuts.
So just finishing this with...it's called sumac.
It's a pollen, it's a flower.
Voila. Look at that!
-Can I taste?
That looks really good.
The emulsion's lovely.
That's really smart.
Right, guys, you feeling confident?
Our cooks are against the clock,
they have just 15 minutes to make the perfect poached egg on toast,
served with the hazelnut emulsion.
It sounds straightforward enough,
but Jason's already identified a potential sticking point.
Matt explained it really well, so I think it should be OK,
it's just getting the timings right.
The first delicate step in the process
is to heat the egg yolks with some white wine and whisk.
At the end of this round, one person will be going home,
and after narrowly avoiding a disaster with his timings in round one,
Steve's keeping an eye on the clock.
Yeah, I'll try and learn from last time,
and try and remember what chef told us to do when putting this dish
Matt is looking for someone who can follow his instructions to
the letter, but the cooks must copy his recipe from memory,
which is adding to the pressure.
Just as soon as I get this sauce done I'll be happy.
I've never made this sauce before.
I've made an emulsion at Christmas and I ended up splitting it.
That was my first experience trying to do one.
Matt wants a smooth and glossy emulsion with a consistency
that would allow it to sit on top of an egg,
which takes a lot of beating.
This whisking is a bit of a work-out.
Certainly builds your muscles up.
The trick is to get the heat right.
Too little, and the emulsion is too thin.
Too much, and you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
I'm thinking I probably should have left the eggs on for another minute
but I'm hoping it's silky enough.
What have you picked up, then?
One of the things I said was make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water,
and there's a few of them just making sure their bowl doesn't touch the water,
but they've used the wrong-sized bowl so they've made life really
difficult for themselves.
Steve's emulsion is under, looks a little bit loose,
so I don't think he's cooked the egg out enough before adding the oil.
That's why this test is so good, the Skills Test, because, you know,
you've told them exactly what you want and it's just "follow my lead
-"and you'll be all right".
And that's really important for Friday, isn't it?
It's really important because it's such a tight timeframe, you know?
-Yeah. Well, go and have a look. See how they're getting on.
Cooks, you have just five minutes left.
Jason's making good progress and his eggs are already poaching.
The temperature of the water is crucial.
Yeah, I think I brought it up a little too high and then brought it down
too far, so now I'm trying to get it in the middle a little bit.
Our cooks are aiming for a gentle simmer, but not boiling.
If the water is too lively the eggs will break up.
-Who's got their eggs in?
-You've not got your eggs in?
-Get them in, get them in, come on.
-Three minutes to go.
-You want them to rest a little bit at the end, don't you?
-They've gone a bit fluffy.
They've got curtains!
That's nice, fancy eggs.
Karen might be concerned that her eggs look scruffy around the edges
but she's completely forgotten to rinse off the vinegar.
Will this mistake cost her a place in the final round?
One minute left.
Get those eggs on the plate.
Steve knows that Matt will be watching for good time management
and the strain is starting to show.
I'm feeling the pressure on the time again.
It's now time to make it look a bit more presentable.
Jason's first to finish, closely followed by Karen.
But once again Steve is using every last second.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six,
five, four, three, two, one.
Stop cooking, step away from your plates.
That was close! It's time to taste.
All three cooks know that one of them will be leaving the competition
at the end of this challenge
and that Matt will be judging their poached eggs
together with their performance from round one to decide who will be going home.
How was that?
-It was good.
OK, well, let's have a taste.
-All right? Good.
So far, so good.
Except for I just remembered I didn't rinse my egg.
Starting with Steve.
The egg's very nicely cooked.
-I think you struggled with the emulsion?
Yeah, never done one. But, yeah, I should have done it a bit longer.
Yeah, just a case of cooking the eggs more before the oil went in.
-Yeah, I thought that.
-Karen's eggs were really nicely cooked,
the brioche I think just seemed a little bit soft.
The vinegar kind of comes through on the egg.
Tiny bit of salt maybe missing in the emulsion but overall really nice.
There was a nice flavour in the emulsion but the hazelnut just needed a
little bit of lifting.
Jason's emulsion really nicely seasoned,
eggs really well cooked.
Overall really, really good.
Really nice plates.
I think they've made it tough for you.
They have. They have made it tough for me, yes.
OK, right. Well, well done.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room.
Only two can go through to compete to become Matt's partner.
Overall, quite good.
Yeah, no, it was good, it was good.
-I think there was a few timing issues with Steve.
-I know, it's like he sort of panics towards the end, doesn't he?
-Yes, I'm very happy,
I've learned a lot and I've really enjoyed it,
and I couldn't have done much more, I don't think.
Karen's certainly tasted of vinegar which means they weren't washed.
-Which I thought she would have been really on that.
-I would love to see the next round and be able to create something
but if I go home, Matt's tasted my food,
he's enjoyed my food and that's going to be a fantastic privilege.
Jason's dish, you know, out of the three,
I thought it was nicely seasoned, perfectly cooked, it was just,
you know, exactly how I wanted.
-I would love to be in the competition,
to cook for Matt is fantastic but to go into the final and to cook for Pierre Koffmann
would be incredible.
So have you got an idea who you're going to send home?
-Yes, I do.
-Oh, you do?
-OK, well, let's go and break the news.
-Only two people can be taken through to the next round.
For one of our home cooks it's almost time to leave the competition.
Firstly I'd like to say congratulations to all three of you.
It's been absolutely brilliant.
Sadly one of you does have to leave the competition now and Matt has
-made his mind up.
-Like Sheree says, it's been great,
I think you guys have done really well all day.
My decision's based on specifically going into this final,
knowing the time constraints and the pressure we are all going to be under.
My decision is to send Steve home.
I'm very proud to have cooked for Matt, he's a top, top chef,
I just wanted to take my food to the next level and I will just try and do that now.
Give us a hug. Well done.
So, just two home cooks remain.
I'm excited and looking forward to the next challenge.
And actor Jason.
The next one is a tricky one but I think the key is make a decision and
stick with it.
It's now time for our third and final challenge.
Now, our cooks have been given all the ingredients to one of Matt's dishes.
They'll have one hour to work to identify all the ingredients and
create a dish of their own.
So for you at home here's today's ingredients.
Matt's chosen chicken legs, Madeira and maple syrup.
White wine vinegar and chicken stock.
Double cream. Milk.
Stomach lining, and leek, thyme, oyster mushroom, onion, lemon,
garlic and salsify.
Easy enough for one of Britain's top culinary talents,
but with just one hour on the clock what will our home cooks conjure up?
So, cooks, this is your last chance to really impress Matt so go for it.
-Any last tips?
-Yeah, just have a look at your ingredients,
just take it in for a moment, looking for two nice plates of food.
Right, well, good luck, guys.
Reveal your ingredients because your time starts now.
I can't remember if that... It's not okra but it's...
I don't remember what it is.
-Do you know what you have?
-Yes, well, chicken, obviously.
-Stomach lining, right?
-Stomach lining, yes.
-Wrap the chicken possibly?
Wrap, yeah. And then we've got salsify.
Salsify, that's what it is.
Salsify. Honey, milk and cream.
Stock, brandy, vinegar, butter.
It's a fantastic challenge and I'm looking forward to it.
Hopefully I can pull off a decent dish.
I'm still going through things in my head here figuring out what I'm
going to try and do.
But, yeah, it's
a unique challenge.
Definitely the hardest one of the day for sure so far.
How are we doing? How are we getting on?
Still trying to figure it out.
Have you identified everything?
Yeah. I asked for ceps.
Ceps, yes. I asked for ceps for my steaks and they said they didn't have any.
Ceps, absolutely fantastic, meaty, lovely.
How are your confidence levels?
As it's coming together in my head, I think I'm getting there.
Yeah, you've got plenty of time so...
Oh, string. I've just noticed, string.
That makes it a little bit easier.
I was thinking about that one, thinking, "Do I need toothpicks?"
-There you go.
-There we go.
-I'm getting there.
-We'll leave you to it.
Confident cook Karen is certain she has identified all the ingredients
correctly, and with such delicate items there is no room for any mistakes.
But for Jason the task isn't quite so straightforward.
-Hey, how are you?
-How are you?
Yeah, have you managed to identify everything?
I think so. I mean, there's some stuff here I've not used before,
in fact there is some stuff I've never even eaten.
I've never had... Is that salsify?
-Yeah, I've never had it, but I'm going to make a...
I'm going to attempt to make a puree with it.
I've just boned the chicken.
Stuff it with the mushroom and some thyme and garlic.
Possibly a little bit of lemon.
And roll it in the stomach lining, pan-fry it and then get it in the oven.
That's really as far as I've got so far!
-That's not bad.
That's not bad. How does this compare to being on a film set?
So much more tense. I mean,
when you're in a film I pretend to be somebody else.
-It's all about you.
-I pretend to be myself.
-We'll let you carry on, good luck.
So, both our cooks have a plan.
It goes on forever!
-Cooks, you've got half an hour left.
-And with just one place up for grabs in the Friday Final
this is their last chance to prove they've got what it takes to
become Matt's perfect partner.
And previously calm Karen is starting to lose her concentration.
Oh, I didn't realise I'd hurt my finger,
but I think I've poked it with a knife.
I think it is hard when you're cutting into something and you have no idea
what you're going to do. But, if I create something nice,
I'm going to be really chuffed.
Now this is a first.
So they both have a good plan.
Yeah, very similar to each other.
When they revealed the ingredients, Karen was very much like, oh,
that's that, that's that... But she got the mushrooms wrong.
So the mushroom is eryngii, or king oyster mushroom.
And I think if she... She thinks it's a cep, so there's a much bolder,
heavier flavour than you get from a cep. It's lovely,
but the king oyster is much more subtle, much more delicate.
It's not going to deliver the flavour that she is expecting if she thinks it's a cep.
I'm feeling a little better, actually.
I feel like I'm kind of on top of it.
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to use all of the ingredients, but...
I hope what I'm doing is going to be nice.
Let's move on to Jason.
He is quietly confident.
Yeah, but his dish hasn't come together.
That's what I was getting from what he's saying.
He knows what he's doing with the chicken, and he's got an idea with that,
then everything else is going to be quite last-minute.
I like the confidence,
but hopefully the final dish is going to back up that confidence.
Matt wants a partner who can stay calm as the clock ticks down.
So he is keeping a very close eye on both cooks as they work.
At the green station, Karen's chicken skin is almost done.
Oh, lovely. That looks delicious.
-It is nice.
-What do you think?
I'm just going to give them another couple of minutes uncovered.
Just to get the little soggy bits.
Delicious. Smells good.
I love chicken skin. I think it's fab.
With both home cooks' dishes looking remarkably similar...
-Looks good, doesn't it?
..Jason is feeling the pressure to come up with something special.
And have you decided on a sauce yet?
I haven't, no. I might do, like, a cream sauce,
or something with what I suspect is possibly port.
You look like you are in the zone, focused.
Yeah, I need to get chopping.
-I'll leave you to this.
-All right. Thank you.
Cooks, you have just 15 minutes left.
15 minutes to go.
Yeah, it's time to start moving, definitely don't want to rest now
and find myself running out of time.
Jason might be concerned about the clock,
but at the risk of spoiling her sauce is Karen,
who has mistaken the oyster mushrooms for ceps.
What are you going to do now?
I'm just going to saute the ceps, just in butter.
They are just lovely mushrooms, and I don't want to mess them up.
So you have had these mushrooms before?
-Do you grow them?
If I grew them, everybody would love me forever.
No, they are early in season. Well, I didn't think they were in season any more.
So, yeah. They are fabulous mushrooms, and they're hard to find.
Going to find them. And you have made a little...
-Just reducing that down a bit.
Have a little smell. Oh, that smells lovely. Really nice.
With time ticking away...
Ten minutes to go, guys.
Just ten minutes left.
..Jason is starting to question the cooking of his meat.
I'm just thinking and wondering, is the chicken a little under?
I suppose you can't answer me if you think it's under.
Are you worried it's undercooked?
Just a tad, yeah.
I think it might be just a smidge under.
So, I'm going to give it a couple of seconds in the pan.
Whilst Jason rushes to rescue his chicken,
Karen is happy with hers.
Four minutes to go, cooks.
Just four minutes.
Sauce is almost ready.
-And you're done.
Come on, Jason.
With seconds to spare, Jason is ready to serve his chicken,
and he's hoping it will be cooked to Matt's high standards.
Well, cooks. It looks like you're both done.
-Yes, very, actually.
-Great, because it's time to taste.
First up, it's full-time mum Karen.
She's chosen to make chicken stuffed with garlic butter,
leeks and Madeira,
served with sauteed mushrooms and a side of salsify puree
and chicken skins.
-How did you find it?
It was exciting, and a good challenge.
I got a little bit flustered a few times,
when I was just trying to figure out what I was going to do.
I think once I got the plan in my head, I just kind of went for it.
So you managed to identify all the ingredients?
I mean, I've got the Madeira wrong, I thought it was brandy.
-And the mushrooms?
-Oh, I knew those instantly, so...
-They ARE ceps, aren't they?
No, they're king oysters.
Oh, I thought oyster mushrooms were the more flowery ones.
-Do they look very similar?
-Yeah, very, very similar.
I need to go on a mushroom expedition, I think.
But there's still the meat, it's a nice, meaty mushroom,
so I didn't want to ruin it by chopping it up.
I have to say, it looks fantastic.
-It does look great.
-It looks really good, so let's taste.
-Come on, then.
Those chicken skins are just divine.
The chicken's really moist, as well.
-It's really nice, that.
So, the chicken is really nice and cooked, even rolled as well.
I like the leek filling, it adds a nice oniony-ness to it.
Puree is lovely. And the mushrooms are cooked really nicely.
-Very nice dish.
What lovely comments.
So, how did that go?
-It's the little things that really impressed me.
The way she's rolled the chicken so evenly, that means it's cooked evenly.
It's all the same all the way through.
-That's really good.
I was impressed, I thought she did really well.
I'm over the moon, because he loved the dish.
What more can a home cook ask for?
Next into the tasting room is Jason.
He is serving chicken stuffed with garlic mushrooms and onion on a bed
of salsify puree with crispy chicken skin, Madeira sauce and fried leeks.
How was it?
Glad it's over.
No, it was good, it was fun, it was challenging.
But I'm glad that I got something put together for you guys,
and I hope you really enjoy it.
-Yeah. It looks great, by the way.
Yeah, it does look good.
That sauce is lovely.
Really nice. You could just eat that with bread.
It's got a great flavour. I think the chicken could have...
I don't think it needed to go back through the pan.
-Cos it was just slightly under,
and if you had put it together and tin-foiled it,
that residual heat would have finished that for you.
-Chicken skin is great.
I love chicken skin.
But altogether, it's a very nice dish.
Yeah, I think it went well. It was a good test and once I sort of figured
out what it was I was going to do, then I think it went OK from there.
I'm glad it's over but I'm happy.
Fabulous, yeah. Really nice, and the sauce is amazing.
I really, really like that sauce.
Have you got an idea of who you might be taking through with you?
I think so.
I just need to rethink it a bit, but I think I have...
-You've got a little bit of time,
because now we get to see what you make with those ingredients,
which is my favourite part.
So, let's go and do that.
So, you two, this is where you get to sit back and relax and watch Matt do his thing.
So, Matt, show us what you do with these ingredients.
First thing I am going to do is peel the salsify.
Take the ends off. Then cut it into whatever we can get in the pan,
really. So I'm going to cook that.
The milk is just going to help keep the colour as well.
-And some lemon juice.
Next, we are going to get the sauce on.
This is going to form part of the stuffing, so it's going to be the leek,
the onion and mushrooms, a little bit of thyme.
Just going to soften it all up.
-So the leek and the onion...
-Frying them off?
-Gently, you don't want the temperature too hot,
because then you will start to really colour it up.
So you see it's just retained its colour really nicely.
Right. That's the cream for the sauce.
Yeah. So you've just whipped it up?
And then that can go in the fridge.
-So you're going to bone the chicken leg now?
So quick. I literally stand there with a knife flicking the flesh off.
So I'm just checking that I've got all the...
like, any cartilage or bone or tendons, which could come off...
-..which would just be horrible to eat.
Did you guys do that?
-Yeah, I had a little look to make sure we had all of it out.
I think I got it.
How long would that go in the oven for?
About eight minutes.
So I'm just scoring the mushroom. This is just more for presentation, really.
What will it do when you put it in the pan, then?
So when it goes into the oil,
all these grooves will be exposed so it will just caramelise each piece
-up really nicely.
So now we have got colour to both sides, with the butter.
-Smells great, yeah.
-Smells really great.
-That does look great, doesn't it?
Like a little squid in a way, doesn't it, when you do squid?
Those mushrooms, I've not cooked them too far,
so they are probably slightly under at the minute.
So what are you going to do with the cream?
-The cream is going to go into this reduction.
-Whipped cream into the chicken stock?
-So is it going to be a cold sauce?
-You fold it in through?
No, we're going to boil it in.
So, we send whipped cream to the stock.
And whip it in, whip it in.
Have a taste.
-It's really lovely.
-Brilliant, thank you so much, Matt.
It is time now for you to reveal who you are going to pick as your partner
in the Friday Final.
But before you do,
let's have a quick recap of what our cooks made earlier.
In the first round,
Karen impressed Matt with her fillet steak and bone marrow butter.
She slipped up in the skills challenge by forgetting to rinse her eggs.
But in round three, despite making a mistake with the mushrooms,
she showcased her cooking techniques
with a perfectly stuffed chicken dish.
I'm more than chuffed with what I've done and I've challenged myself,
and I'm super-pleased.
You know, no matter what.
Meanwhile, Jason's pea puree won Matt's praise in round one.
He stole the show in round two with a perfectly poached egg,
but did his decision to put his chicken back in the pan
spoil his chances of reaching the Friday Final?
I would love Matt to pick me, I really would.
I think we could produce some really great stuff.
First of all, I'd like to say a big well done to both of you.
You have been absolutely amazing today.
But Matt can only pick one of you
to be his partner in the Friday Final,
and he has made his mind up.
The person that I want to take with me is someone that is innovative,
by themselves, but can also take instruction
and someone that I can leave in the kitchen confidently
to cook for Pierre and win the week.
So, that person for me is...
Well done, Karen!
I'm over the moon. I'm just emotional at the moment.
I'm not going to lie, I'm a little gutted,
but Matt had to pick somebody and Karen was fantastic.
Any last words for Karen?
Get a good night's sleep.
-Definitely, I promise.
Yeah, I absolutely do think I have made the right decision.
So, yeah, really looking forward to the final challenge.
I'm going to give my 150%, do everything I can.
Tomorrow, on Yes Chef...
it's the Friday Final.
The teams go head-to-head to cook for culinary royalty Pierre Koffmann.
Take 'em out the pan!
Excuse me, no shouting.
Four chefs. Four home cooks...
..but only one team will be crowned Yes Chef champions.
Top chef Matt Gillan has his eye on the prize as he puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make perfect poached eggs with hazelnut emulsion. Matt 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?