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Four of the best chefs in Britain are looking for an amateur home cook
to be their perfect partner.
Three home cooks are here to prove they have got what it takes to be
paired with the top chefs in the business
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
Don't forget your butter!
Each day a different Michelin-starred chef will choose
their perfect partner from three talented home cooks.
It's just been really hard.
In the Friday final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head to cook for culinary royalty,
Whoever impresses me with food is the end result.
The test is the most important.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.
-I want to win.
-Yeah, I know.
-I want to win again!
But will the amateur home cooks live up to expectations?
Thought I had it, and I've lost it again!
This is Yes Chef.
Hello, and welcome to Yes Chef.
Let's see who's cooking in the kitchen today.
First up is Alison Howells,
a research administrator from Leicestershire.
I tend to cook things that are mainly European, lots of flavour.
Some people have called me a flavour queen in the past.
I'm looking forward to cooking today.
Next up is Paul Ohman, a finance director from Brighton.
The opportunity today to cook with a Michelin-starred chef
is fantastic. It's great to learn new tricks.
Having someone with a Michelin star guiding you,
what can be better than that?
And finally, it's Wendy Lunn,
a former project manager from Bromley.
I like to be in my own zone.
I put the radio on and chill around and dance around the kitchen.
It's like my little comfort area.
Our cooks are ready to go, so let's meet today's chef.
Today's chef is Paul Ainsworth.
Renowned for his regional Cornish cuisine,
Paul Ainsworth combines technical brilliance with bold flavours
to produce wonderfully creative dishes.
My cooking style here at Number Six is modern British
with a huge focus on Cornish produce.
We've got great meat, great seafood,
We try to showcase as much of that as we can.
-One haddock, one oysters, one duck, one pork.
Having trained under the watchful eye of Gordon Ramsay
and Marcus Wareing, Paul knows exactly what he's looking for
from today's home cooks.
I need to work with somebody that's got a great attitude.
Bad timekeeping, working messy...
Me and that person are going to struggle.
Whenever you compete, you go in there to win.
Of course you want to win!
Welcome, everyone, to Yes Chef.
Now, Paul you are going to be picking one of our home cooks
to be your partner in this week's Friday final.
Any last tips for our cooks?
First and foremost, tasting, seasoning.
I know you're going to show nerves, but do you know what? Chillaxo.
OK, cool, let's get on with it.
Cooks, you've got 45 minutes to create your best dish for Paul.
If you'd like to make your way back to the stations, we'll begin.
Our cooks are off.
They have 45 minutes to impress chef Paul
with their very own signature dish.
He'll be looking for a partner who can deliver big on flavours,
is technically gifted, and has a temperament he can work alongside.
Today, Alison is making pork koftas in a spinach and chilli sauce,
served with basmati rice.
Alison enjoys healthy cooking and has opted for a low-fat twist,
but hopes her dish will still taste just as delicious.
I'm a bit nervous, but I've cooked this dish quite a lot before,
so I'm looking forward to seeing what Paul thinks of it.
That's the second time, sorry!
Finance director Paul is cooking sea bass with fondant potatoes
and a home-made crab mayonnaise.
He's given himself a busy workload with lots of elements,
and is keeping an eye on the time.
A little bit apprehensive but...I think I've got a plan.
Hope to stick to it.
I'm not used to cooking against the clock,
but there's a first time for everything.
Finally, over at the red station,
project manager Wendy is making halibut
with herb-crushed new potatoes, roasted tomatoes
and an olive tapenade.
Olives aren't Paul's favourite ingredients
so Wendy's got her work cut out to try and convert him.
-Hello, Wendy, how are you?
-How's it going?
-I think OK, actually.
I'm not massively keen on olives, I'll be really honest with you.
-Prove me wrong.
-I hope so.
-Prove how delicious they are,
that everyone tells me how lovely they are.
No pressure, Wendy(!)
-Why have you got nail files here?
Oh, it's just for your nails, not for anything.
-Not for the dish.
-Taking the top off the halibut or something?
-I'll just ignore them, then.
And you feel in control at this point?
-At the moment, yes.
-Yes, good, working nice and tidy, fantastic.
Hello, Paul, how are you?
I'm all right at the moment.
You've got some lovely looking ingredients on here, Paul.
A nice sea bass.
Are you going to fillet that? Pin bone it?
Yeah, I will in a minute, definitely pin bone it!
-I don't want to give you any bones.
-And how are you looking for time?
Er... No idea.
I think I'm on schedule at the moment.
-Thank you so much, good luck.
-Loads of time.
-Loads of time, let's go and have a drink.
Good luck, Paul.
-Hello, Alison, how are you?
-I'm all right, thank you.
Any reason why you went for pork instead of lamb?
Just because it's healthier.
-I like to cook in a really healthy way.
And you were a bit nervous this morning. How are you feeling now?
I'm feeling much better now, much better now I'm cooking.
-Did the chillaxo help you?
-It did help me!
-Chilled, nice vibe, lovely.
So, let's talk about Wendy's dish.
She's doing halibut with a tapenade.
You don't like olives, so has that put you off a little bit?
No, it hasn't put me off because if they are used correctly,
they can be very savoury and they can add a wonderful seasoning
to the dish. It sounds quite simple,
but she's got to be really on it with that dish.
The fact that Paul doesn't like his olives
is a little bit disconcerting.
But do you know what? I hated sushi when I was first introduced to it,
when I was a young age, so maybe, just maybe,
I might be able to convert him.
-He's doing fillet of sea bass, he's filleting his own sea bass,
-which is impressive.
-Yes. Really impressive.
From a chef's point of view,
he had amazing flavours on that table.
You can tell he knows what he's doing.
He is cooking to where he's from, really good.
Paul's obviously seen quite a lot of fish in his time
so he knows what he's looking for,
and I just hope I can hit his standards, basically.
Let's talk about Ali, she's doing pork koftas.
Straight away, when I walked over to Ali's station,
she's using spices so the smells coming off there are beautiful,
and incredible. For me, lamb carries that lovely, wonderful flavour,
you've got that bit of fat in there.
A kofta benefits from a little bit of fat
-because otherwise if it's too lean...
-It can be dry, can't it?
It can be dry, and the texture is not nice.
Yeah, she's got it all to play for,
she's got some wonderful flavours,
all three of them have.
All three dishes sound brilliant.
I've cooked something that I enjoy eating and making
but looking at the other cooks,
they've got things that are a bit more technical than mine so...
..I think the competition's tough.
There's still 20 minutes left on the clock,
and our home cooks are well under way,
but over at the red station,
Wendy's finished way ahead of schedule.
Wendy, you're plating up!
I know, I'm a bit worried that I'm plating up at this stage.
-No, it's fine.
-I didn't actually expect to be doing this.
To finish so quickly?
Yeah, yeah, I'm just conscious, like, my fish is...
Is it ready? Don't want to overcook it.
Yeah, exactly, exactly, so I'm hoping that...
It'll be fine. Are you pleased with how it's...turning out?
Let's just see when I've plated up.
15 minutes left, guys, 15 minutes.
-I only need one.
Smell. Amazing, really amazing.
It's got such a lovely depth.
I've just taken them out so that they don't get squashed in here,
so that they can still stay kofta shape.
Sauce looks delicious, really deep.
Hopefully it shouldn't be too hot, hopefully you'll enjoy.
-Yeah, I'm sure I will, it looks amazing.
-I'm sure we will.
With little time left, Paul is cracking on with his mayonnaise,
hoping it won't split,
whilst Wendy shows Paul her quenelling skills.
Great skills, Wendy, great skills.
Go on, hard over, hard over.
That's it. Yes, good on you.
Ali is totally confused by her rice.
The rice isn't quite cooked yet, it's still got a bit of a crunch.
Cooks, you've got five minutes left, just five minutes to go.
-You look like you're well in control.
Well, I was, but my rice isn't cooking.
Right, what, went on too late or...?
-It's been on for like 20 minutes.
Let me have a...
But usually it only takes about 12 minutes at home.
-That is why I did it 20 minutes ago!
This water's quite a lot of salt in there,
it's quite salty which can, with grains,
-can kind of, like, make them cook longer.
But you've still got time.
Two minutes left, guys, just two minutes to go.
'Desperate times call for desperate measures,
'and Ali will try anything to soften it.'
Give it every second.
With time running out,
Alison's only option is to serve the rice raw.
And time seems to be working against Paul, too.
With so many elements to his dish,
it's looking uncertain whether he'll finish on time.
That's it, stop cooking.
Step away from your plates.
Time is up.
It's time to taste.
First to be judged today is Alison,
with her signature dish of pork koftas,
with a spinach and chilli sauce with a side of basmati rice.
-Are you OK?
-I think so.
-Yeah? Good, good.
-You are always smiling.
-Yeah, she is, isn't she?
-Love it, love it.
Which is lovely.
Yeah, I did enjoy it.
I'm happy with the koftas, but I'm not happy with the rice.
The rice, yeah. Right, let's eat.
The flavour of the sauce is really rich, really kind of...deep.
The use of spicing is quite on point.
For me in this particular dish, I still think lamb is a great flavour.
I think that little bit of fat would really help this dish.
Unfortunately, I know your worry was the rice. The rice is raw.
-You're obviously very, very experienced,
and very good at working with spices, which isn't easy,
so well done.
I'm really kicking myself about the rice.
It's so easy to cook!
Obviously not today.
The kofta was a little bit dry for me and, you know,
I can't ignore the rice.
-The rice is raw.
I could eat these all day long, they're very nice.
Thank you, yes, I'm happy with these.
Next to take the taste test is Wendy
with a fillet of halibut, herb-crushed new potatoes,
slow-roasted tomatoes and an olive tapenade.
Are you OK, Wendy?
-How did you find the challenge?
I seemed to finish quite ahead of time,
and so I was then worried that my fish was going to overcook
cos I thought I needed to stretch it out until the 45 minutes.
I felt like I must have missed something out but...let's just see.
Let's go for it. Yeah.
Let's get some olives...
in my life.
Do you know what? I was worried about this this dish.
I kind of thought the use of the mustard cress was pointless,
and it is, you don't need that.
You were worried about the fish and yes,
you could have used your time better,
but you couldn't have picked a better cooking method
by steaming it.
The potatoes have got a nice balance of seasoning.
The tapenade, I love it, because it doesn't remind me of olives.
It's garlic, it's got a nice seasoning to the dish,
it's really delicious.
Yeah, there are a couple of things wrong with it.
There's more potato than there is fish.
Lose presentation, focus on flavour.
Apart from that, well done, it's a great dish.
The competition's really tough today so, yeah,
I think I'm going to be up against it.
That tapenade is delicious.
I did like that dish. I didn't think I was going to.
Made my life very difficult now.
And finally, it's Paul,
with a signature dish of sea bass, fondant potatoes,
roasted fennel and orange, with a side of crab mayonnaise.
-How's it going, Paul?
-I think it's gone.
-You got there.
-I got there.
Probably needed 48 minutes instead of 45, but you know how it is.
It looks delicious. Are you happy?
Yes, I am. I put on the plate what I planned to do.
What you planned to do, yeah.
Good. Good. Right, well, let's get stuck in.
Paul, you've got ingredients there on the plate that all work.
To be honest with you, you've cooked pretty much all of them
how I'd like them to be cooked.
The fondant is cooked through, it's absorbed that stock.
The fennel, the same.
I was really panicking because I thought you were leaving it
right to the last minute to get your fish in.
If I was to say to you what I would be looking for moving forward
is you need to work more tidier,
but it's a really, really great plate of food,
and from an amateur cook, that is very high-level cooking,
I think I was probably a bit over-ambitious.
I obviously wanted to impress,
but I take on board the comment that perhaps less
might have been a little bit more.
He got pretty much everything right on that plate.
My worry with Paul is that he's not the tidiest of workers,
and he did give himself a lot to do.
The potatoes are great, and the fish is really nicely cooked.
At the moment, there's not someone who's way out in front.
-No way. They've all got good skills and they've all got faults.
-And for me, they're about level at the moment.
Paul can only choose one home cook
to be his partner in the Friday final.
But before he decides who to send home first,
there's the Chef's Challenge to help him make up his mind.
So, Paul, what are we doing?
Here we have a pork belly, and I'm going to show you how to butcher it
So we're going to do crackling, we're going to do spare ribs,
and then we're going to roll the belly and we're going to tie it.
OK. Well, let's begin.
So here we have the middle section of the pork belly, OK?
On top, we have the skin.
Going to take that off, and prepare that for crackling.
Underneath, we have what you'll know as the spare ribs.
But what we're going to do first, OK, is take the spare ribs.
You want to get your knife right under there.
But remember, do not touch the belly.
All the way through, like so.
Your ribs go right to the end of the bone.
Like so. And there's your first one.
Right the way through. Just slice through nicely.
You can see how you've got these lovely spare ribs starting to form.
So that's the first lot. Spare ribs, done.
OK? Next, turn it back over.
Now, you see here, it's slightly drier on the skin
and it's a lot softer as you move right down to this end, OK?
That's the end that you want to start.
With your knife, gently, just gliding through, like so.
Come to the other end... and this is your crackling.
Now, can you see? I'm leaving the fat.
We need that fat, OK?
Pulling, all right?
Cos as you pull and you get that resistance,
your knife'll go through a lot easier.
So this is how you prepare your pork belly in your restaurant?
Yeah, I mean, this is kind of something I kind of do, you know,
at home with the family and stuff.
We do do... We've done pork like this.
I always separate the skin, because if you separate the skin,
you're always going to get wonderful cooked pork belly
and wonderful cooked pork,
but you're also going to get wonderful crackling.
So, now you've got your crackling, onto your tray, like so.
OK? A little bit of malt vinegar.
Now, what that's doing, you've got that wonderful acidity on the skin
that when you put this in the oven,
it will work against that lovely fattiness of the crackling.
Like salt and vinegar.
And then last, olive oil.
Not extra virgin, just olive oil. OK?
Next process done. So this is really going to kind of test you, this bit.
OK? This is where we are going to do our kind of butcher's tying.
I've just almost kind of, like, not made the ends longer,
but made them thinner.
The reason for that, I want to get a really, really tight roll.
It's going to become like a Swiss roll.
Right, now roll.
As tight as you can.
So you get...that.
Now the fun part.
Take your string, take a small bit,
and just do an ordinary granny knot.
Nice and tight.
Take your hand like so, come over like that, wrap around.
I want every single knot in line, all the way down, OK?
It just looks sexy, doesn't it?
Now, when you get to this end, cut plenty off.
OK? Turn it over, like that.
And then each one, go back through like so.
Miss one every time, move onto the next one.
Remember, don't cut it too short at the end
so you can't get that last knot.
And all that is is a granny knot.
Now, nice and clean, just take your time.
And there you have a fully tied pork belly joint ready for roasting.
Pork belly joint,
How are you feeling, guys?
-Nervous? You can do it.
Right, cooks, if you'd like to make your way back to your stations,
Our cooks will have just 20 minutes
to master all of Paul's different butchery skills.
And it's proving to be more difficult than it looked.
It's...quite far out of my comfort zone!
My knife skills are all right usually with vegetables.
But I've never done this to a piece of meat before.
The cooks will need to demonstrate their knife skills.
And never having attempted this kind of work before,
they've a tough challenge ahead.
I have sort of played around with meat.
I haven't done a lot of full-on butchery.
But...I'm reasonably comfortable.
I actually really quite enjoy this.
It's very therapeutic!
Whilst Wendy is feeling relaxed butchering the meat,
Alison is struggling to remove the skin.
I'm not having a very good time!
Just trying to be patient with it.
Trying not to cut myself.
I've put holes in the skin.
A number of them,
but...I don't know. Maybe it will aerate the fat.
-How are you doing?
This is a lot harder than I...
Watch those fingers, watch those fingers.
You're doing well. Watch your fingers.
-Look at this.
-Yeah, no timing issues today.
Although I've got the string issue to come.
-So, yeah, we've got ribs, we've got skin.
I've just trimmed the thin ends there.
-Good, skin looks good.
-A little tip -
whenever you're cooking with sea salt, this beautiful salt,
just crush it a bit in your fingers,
because you want a nice distribution of seasoning, all right?
OK. Good luck with the string.
I have rolled!
Really impressed, well done.
Ribs are off, skin...
Yeah, you've got little tears here.
I've seen chefs make a lot worse a job than that,
and that's really, really good.
I'd kind of just roll it back out and get it nice and tight
and then begin tying. It's really good.
-OK, thank you.
Wendy has also struggled to remove the skin off in one piece,
but she's hoping Paul won't notice.
Let's hide the holes.
No-one will know.
-How are they getting on?
-They're doing really well.
It's not an easy task, that.
-And they've never done it...
-Never done it, no.
-They all seem very calm.
Alison is really flying.
She is kind of, like, on rolling stage, which is impressive.
It's just been really hard.
-Paul, I know he's kind of steamed ahead as well.
When we walked past, he said, "Oh, it's the timing part."
That's his Achilles heel.
It reminds me of when I was in the Scouts.
I wasn't very good at knots, believe it or not,
and there was the most simplest of knots, it looked so straightforward,
but you just can't get your head round it,
and I think that is what's happening to Paul.
I'm getting the string in here,
wrapping it round, but somehow...
There's something not right about this.
It's like cats' cradles.
Alison's excelling at this challenge,
and is racing ahead of the other cooks.
Look at you go!
I've lost it.
Well done, Ali, that's awesome. Well done, really good.
But Paul still can't get the hang of the knotting process,
and time is ticking away.
I thought I had it and I've lost it again!
Cooks, you've got one minute left,
just one minute to go.
30 seconds left.
Five, four, three, two, one.
Right, time is up.
It's time to judge.
The cooks have done all they can,
and it's now time for Paul to judge their butchery skills
which will help him make his decision.
-How was that?
-Much better than I expected.
Yes... Until I got to the string, I was flying!
-And did you enjoy it, Wendy?
The skin was probably my biggest challenge.
Right, Paul, so you're going to judge, now, each display.
-Start with Ali.
The ribs, great, nice and meaty.
You were the quickest on the string, you just understood that.
Now, the problem you have is
you've exposed quite a lot of the meat, and what this is,
this is pure protein, so that's going to dry really quickly.
And you can see because, coming to your skin,
your skin's kind of, like, it's got the holes in it,
and you see how thick it is there? That's your, kind of, your meat.
-I did struggle with the skin.
Moving on to you, Paul.
Moving onto your belly, I think you struggled on that,
and you've kind of suffered the same sort of problem as what Ali's got.
You've got that kind of that meat showing.
Look at that.
To take that off in one piece,
that's brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Well done.
Ribs, nice and chunky, really, really good.
Moving onto your pork belly, it's the best one there, OK,
because it's exactly what I'm saying about that fat covering going round.
Moving onto your skin,
yes, you got holes in there,
but it's a really, really good job and...yeah.
This hasn't turned out how I wanted it.
It has made your job a lot more difficult.
This bit should have been like, "Yeah, I've got a clear winner."
You've all done such a good job, so well done.
Really well done. Well, if you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
we will see you very shortly.
-Thank you so much.
Only two can go through to the final round.
There's been mistakes,
but they've all made mistakes.
It isn't someone that's way out in front.
I struggled with the skin, I was trying to hide the holes,
but...I think he saw them.
I hope I've done enough to go through.
It's Paul's judgment as to who he is going to be able to work with
in the next round. I hope it's me.
I think part of my first dish let me down.
Maybe that was redeemed a little bit in this round,
but the competition's so tough.
I think you definitely need a couple more minutes.
Yeah, about an hour?
-No, a couple of minutes, that's it.
-Is that it?
I'll leave you to it.
Paul has a tough decision to make.
Which two cooks will make it through to the final stage
of the competition?
A big well done to all three of you,
you've been absolutely brilliant,
but unfortunately someone does have to leave us,
and Paul has made his mind up, so, Paul, it's over to you.
Wendy, Paul, Alison, absolutely outstanding.
You've impressed me so much,
and you've all got real, real strong, individual skill sets.
But it is a competition,
and the person I'm going to be sending home...
..is you, Alison, I'm afraid.
-Please, don't be disheartened.
You were fantastic and you blew me away on that pork masterclass.
Brilliant. Have you had a brilliant time?
I've had an awesome time, it's been really good.
Very, very proud of myself.
A few years ago, I'd never have dreamt of coming here,
but I'm just proud that I had the confidence to do so.
Going into the final round just leaves
former project manager Wendy...
Just really excited, but the stakes are getting quite high now.
..and financial director Paul,
to go head-to-head in the final challenge.
Going into the next round is pretty daunting.
I just hope I can pull it off.
It's now time for our third and final round.
Now, our home cooks have been given all the ingredients
to one of Paul's signature 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 Paul's chosen.
onion and garlic,
white wine vinegar,
rice wine vinegar,
and sesame seed oil.
So, Paul, any tips for our home cooks?
Enjoy it, taste,
and just really utilise those ingredients.
Right, cooks, reveal your ingredients,
because your time starts now.
This is Paul and Wendy's final hour to try and impress Chef Paul
with their culinary imagination.
Paul's struggling to think on his feet,
but on the plus side, cooking fish is one of Paul's strong points.
I'm happy to have another fish in my hands,
so that's my comfort zone.
I do have a sort of a plan.
Feeling a little bit challenged right now.
I'm just hoping that I can execute what's actually in my head.
Wendy and Paul seem to be on the same wavelength,
and have decided to oven roast their tomatoes.
So, what're you actually doing? What're you going to do?
I'm actually going to...
I'm actually going to pan-fry...
-You don't know, do you?
-You're free styling.
-There is a bit of free styling.
I'm going to try to create East-cum-West, a mix.
Yeah, I need to de-bone that.
I think I'm going to produce like a bit of a bruschetta,
so I'll probably go with some basil and some roast tomatoes,
I'll go quite Western with that,
because that's quite Western ingredients.
And then I'm going to move over to the East,
and then try to do a bit of a marinade with the fish.
I'm hoping that it will work.
I'm going to just taste as I go along
whilst I'm just freestyling a little bit
on this kind of East-West thing.
I want to say it sounds delicious,
but honestly, I've no idea what you're saying, Wendy.
-But do you know what?
-I don't think I do!
I am sure when we get there it is going to be amazing.
-It'll come together.
-I'm hoping it'll come together.
I'm hoping it'll come together.
I don't know, I think I'm somewhere between Bangkok and Singapore.
Yeah, you are right.
Whilst Chef Paul isn't too sure on what Wendy's planning to cook,
he's hoping Paul has come up with a clearer plan.
So basically, stuff that.
-Tie it with string - my new skill -
and bake that for a little while.
Nice, quite a classic, like a mackerel recheado.
-Oh, is that right?
-Yeah, lovely, yeah, very nice.
-Good luck, Paul.
So, how do you think they're getting on? Let's start with Paul.
I think Paul's got a really strong start.
He's butterflied the mackerel,
but he's cut right through it, and what he should have done was
he should have left it on the vertebrae, together,
and just taken the bone out so he would have had like a...
-Yeah, like a butterfly, like a square piece.
Because now he's going to have an exposed end each side,
so you have got that risk of all that work he's doing in the middle
falling out, even though it's tied with string.
Yeah, I think I'm just going to do some croutons with the bread,
so just get them chunked up and a little bit of oil and in the oven.
A little bit of crunch.
Let's talk about Wendy.
I don't think she quite knows where she's going.
I was hoping you could tell me.
Sorry, I'm none the wiser.
I think Wendy at the moment is somewhere between Peckham and...
Somewhere like that, I don't know.
I think she knows what she's doing and you never know,
she could produce something absolutely fantastic.
Feeding the 5,000.
-They want to impress you.
Yeah, and that's what I'm looking for to take through to Friday,
somebody that's up for it.
Because Friday's a whole new ball game, and I want to win.
Yeah, I know!
I want to win again!
Whilst Wendy is making sure none of the bread goes to waste,
Paul's stuffed mackerel is almost ready.
I tell you what, for someone that was nervous about string earlier,
-you are overcoming your fears, aren't you?
What's inside the fish?
Well, so that was...
-..really mainly the coriander, a little bit of the basil.
-Some of the onion as well, and garlic.
And a bit of seasoning.
I think that was it, mostly.
It's harder than plucking your eyebrows, this.
It's what? Like plucking your eyebrows?
-No, it's harder.
-Oh, harder than plucking your eyebrows!
After Wendy compares the kitchen to a beauty salon,
Paul seems to have hit a brick wall.
I'm not totally convinced with what I've decided to do,
but I am thinking along the lines of a little dressing with the chilli,
and that's going to somehow decorate the plate.
So it's slightly a work in progress,
but I think I'm committed to doing it, now.
Cooks, you've got 15 minutes left, 15 minutes to go.
Time's ticking away for the cooks,
and the atmosphere in the kitchen is tense.
Are you happy so far?
Yeah, I've been tasting and tasting, so...
And does it taste good?
Not wanting to make a repeat of the first round,
Paul's ahead of schedule,
plating up his mackerel with plenty of time to spare.
I see you're plating up already.
-Yeah, well, you know me and timing.
-I thought I'd err on the side of caution.
-Ahead of time today.
Well, I have to say, it looks very good,
and you are way ahead of time!
As Paul puts the finishing touches to his dish,
Wendy's only just started to fry her mackerel.
I'm hoping that it will work out,
but it's quite a high-risk strategy.
Three minutes left, cooks, just three minutes to go.
Time isn't on Wendy's side in this round.
Her only chance of getting the mackerel cooked in time
is to put it in the oven.
-I know. You see?
-Yeah, but you've listened.
Done on time. And it looks good.
one... Well done!
-Well done, guys.
Very well done.
Paul has made baked mackerel stuffed with a salsa verde,
panzanella salad, and roasted tomatoes.
Wow. That looks incredible, Paul.
-Oh, good, thank you.
-Got it out with a bit of time to spare as well.
-Well, there we go!
-Good. You happy?
-Yeah, I am, yeah.
I can't wait to try it, it looks amazing.
-Yeah, let's tuck in, yes.
I think we'll go straight into the middle.
Were you happy when you saw the main ingredient was fish?
Oh, yes. Well, that... Yes.
-I did relax a little bit at that point.
Paul, that's a brilliant dish.
Skill, technique, the fish is cooked beautifully,
the onions in there are nice and tender.
You don't need them round the outside,
they're just good in the middle.
The flavour profile is very like the dish that I'm going to show you,
with what I would do with these ingredients.
I must admit, you were inviting us to do something Asian
-seeing the sesame oil...
It's a wonderful plate of food,
and I would sit down and eat that all day long.
To be told it is faultless by someone like Paul is just amazing.
-It was lovely, fresh, gorgeous.
And he utilised a lot of ingredients in there as well.
It's really tasty.
Wendy has made pan-fried mackerel in an Asian-infused paste,
with a garlic and basil bruschetta, and roasted tomatoes.
It feels like the plate's very simple,
but I did take on board your comments earlier,
and tried to refrain from adding unnecessary decoration or garnish.
Yeah. Shall we have a taste?
-I think the best way to do this is...
-I'll make you one.
-Ah, thank you.
That's OK. You don't mind my fingers, do you?
Not much choice, really, is there?
-There you go.
Thank you. That's a good piece, yeah.
Why aren't you eating it like this?
Very, very tasty. The fish is cooked nicely.
You can taste that kind of...
..mix that you were making.
I've got to call it a mix, cos yeah, I saw what you were doing,
with basil, the chillies, the lime.
You know, your bruschetta.
Probably just cut that a bit thinner.
It's a bit kind of, like, almost one-dimensional.
It's kind of like fish, toast, tomatoes.
And it just needs a bit of cohesion.
It needs to come together a bit more and be like a more rounded dish,
do you know what I mean?
But that is a beautifully cooked piece of mackerel, so well done.
It's nice to get his feedback,
some positives, some constructive.
I would just love the opportunity to spend some more time
and just carry on improving and learning,
I just can't wait.
I do love mackerel. I like the dressing.
It has to be a dish.
It can't just be some tomatoes,
some toast and a piece of mackerel.
It needs to have fluidity. It needs to eat like a dish.
-But then there's other areas where Wendy was really strong,
so it's still a very hard decision for me to make.
OK. Well, you don't have to decide just yet,
because now we're going to see what you make with those ingredients.
So, cooks, this is the best bit.
This is where you get to sit back and relax
and watch the master at work.
So, Paul, tell us what you're going to do with these ingredients.
So, we're going to do a barbecued mackerel,
then underneath is going to be like a pickle ceviche,
so slightly Japanese.
Before we prep the mackerel, though, this side,
which we're going to get on, is our pickle.
All right? So in here we're going to put some water...
..white wine vinegar, olive oil and sugar.
Next, we're going to make the dressing.
So in there we've got olive oil, sesame oil,
white wine vinegar...
..and rice wine vinegar.
just blitz it up.
And that's what we're going to marinade
the underside of our mackerel with.
Now we're going to move over to our mackerel.
Absolutely fine specimen of a fish.
Lift up that dorsal fin,
go right up to the neck, OK?
Turn it round,
and then run the tip of your knife
right along the vertebrae
all the way down.
And then very simply just go over that vertebrae,
and just slide it off...
Just run your knife along like so,
cut them out, like so.
Go back to your dressing.
We want to start to get that...
the rice wine vinegar and the white wine vinegar in there,
we want to start to cook the underside of that mackerel.
That's the ceviche,
that's the pickling process, OK?
And then all over the fish, like so.
Slice the onion really, really thin, all right,
and then just...
So there is your onion.
Lightly season, and we're going to take our pickle.
We're just going to cover it, guys.
After a while...
-If you could pass me that one, Sheree.
..you're going to get that. Pickled red onions.
I'm going to start with the tomato preparation,
and then we'll move on to the chillies.
So, take your tomatoes, like so.
Put them face down in that lovely mackerel pickle.
And you'll see what's going to happen to these.
Do you serve this in your restaurant?
Yes, we serve this at Rojano's In The Square,
which is like an Italian sort of Mediterranean influence,
which is what you'll see in this dish.
Next, we move on to our chillies.
We're going to take them on the angle, and...
..really, really thinly slice them.
In like that with the reds, in like that with the greens.
Do you feel the pressure?
Cos last time you were on the show, you won, didn't you?
But is there added pressure this time?
Yes, because you're...
You know, if you're competitive, you want to...
I want to win. OK?
And there is a certain amount of pressure.
I'm not going to lie. I want to win it.
So we're just going to put that in the oven, like so.
So, here we have the sourdough toast.
Chargrill on, lovely kind of charred flavours happening.
Take that out now, get the dressing to come down,
see the juices coming out of the fish.
And it's so delicate.
Here we've got our wonderful pickled onions.
I want some of that juice in there, as well.
We're going to take some coriander,
a little bit of...lemon juice,
Now we're going to get that mackerel in there.
We're now going to add, like, a smoke element.
And the best way to do that really fast is with a blowtorch.
And instantly, cos it's so hot,
it's giving you that barbecue element straight on the top.
Look, scorch those tomatoes, right round the edges.
-Wow. That smells incredible.
And now watch it all come together.
Your toast just goes into the centre like so.
Get your tomatoes, just put it on top of your toast like so.
But the final thing is just utter simplicity,
mackerel on toast.
Oh, my gosh. APPLAUSE
Well done. It looks incredible.
So, let's have a little taste.
-Go on, get stuck in.
-What do you think, guys?
-Would you try it at home yourselves?
It tastes absolutely amazing.
-Thank you so much, Paul.
-Pleasure. Absolute pleasure.
Well, now it's the moment of truth,
and you're going to reveal who's going to be your partner
-in this week's Friday final.
-But before you do,
let's have a quick recap of what our cooks made earlier.
In the first round, Paul cooked sea bass.
However, his crab mayonnaise was a little sloppy.
In round two, he struggled getting to grips with his string,
and tying up the meat.
And in the final round,
he wowed Chef Paul with his simple yet tasty stuffed mackerel.
To be his partner in the final would be fantastic.
In round one, Wendy tried to win Paul around
with her halibut and olive tapenade.
Wendy did well with her butchery skills,
however her pork skin wasn't up to scratch.
And in the final round, she created a flavoursome dish.
However, it was a little too simple with her mackerel.
I think it would be wonderful to have an opportunity
to compete against some of the other heat winners as well.
Firstly, I'd like to say well done to you both.
It's been a brilliant day, and I hope you've both enjoyed yourselves.
But unfortunately, only one of you can go through to the Friday final,
and Paul has made his mind up, so, Paul, it's over to you.
The most difficult decision, I have to tell you.
You two have been, like, neck and neck,
and it came down to the mackerel,
and there was one dish that just absolutely stood out.
It reminded me of the dish I've just cooked for you,
and that was you, Paul.
-You are my winner today.
-Wendy, I'm really, really sorry.
-Well done. Congratulations.
Thank you so much.
I am over the moon. It's fantastic.
He's got great skill, so I think they're going to make
a wonderful team, and I wish them all the best of luck.
Paul showcased some amazing skills today,
and his signature dish was brilliant.
Pierre Koffmann is flavour, flavour, flavour all the way,
and that's how I love to cook,
and I believe that is exactly what Paul is about.
He's a great teacher,
so I just hope I can take on board his briefing
and make a good job of it.
Tomorrow on Yes, Chef...
..three more home cooks go all out to impress top chef Jun Tanaka.
That was a delicious plate of food.
It's the chance for them to work alongside the best in the business.
Obviously the pressure is on.
But only one can become their partner in the Friday final.
Paul Ainsworth puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including a test of their butchery skills. Paul 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?