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Four of the best chefs in Britain are on the hunt for their partner.
Three home cooks are here to prove they've got what it takes
to be paired with the best in the business
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
Blitz the soup, Paul!
Each day, a different Michelin-starred chef
will choose their perfect partner from three talented home cooks.
Obviously the pressure is on.
In the Friday final,
all four pairs will go head-to-head to cook for culinary royalty,
There is only two types of cooking, bad cooking and good cooking.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.
That was a delicious plate of food.
But will the amateur home cooks live up to expectations?
I'm looking to come out on top, really,
but there's strong competition today.
This is Yes Chef.
Hello and welcome to Yes Chef.
Let's see who's cooking in the kitchen today.
First, it's Elaine Yates,
a primary school teacher from Alderley Edge, in Cheshire.
A professional chef watching you is obviously going to be stressful,
but what I want to take from it is just a fantastic experience
and hopefully learn something along the way.
Next is Adam Parsons, an assistant hotel manager
from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
I like to be able to push the boundaries a little bit
with ingredients, so you take little bits from different recipes
and just see what comes out.
I'm looking forward to being able to test myself
and learn a few new things along the way.
And finally, it's Marta Zukowska, a charity project manager from London.
I always get inspired by travelling and trying new things.
I'm trying to be calm, but let's see what happens
in the heat of the kitchen.
Our cooks are ready to go, so let's meet today's chef.
Today's chef is Jun Tanaka,
from The Ninth, in London's Fitzrovia neighbourhood.
With over 20 years' experience,
Jun has trained under the brilliance of Marco Pierre White,
Philip Howard, and the Roux brothers.
My style of cooking is French Mediterranean.
Simple, ingredient-led, vibrant flavours.
Mackerel and bass carpaccio, a carousel and a sea bream.
Jun's restaurant focuses on the finest seasonal ingredients
to produce vibrant and honest flavours.
What I'm looking for in a home cook is someone who's organised,
and methodical with their approach to the recipe.
A chef who's disorganised and messy, I cannot stand.
I'm a chef. Obviously I want to win the competition!
Welcome, everyone, to Yes Chef.
Now, Jun, you're going to be picking one of our home cooks
to be your partner in this week's Friday final.
What will you be looking for?
The most important thing is enjoy yourselves
because cooking is all about passion,
and enjoying your time in the kitchen.
OK, round one.
Cooks, you have 45 minutes to create your best dish for Jun.
OK, well, let's get started.
If you'd like to make your way back to your stations, we'll begin.
Our cooks are off.
Jun will be looking for a partner who he can work together with
and is organised and methodical with their cooking.
Today, Elaine is cooking duck with five spice and a honey glaze,
served with parsnip three ways with a red wine jus.
I do love cooking but...
..this is quite pressurised.
Having cooked this dish at home plenty of times before,
Elaine is feeling the pressure to make sure she brings out
all the flavours of the dish.
Trying to be careful not to cut through the duck breast itself.
Obviously the pressure is on.
Over at the green station,
Adam is cooking chorizo-crusted monkfish with cooked lentils.
He's given himself a lot to do in 45 minutes
so he must make sure he works fast
to ensure his dish lives up to expectations.
I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm quietly confident,
I think I've got it all planned out in my head.
I've tried cooking it in 45 minutes.
It's not quite happened just yet,
but I know there is places I can speed up,
to get it to that time.
Over at the yellow station,
Marta has opted for seafood linguine with samphire.
With her calm approach to cooking,
Marta is taking the challenge all in her stride.
Normally I'm quite a calm and relaxed cook because...
..this is just something that relaxes me.
-Hi there, hi.
-How are you going?
Yes, I'm just making my way through.
I think this is going to stick, but I should be OK.
And is this something that you've rehearsed lots at home?
Oh, yes, just a few!
-How many times have you cooked it?
-At least about eight!
And how many times did you get the duck perfectly pink?
-Once out of eight!
Which was probably about last night so no pressure,
I'm not panicking at all!
When you cook the duck, how do you tell when it's perfectly cooked?
-What's your method?
-I just touch it, to be honest,
-and see if it kind of springs back.
-OK. Should work, definitely.
-Thank you very much.
-Brilliant. Well, good luck.
-Thank you very much.
-We'll see you shortly.
-OK, thank you.
-How are you getting on?
I'm doing all right so far.
So, tell us your dish.
It's a chorizo-crusted monkfish with lentils.
And most of that chorizo stays on the monkfish?
It has done two of the three times.
-So hopefully it stays on this time as well.
And you're serving it with the lentils.
-So you're cooking the lentils from scratch?
-Yes, cooking them from scratch.
-That's going to go on soonish?
Yes, so it'll be on for a half an hour.
Well, we'll get out of your hair.
-Thank you very much!
-How are we getting on?
-I think pretty good.
Very nice. What seafood are you using?
So I'm using three types of seafood.
I've got some fresh mussels, I've got some fresh king prawn,
and some octopus.
-Where's the octopus?
Squid. That's all right!
I've made that mistake a dozen times!
Now you're inspired quite a bit by your travels.
Where's next on the map for you?
Well, I'd love to go to Korea.
I love Korean food.
And why this particular dish?
It shows off how you can cook the different types of seafood
and it also has a nice flavour that we enjoy at home quite a lot.
-Well, good luck.
We'll let you carry on.
Right, let's go through our contestants.
-We've got Elaine.
She's doing duck breast.
Duck, five spice, parsnips.
My only reservation about this particular dish
is parsnip three ways.
Now this is kind of what chefs used to do maybe ten years ago,
showcase one ingredient, and cook it three, four, five different ways.
I'm taking the little tiny inner fillet out
cos I want to add that to my jus, to try to create some flavour.
Let's move on to Adam.
So, he's doing slow-cooked lentils with chorizo crust on his monkfish.
You don't want to eat tough lentils.
And you did sort of point out,
-"Are you going to put your lentils on yet?!"
Cos I was a little bit worried that he didn't have that much time.
If I go into something,
I definitely am looking to come out on top, really,
but there is strong competition today,
so hopefully we all pick up good dishes
and make it hard for themselves.
-Finally we've got Marta.
-She's doing a seafood linguine.
It would be nice to see her make her own pasta, for sure.
-But there's nothing wrong with dry pasta,
I use it all the time at home.
My only concern is you have three different kinds of seafood.
To get every single one cooked perfectly
is going to be really tricky, even for the best of chefs.
I'm quite excited,
but also nervous,
but I'm concentrating now on trying to get through this stage,
and hopefully deliver a good dish that they will enjoy.
Whilst Marta is keeping calm and relaxed cooking her linguine,
Elaine and Adam still have a lot to do with their dishes.
Adam is making a start on his chorizo crust for the monkfish,
whilst Elaine is blending her parsnips.
How's the crust?
I'm worried it might be a little bit too wet.
But...we'll see how it goes.
It's too late to change it now, so fingers crossed.
Cooks, you've had half an hour, you've got 15 minutes to go.
15 minutes left.
How often do you cook at home?
I try to do at least once a week for my family.
Yes. So what's your kind of go to dish?
I'd have to say fried chicken.
Fried chicken? Nothing wrong with fried chicken!
I love fried chicken!
Secret spice recipe?
Yeah, but I'm not giving it away!
I completely get it!
-Your grandparents are Italian, aren't they?
-Yes, that's right.
So I've got vivid memories of watching my grandma cooking
typical dishes from the small village where they came from.
-And whereabouts was that?
-So it's kind of the...
Poor food, they called it, really,
so they just used absolutely everything
and didn't waste any food.
So a lot of your influences come from the grandparents?
-Yeah, I think so, yeah, definitely.
-Nice, that's good.
-Well, this smells delicious.
The three cooks are in the thick of it,
but after giving himself an ambitious dish to cook,
Adam is worried about his chorizo herb crust.
The crust was a bit too wet so it's not really crusting up enough,
so I'm a bit worried about the timing, really.
Adam's got less than 15 minutes to get his herb crust back on track.
Elaine's rushing to finish her duck dish,
and Marta is making sure her linguine is full of flavour,
and that her seafood is cooked to perfection.
I'm worried about the duck,
that's the main thing that's worried me the whole way through
because when I've been doing the practice,
I've either undercooked it or overcooked it.
And I won't know until I cut in right at the very end.
And Elaine's not the only one who's worried
that her main ingredient is cooked properly.
The fish isn't cooked. It's completely raw.
It's a disastrous time for Adam.
So Jun has decided to step in and offer his advice.
Issue with the monkfish?
-So what I would do, slice those into medallions,
get your pan really hot,
and then caramelise it just on one side,
add a touch of butter, flip it over,
-and then you can add a bit of this on top of each one.
Hopefully, Adam will take Jun's advice
and try and fry off the monkfish in time.
Marta's putting the finishing touches to her linguine,
and first to plate up is Elaine with her duck.
Three minutes left, guys.
Just three minutes to go.
Elaine's perfecting the presentation of her dish -
and not far behind is Marta.
-Oh, God, yeah!
-I know! I can relax now.
The pressure's on for Adam as he only has a few minutes left
to fry off the medallions of monkfish.
One minute to go.
Come on, guys. Get that food on the plate.
Just one minute left.
Are you going to make it?
I think I'm just about going to make it, yeah.
Just in the nick of time, Adam's managed to plate up his dish.
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 into the tasting room is Elaine
with her pan-fried duck with five-spice and honey glaze,
served with parsnips three ways and a red wines jus.
Did you enjoy the challenge?
I did, yes. Eventually, once I got into it.
Anything you would change?
I think the jus looks a bit messy.
I tried to be all cheffy and it didn't work out!
So, yeah, I would change that.
I don't like the way that... It looks a bit messy.
-Ready to taste?
-Yeah, after you.
-I'm going to taste the sauce first, just by itself.
It's beautifully presented...
..and the duck is cooked perfectly.
-Which you know.
The five-spice and the honey and the duck
combines beautifully with the duck breast.
The parsnips work really well.
-It's slightly sweet, the parsnips, which is fantastic.
For me, the jus could be slightly more acidic
-to balance out that sweetness.
The nice thing about this dish is its simple flavours,
and the simplicity of it is why it works so well.
Thank you very much.
Nerve-racking to start off with, but once you get into the cooking
you haven't really got time to think about it,
you've just got to keep going. So, yeah, it was good.
I really like how sweet the parsnip complements the duck.
- Dive in. - That's really, really nice.
-Really good flavour.
It was surprisingly good, because when she first started,
she seemed really nervous -
but the plate of food she just served up was delicious.
Next is Adam, with a slightly different dish than planned.
He's made pan-fried medallions of monkfish,
sat on a bed of cooked lentils, topped with pancetta.
-There you are.
-Thank you very much.
-That was a bit of a challenge.
-It was, a little bit!
It's not as good as I could've done it, for sure.
the first thing that's not on there is the chorizo crust.
I didn't take into account, really,
how much oil the chorizo would release.
-It is what it is.
-..you got something on the plate, yes.
-I'm pleased with what it is.
I personally think having it as a chorizo butter works better
than having it as a crust,
because when I saw you put the crust on the monkfish,
it was far too much chorizo and bread for that amount of monkfish.
I think you needed to season the monkfish.
I don't think you seasoned the monkfish.
-No, because I was rushing at the end to just get it cooked.
-Yeah, shame about the timing...
..but it was an ambitious dish.
Out of the three, it was definitely the most ambitious.
I'm a little bit disappointed with the actual cooking of it,
but I've learned from it, and I'll come back stronger, for sure.
If he had seasoned the monkfish,
I think the flavours would've come together.
He's still got the next round to go,
-so let's hope he can deliver.
It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be
when I had five minutes left, so...
Finally, it's Marta with her seafood linguine,
which includes mussels, prawns and squid
in a flavoursome, creamy sauce.
-Lovely. Did you enjoy the challenge?
I did, more than I thought I would.
Are you happy with everything you've plated up?
Pretty much. I mean, I could improve on presentation,
but that is always my weakest point, so...
OK, well, let's taste.
Pasta is cooked beautifully.
It's got texture, which is fantastic.
-I probably wouldn't add so much cream to this...
..and my only question is, you had that beautiful head of the squid,
but I can't see it inside the pasta.
I haven't used it.
I used some tentacles.
But the most important thing is, flavour.
And you've got it bang on.
I'm very pleased.
I don't think I could've done much better.
That was a delicious plate of food -
and, yes, it could have done without the cream, in my opinion,
but it was a lovely...
That's really nice.
Is anyone standing out at the moment?
Well, you don't have to tell us yet,
-because now we're going to go and do your skills test.
-So let's go.
Jun can only take one of the three home cooks into Friday's final,
and to help him decide who will be sent home first,
he's set them a skills challenge.
So what are we doing?
So, we're going to do a very simple red wine sauce.
Once you know how to do this, you can adapt this recipe
to make sauces for every single different kind of meat or fish.
So, we're going to peel these shallots.
I'm looking for someone with a good palate,
because you need to balance out the sweetness of the red port,
the acidity of the balsamic vinegar and red wine,
and the richness of bisque stock.
So there's a lot to think about -
so, taste, taste, taste along the way.
Always. So, three shallots, nice and fine.
So, shallots, nice and fine.
Will you be looking at everybody's knife skills, as well?
Knife skills is important, but I think, to be a good cook,
you need to be organised, you need a good palate -
which is more important than actually being able to chop fast.
-So, shallots go straight in -
and then, with the garlic, just crush it in the palm of your hand,
just to release the flavours.
Bay leaf goes in, and a sprig of thyme.
Is that the highest?
For "Proper hot".
So we're going to caramelise this until it goes slightly golden brown,
and then I'm going to add button mushrooms.
We know Pierre loves his sauce.
Very much so.
There's never enough sauce.
No. So wait for that to caramelise a little bit longer.
Touch of balsamic vinegar goes in.
So, just add a touch,
coat the shallots and mushrooms in the balsamic vinegar,
red wine goes in.
Red port. Now, red port is sweet, so you want three quarters red wine,
and a quarter red port.
Now I'm going to reduce that down,
right down until it's nice and syrupy,
and then, at that point, I'm going to add the stock,
bring it up to the boil, let it simmer and reduce down.
How do you know when it's reduced?
So, with the alcohol,
you want to reduce it down until it's nice and syrupy,
so it's almost completely evaporated.
OK, the alcohol's reduced down.
Then add your stock.
Bring it up to the boil.
OK, so, at this stage, taste.
Make sure you're happy with the flavour,
and then, we're going to pass it through a sieve
to get rid of all the shallots, the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf.
Just give it a really good squeeze
to get all the flavour out of those shallots and mushrooms.
OK, you can see, can you see?
It starts to thicken.
You want it slightly thicker than that.
Can you tell?
And you can tell by the bubbles.
So, have a look at the bubbles.
They look foamier, don't they?
Little bit of butter.
Add a touch of balsamic...
..and the sauce is ready.
It's got a lovely gloss to it.
It's not overly reduced.
There's a little bit of, kind of...body to the sauce.
-A shine to it, as well.
-Yeah. And that is the red wine sauce.
Here you go, I brought some little spoons here.
-Have a taste.
-Oh, thank you.
Oh, my gosh. I could just drink that out of the pan.
-It's just lovely. Mm!
-So, are you feeling confident, guys?
Let's begin. If you'd like to make your way back to your work stations,
The home cooks have just 20 minutes to perfect Jun's red wine sauce.
This challenge is all about precision, flavour
and getting the right amount of liquid into the pan
for the reduction.
I've never made a red wine sauce before...
but I did like it,
so this is a good opportunity to learn how to make it properly.
I'm hoping I redeem myself, and if I don't make it through,
I've gone out to two great chefs.
So, we'll see how it goes.
-Jun's was absolutely delicious.
The flavours were just incredible - so, I'll just do my best
and hope that I can recreate what he created.
The nerves are not too bad at the moment.
It's important that the home cooks
start to add the liquids to the frying pan soon,
as the reduction process takes time,
and it's vital to the flavour of the sauce.
I think I'm quite confident in my palate
so, as long as I taste, taste, taste,
then I should be OK.
With having no specific measurements for the liquids,
the home cooks need to know how much to put in by taste.
Marta is slightly concerned about her flavour.
A bit vinegary.
It's not there yet.
How are we getting on?
Yes, OK, I think.
I waited for the red wine and the port to reduce down.
it went quite thick. So, then I've added the chicken stock.
I'm just going to wait for that to reduce again,
and then I'll test again
and see whether I need to add more balsamic vinegar or not,
-I'm not sure...
-Are you tasting,
-tasting along the way?
-I'm tasting as I go along.
-All the time.
-All the time.
-You are OK?
So, just added the stock.
It reduced down to the syrup, so, not much liquid left in it.
-It's all going well so far, and just keep an eye on it...
Are you tasting along the way?
-I'm tasting along the way, as well, yes.
-All going well?
-All going well.
I love the way that it's all lined up perfectly!
Is that so you can measure how much you've put in?
A bit obsessed, yes.
You have to be incredibly precise.
Especially when you don't measure!
-Well, good luck.
-We'll see you soon.
Too much or too little of either ingredient
could make a huge difference to the sauce,
causing it to reduce unevenly.
It would have to reduce a bit more, maybe.
I might still add a touch of port,
because there is a little bit of a hint of vinegar,
to make it a bit sweeter.
They all seem to be getting on OK.
Yeah. They seem fine.
You know, even - you know, Adam had a slight mishap
when he cooked his own dish, but now he seems in control.
-Cooking well is also about confidence...
..and when you lose that confidence, everything just falls apart.
Mm. All confidence levels seem to be up,
they're all raring to go,
so hopefully their sauces will turn out perfect.
The three home cooks are now in the waiting game,
and need time to let the sauce reduce.
Ten minutes left, cooks.
Will the cooks have enough time left
to give their sauce plenty of flavour?
It's just knowing when to...
-Take it off.
-..take it off and then reduce it further.
I'm going with it.
Elaine's the first one to sieve out all the flavour of her sauce -
and not far behind is Adam.
It tastes like it's almost there.
I think it needs just a little bit more butter,
but, then, after that, I'm very happy with it.
So, I'm going to wait for the bubble change...
and put my butter in.
It's like a red wine facial.
Three minutes to go.
Three minutes left, guys.
-Happy with that.
-Happy with it, yeah.
Adam's the first one to complete his red wine sauce -
but has he let it reduce for long enough?
I'm going to go with that.
Second to finish is Elaine...
and, feeling confident with the taste of her sauce, is Marta.
Yes. It's there.
All three cooks completed Jun's challenge -
but the result will all be in the taste of the sauce.
That's it. Time's up.
Time to taste.
One of the home cooks will be leaving the competition
at the end of this challenge.
Taking into consideration their performance in the first round,
Jun will be judging their red wine sauce to help him make up his mind.
Well, they all look great.
But they all look completely different.
They do! OK.
Well, let's taste.
So, we'll start with Adam.
Consistency, a little bit too thin.
I think you haven't added enough red wine and port,
and just reduced it that little bit further
to get the intensity of flavour.
The sauce is a good consistency.
-You did reduce it down to the right amount.
-It's slightly too sweet...
..but the flavour is good.
You've got a lovely, deep colour,
and, actually, the balance between the sweet and the acid
is very good.
Well done all of you. If you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
-we'll see you shortly. You can take these with you.
Only two of the cooks will be going through to the next challenge
and go head to head to become Jun's partner for the Friday final.
Same recipe, but all very different.
Yeah - and it was interesting to see the end result.
Hopefully I'll go through,
but I'd be happy to go out to two great home cooks.
You know, to be praised by a Michelin-starred chef,
it's no mean feat.
I think my palate is obviously just a little bit too sweet,
so I need to be aware of that.
After tasting all three I know exactly who's going to be leaving.
OK. Well, let's go break the news.
That was quick! OK.
Unfortunately one of you does have to leave the competition now,
and Jun has made his mind up.
So, it's over to you.
So, Friday's challenge is going to be really tough,
and the partner I'm looking for not only has to be able to cook
delicious food, but has to be organised, has to keep to time,
has to work in a tidy, methodical fashion,
and I felt that one person didn't quite reach my expectations.
So, unfortunately, the person leaving...
It's been really nice.
I'm just a bit disappointed with my own performance,
but I couldn't have gone out to two better people,
so I'm happy - but I know I could have done a lot better.
That just leaves charity project manager Marta...
I came to validate my style of cooking and, so far, so good.
..and primary school teacher Elaine.
I just hope that I can recognise the ingredients
that we are presented with, and do the best I can.
It's now time for our third and final round.
Our home cooks have been given all the ingredients
to one of Jun's signature dishes.
They'll have an hour to identify all the ingredients,
and to create a dish of their own.
So, for you at home, here's what Jun's chosen.
Sea bream fillets, mussels, celeriac,
a leek, shallots and carrot,
creme fraiche and white wine,
fish stock, lemon and basil,
thyme, garlic and chives.
Easy enough for a Michelin-starred chef -
but how will our home cooks do?
Any advice you'd give our home cooks?
Yeah, think about what you're going to do before you start.
Try to use all the ingredients,
and, most importantly, think about the flavour combinations.
Right. Reveal your ingredients, because your time starts now.
This challenge is Marta and Elaine's last chance to impress Jun
with their culinary skills and imagination.
Elaine seems a little confused with the ingredients...
However, pretty quickly, both cooks make a start on prepping their veg.
-Have you got a plan?
Er, it's starting to come together.
Yes. I think I'm going to do a celeriac mash.
I'm going to try to do some celeriac...
-little mini julienne strips, deep-fried.
I'm going to roast my fennel,
cook my mussels,
then I'm going to pan-fry the...sea bass, sea bream, whatever.
-OK. Yes, good plan.
-You've got a good plan!
-Yeah, I think so.
-That's the plan.
-Is there any part of this that worries you?
Yes. The mussels.
I've never cooked mussels before.
-OK. Good luck.
-Thank you very much.
So, what's your plan with the ingredients?
-It's sort of starting to come together.
I'm planning to do a celeriac mash.
-Serve with fried fish...
and I think...I think it's either bream...
Then there is the mussels that I think I'll steam with wine
and some fish sauce and the fennel.
OK, how are you feeling? Are you feeling confident?
Not yet, no.
It's coming together, though. You've got a plan. So, that's great.
There is something brewing in my head, but, yes, let's wait and see.
-OK. Well, good luck.
It seems both cooks have got some kind of plan in mind.
Elaine's biggest challenge is how to cook the mussels,
and Marta's confidence isn't quite at its best.
What do you think of the menu so far?
-Let's start with Elaine.
-She's started with the celeriac -
actually, they have both started with the celeriac,
which is quite interesting.
Elaine is deep-frying some of it,
like her signature dish right at the beginning.
-Although she hasn't cooked mussels before,
-she knows how to cook them.
It's the sort of thing I would choose in a restaurant,
if I knew the dish would contain these ingredients.
I'll have a go at the mussels and just see what I can do.
-It's quite similar -
she's cooking the mussels, but she did mussels for her signature dish.
-So, she has an advantage.
-So she's comfortable. Yeah.
You know, the most important thing is how the fish is cooked,
how the mussels are cooked, and how all the flavours come together.
It's not quite there yet, my plan,
but it will come together.
-I think it's 45 minutes, plenty of time.
-Plenty of time.
The cooks get stuck in.
Marta is focusing on her roasted celeriac and vegetables...
Elaine is making her celeriac mash,
and it's started to dawn on her how important this challenge is
if she wants to get through to Friday's final.
It's a massive pressure,
because you want to do it right and you want to move forward
and continue the experience
of working with a Michelin-starred chef.
I think it's a little bit more difficult than I thought.
I think I'm not going to stress just yet.
Jun watches on to see who has the skills he's looking for.
Cooks, you've got 20 minutes left.
20 minutes to go. How are you getting on?
OK. OK, I think.
Yes, there seems to be...
I'm still very nervous about cooking the mussels,
and I don't want to cook them too soon.
Have you thought about how you're going to plate up?
But I'm thinking of it now.
-Right now, I'm going to think of it.
-How are you doing?
I think, all right.
Is that your mash that you're making, there?
I'm making a celeriac mash, yes.
Have you got anything in the oven?
I've got a little bit of celeriac and fennel,
that's probably had its time.
Oh, you had it timed? I'll take it out for you.
So what have you got left to do?
-I need to reduce this by quite a bit...
..then quickly warm up the mussels and fry...
-The fish, at the last minute?
-..fry the fish at the last minute.
You've still got 20 minutes, so...
With only 20 minutes left,
the cooks still have to cook their fish -
and Elaine is starting to panic.
I'm wondering how I'm going to make a sauce out of that
and cook the mussels.
I don't want to cook the mussels too soon,
and I don't want to cook the fish too soon.
It's too late, now.
I'm going with this.
OK, I'm going to put those...
Having never cooked mussels before,
worried Elaine has made her decision to cook them in the sauce.
There's no going back now.
Those are opening up.
At the other station,
Marta is taking everything in her stride
and isn't letting the challenge take over her nerves.
So, I've made the celeriac before.
I haven't made the celeriac mash...
but it's coming together nicely.
I'm just hoping this sauce is going to be OK to serve.
Both cooks are at the crucial stage of the competition.
If the fish isn't cooked to perfection,
then it could be the end for either Marta or Elaine.
Just three minutes to go, guys.
Three minutes left.
For the second time today,
Elaine is the first to plate up.
At the other station, Marta still has her fish cooking in the pan.
-Bit disappointed with my fish, normally when I do it at home,
the skin's really crispy, and it's not as crispy as I would like.
The pressure is off for Elaine -
but with only a few seconds left,
Marta is desperately trying to plate up her dish.
That is it! Time is up.
APPLAUSE Well done. Glad that's over?
First into the tasting room is Elaine with her pan-fried sea bream,
topped with steamed mussels,
celeriac puree and oven-roasted carrots and leeks.
-Did you enjoy that?
I did, yeah. I mean, it was obviously very stressful
and you're thinking on your feet, but it was ingredients that I like,
so I think that really helps.
OK, well, let's taste.
First thing is the fish.
So, with the fish, I think you know this,
the skin should be a lot crisper -
but the actual flesh is cooked really well.
I think the celeriac mash with the chives needs a touch more seasoning.
-If I was going to make a mash or a puree of some kind...
..I would want it a bit smoother.
The mussels are cooked nicely.
Yes, it's definitely a good attempt.
-Thank you very much.
I'm really kicking myself that I didn't crisp up the skin,
because I can do that.
I think nerves just got the better of me.
Pleasant dish, lots of elements to it.
Definitely. You know, the fish was cooked perfectly.
The skin has to be crisper.
I'm not so sure that I've done enough
to be picked for the competition.
I think it will be a very close one.
-I like it.
I like the celeriac.
Finally, it's Marta.
She has also pan-fried her sea bream,
served on a bed of celeriac puree,
a side of steamed mussels, a leek salad,
finished off with a reduced wine and fish stock sauce.
-How did you find that?
-..in the space of time.
-Panicked a bit.
-Well, you didn't show it.
I was just panicking on the inside.
I think you've done really well.
The skin of the fish is nice and golden brown.
The fish itself is slightly overcooked,
I think you could have cooked it about two, three minutes less.
-Celeriac puree has got a nice flavour.
The leek salad actually works really well.
It lightens the dish, it's quite fresh,
maybe you could have added a touch more creme fraiche
-to give it more body...
-..but it's good.
I felt it looked a bit like a disaster on the plate...
but, actually, having some quite good comments,
I'm feeling a bit better now.
I think the skin on Marta's fish was cooked better than Elaine's,
but she overcooked the fish, which is not a good thing.
The leek salad was a nice surprise.
So overall, I was impressed with what she turned out.
It's really lovely, well done.
Looking forward to Friday,
do you have an idea of who you might pick to be your partner?
-You are good with these decisions today!
-You have to be.
-OK, well don't tell us just yet,
because we're going to see what you make with those ingredients.
So, let's go.
So, ladies, you get to relax now and watch Jun at work.
So, show us what you make with these ingredients.
So, the first thing we need to do is cook these mussel.
What's the name of this dish?
Pan-fried sea bream with mussels and a fennel salad.
Simple as that.
So, the shallots. Nice and fine...
and we're just going to use this to cook the mussels.
A clove of garlic.
Add the shallots, the garlic.
Going to sweat those off.
Mussels go in.
Touch of white wine.
A little bit of fish stock.
Lid goes on top...
..and then we're going to dice the carrots, celeriac and the leek.
You were born in New York, weren't you?
I was - born in New York, both my parents are Japanese -
but I grew up in England.
Always, you know, food, growing up, was a big part of my life,
and so, I decided I wanted to be a chef.
And this year you were awarded your first Michelin star.
Yeah, which was an amazing...
To be honest with you, it was a complete surprise.
-You weren't expecting it at all?
No, not even remotely.
Because, when I opened the restaurant,
that was the last thing I was thinking about.
OK, so, what are we doing now?
Let's go back to the food! Sorry.
So, the mussels, I have just quickly cooked them,
going to take them out the shell.
Now, with the vegetables, I'm just gently sweating it off...
..and then, once they're cooked - I don't want them too soft...
..I'm going to add the juice from the mussels,
which has the white wine, the fish stock, onto the vegetables.
Added the juice from the mussels to the vegetables
that we're going to do, we'll just do a light salad.
Cut it into quarters, and then, nice and fine,
and that's just going to be a nice fresh salad
to go on top of the sea bream.
Olive oil, lemon juice,
and then we're going to add a touch of seasoning.
So, with the fish...
..so, you want to score the fish, just pinch on either side
and run your knife down the length of the fish.
It prevents it from curling too much.
The seasoning goes on.
It can go straight on like that.
OK, so if you take a cocktail stick, you inserted into this...
-Raw fish puts up a resistance to the cocktail stick.
As soon as it passes through easily,
that is the point that it's cooked perfectly.
Creme fraiche goes in here...
..and then, underneath, it should start to be super crispy.
It's also quite a generous amount of oil in there.
-Makes sure that it cooks it nicely, doesn't it?
And then, just finish that with a little bit of fennel salad...
..and that is it. Wow.
That annoying piece of carrot.
That looks amazing.
Thank you so much.
Time for you, now, to taste.
-There you go.
It looks delicious.
-I was full, but I'm not now.
What do you think?
Well, it's time now to declare your winner -
but before we do, let's have a quick recap
of what our cooks made earlier.
In round one, Elaine impressed Jun
with her perfectly cooked duck breast.
In the second round, the flavours of her red wine sauce were good,
but it was slightly too sweet,
and in the final challenge, the skin on her sea bream was too soggy.
To have food judged by Pierre would just be the icing on the cake.
Marta's seafood linguini was cooked to perfection in the first round.
She impressed Jun with her flavoursome red wine sauce...
and in the final round, her sea bream was a little overcooked.
If Jun picked me, it would be amazing -
but I'd say the competition is quite tight, I think.
Firstly, I'd like to say congratulations to you both.
It's been a brilliant day, and I hope you've had a good time...
-..but, sadly, only one of you can make it through
to this week's Friday final,
and Jun has made his mind up - so, it's over to you.
Congratulations, you both did incredibly well.
For Friday's final, I'm looking for someone who is organised,
who has a good knowledge of ingredients, and cooking.
So that person is...
Thanks a lot.
I am absolutely over the moon, I'm so delighted.
I'm really pleased for Elaine,
because I loved her food, as well, so...
but, for me, it was a great experience.
Any last tips for Elaine?
No, I mean, she's done brilliantly today.
I definitely think we've got a good chance on Friday.
Game plan for Friday -
all I know is that we're going to produce some really delicious food.
I'm determined to do my absolute best.
You know, what an honour to be cooking for Pierre, as well.
Fingers crossed, hope I win!
Tomorrow on Yes Chef, it's the Friday final.
The teams go head-to-head to cook for culinary world royalty,
His veal's raw, he's got to put it in the oven.
four home cooks...
No more shouting.
These two are very well-behaved!
..but only one team will be crowned Yes Chef champions.
Jun Tanaka puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make the perfect red wine sauce. Jun 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?