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Four of Britain's top chefs are on the hunt
for their perfect culinary partner,
and three amateur home cooks are here to prove they have
what it takes to be paired with the best in the business
for the cooking experience of a lifetime.
Each day a different chef will choose their partner
from three talented home cooks.
Everyone's taking it very seriously.
LAUGHTER # Croquetas, la-la-la... #
Then all four pairs will go head-to-head in our Friday final,
cooking for culinary royalty, Pierre Koffmann.
What impresses me with food is the end result.
The taste is the most important.
The professional chefs' reputations are on the line.
Come on, Danny boy!
And the amateur home cooks have a lot to live up to.
This is Yes, Chef.
Hello, and welcome to Yes, Chef.
Let's meet today's home cooks.
First up, it's Danny David, a solicitor from the Wirral.
I'm quite calm in the kitchen, but sometimes,
when the heat gets going, I can get a bit more animated.
I want to win, and that's hopefully what I'm going to do.
Next is Elisa Bowman, a business consultant from Liverpool.
My cooking style is a little bit haphazard.
And I use pretty much every single dish in the kitchen as well,
so my sink is always full.
And, finally, it's Ozzy Beck, a translator from Cambridge.
When I cook something and it's really nice,
then I'm really pleased with myself,
and what I'm looking for is sort of the constructive criticism
from a professional chef.
Our home cooks are ready to go, so let's meet today's chef.
OK, new order - nine sea bass...
Theo Randall grew up in south-west London,
but it was his childhood trips to Italy that inspired his cuisine.
My style of cooking's all about the ingredients
and making the most of the ingredients
and letting the ingredients really speak for themselves.
Only the very best is good enough for Theo,
and his approach to quality Italian ingredients has ensured that
his dishes are unquestionably authentic.
With peas, one bavette... It's clear.
Having earned his first Michelin star as head chef
at the River Cafe,
his current restaurant on London's Park Lane boasts an array of awards.
What I'm looking for in the contestants is people
that really love cooking and are really happy to cook.
I see it. That's the last plate. Thank you very much.
Welcome, everyone, to Yes, Chef.
Now, Theo, you're going to be picking one of our home cooks
to be your partner in this week's Friday final.
What are you going to be looking for?
I'm going to be looking for some really perfectly cooked food,
nicely seasoned, and a bit of seasonality.
Oh, OK, well, let's get on with it.
So round one - you've got 45 minutes, cooks,
to create your best dish for Theo.
So, Theo, any last tips for them?
-Keep it simple.
-Perfect. Right, well, let's begin!
So, our cooks are off.
Theo is looking for a partner with flair, confidence
and a good understanding of flavour.
Today, Danny is making his own pasta -
a spinach and ricotta ravioli -
which he'll serve with a sage and butter sauce.
No mean feat when he's cooking for
one of Britain's top chefs of Italian cuisine.
It's one of my favourite dishes to cook at home.
You just notice the difference when you make your own pasta
compared to dried pasta,
and the sage butter sauce just complements
the spinach and ricotta very well.
Over at the green station,
Elisa is oven baking a fillet of hake with a white crab meat crust,
served with brown crab croquetas, a fennel salad with a gin dressing.
I love cooking fish and using really delicate flavours,
and also doing the croquetas, because I'm half Spanish,
so I really enjoy doing those.
It's one of those things, it's just in your blood.
If you're Spanish, it's paella and croquetas.
Creating a dish for a famous chef is a nerve-racking experience.
Today, Ozzy's also cooking a fillet of hake,
but his will be pan-fried in chorizo oil,
served with a ratatouille of Mediterranean vegetables
I really love cooking fish,
and so I thought that would be the ideal dish
to sort of showcase what I do.
Hi, Danny. How are you?
I'm good. A bit nervous, cooking pasta for Theo, but there you go.
I'm just wilting my spinach down
cos I want it to cool before I mix it with the ricotta.
I've got my dough resting, so that's...
Yeah, it's all going well so far. No hiccups yet.
So you've got some nutmeg in, you've got nutmeg in the filling?
-I'm going to put the nutmeg in the filling.
Once it's cooled, I'll mix that together.
And pine nuts, will you toss through the pasta at the end?
-I'll toss through at the end as a garnish, yeah.
-Italian's my favourite type of food, so...
Oh, good pairing here!
Little tip for the ravioli filling -
make sure it's not too wet because that'll break the pasta.
-Ooh. Good luck.
-How are you?
-But I'm OK.
Is this something you make at home all the time?
Croquetas is something that I make a lot, for a lot of people,
especially if I'm doing tapas for people.
I'll make a massive paella and then a huge pile of croquetas,
and all sorts of Spanish meat and vegetables.
"Croquetas!" I like it!
I know, croquetas! # La-la-la. #
-It sounds lovely when you say it!
So, how are you going to do your hake?
It's going to go in the oven with a crab crust,
and I'm also going to serve it
on a bed of blanched samphire and fennel with a gin dressing.
Ah, so that's the juniper?
So you're going to infuse the juniper...
Yeah, I'm going to put the gin, juniper,
a tiny little bit of white wine vinegar,
-Maybe a little splash of lemon juice.
It sounds like a really interesting combination,
the crab and the hake and juniper. Really good.
-How are we getting on?
So, what are you going to do with the vegetables and the chickpeas?
-That's sort of going to be some sort of ratatouille.
And then the fillet of hake on top.
It sounds like a really well-thought-out dish.
-Looking forward to tasting it.
-Well, we'll let you carry on. Good luck.
I'm feeling quietly confident, yes.
Because I've done it quite a few times before,
it's something I'm familiar with, and, yeah, it should be fine.
I'm quite nervous doing pasta for Theo.
Someone who's famed for Italian cuisine,
and then you're doing pasta for them. Best not get it wrong!
So, let's start with Danny. So, he's making you pasta.
He's making ravioli,
and he's making a classic - spinach and ricotta ravioli -
which is one of the most delicious things to eat.
Yeah, let's see how his pasta dough comes out.
I mean, it takes a lot of skill to do that.
And what could horribly go wrong?
If the mixture's too wet then the pasta will break on top.
There is no dish without the pasta dough.
You're high and dry, unfortunately.
-Elisa, she seems really confident.
She's cooking something that's really interesting.
I love the fact she is using crab.
The gin - I mean, she's got the fresh juniper there.
So it'll be interesting to see...
I mean, she could go too far with it - that's the problem.
So, you know, with these things it's less is more.
It's about getting just the right balance.
It should be delicate.
You know what? It's the croquetas that I'm more worried about,
because you can...
you can overdo them, you can burn them, you can underdo them.
Yeah, it's not really low risk.
-Last but not least, Ozzy.
-Ozzy seems very confident.
I mean, you know, he was chopping like a pro.
I think he's cooked that dish a lot, a lot of times.
He seems to be a real foodie.
And he's got a nice big piece of hake, so let's see how he cooks it.
I mean, you know, it's all about the produce,
and the produce is good, so let's see what they can come up with.
-I'm just waiting for the chorizo
to render its fat and the onion to start cooking.
Cooks, you've had half an hour.
You've got 15 minutes to go.
I usually don't cook with the time limit,
so I'm not quite sure if it's going to be there
exactly at the time I want it.
Now on the home straight, the pressure is mounting,
and things are starting to slide.
Have we got any more gin? I've just completely...
It is one of those things, it's there,
and then, suddenly, it just disappears, and then that's it.
And over at the red station,
Theo's noticed that Danny's struggling with his pasta.
How are you getting on?
It's not going particularly well right now, but I'll do everything
I can to make sure it comes out all right in the end.
How can you...? How would you rescue this now?
So what I do is I get a damp tea towel, put it on top,
just get a bit of moisture back in the pasta,
cos you haven't got long to go.
You've got ten minutes, so...get a move on!
As Danny attempts to save his pasta,
Elisa's dish is playing up again.
One of my croquetas has just gone and collapsed and just...
I can fix it.
But the fish looks good. I can rescue it.
Time's running out for Danny,
and so are his chances of getting anything on the plate.
Are you going to get it done in time? Two minutes left.
Cooks, you've got just two minutes left, two minutes to go.
Come on, Danny. You can do this.
-You can do it, mate.
-Danny, Danny, Danny!
-Aw, they're all rooting for you!
Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it!
As the other cooks make the final touches to their dishes,
Danny still hasn't got his pasta in the pan.
Nervous still, but we will hopefully have something to plate up at least.
I'm just trying to think of anything else I need to do.
I don't want to forget... Ah, seasoning the salad!
Right. Oh, God. It's all nerve-racking.
But it tastes good.
I think it was a bit fast.
It's basically done now and shouldn't cook any further.
Looks good, tastes good.
One minute left.
-Come on, Danny.
-No, I forgot about my pine nuts...
Come on, Danny boy!
Don't worry - just put them in the pan.
30 seconds to go.
Oh! I've finished it.
'In the nick of time, Ozzy remembers to plate up the chorizo,
'in his chorizo and hake dish.'
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one - that's it!
Stop cooking. Thank goodness, Danny!
Well done, guys, well done. It's time to taste.
First to take the taste test is Danny,
with a home-made spinach and ricotta ravioli,
served with a sage and butter sauce, topped with toasted pine nuts.
Hi Danny, come in.
-Hi. There you go.
-How was the challenge for you?
It was a bit stressful towards the end.
-It was right to the wire, wasn't it?
-It was, yes.
I didn't think we were going to get anything on the plate,
-but you did! And you didn't lose your cool, so well done.
Good flavour sage. It's nice. The filling's very nice too.
-It's kind of really creamy, isn't it?
Very good seasoning. You've got the filling just right.
And the pasta, I'd say, is a little bit undercooked.
I mean, I like al dente, but that's a little bit raw.
But as far as taste, it's very good. I think you did very well.
-Well done, Danny.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room, we'll see you shortly.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
-See you shortly.
I'm absolutely over the moon with Theo's comments.
To be cooking pasta in an Italian dish for him
and to get such positive feedback, it's brilliant.
-Happy with Danny's dish?
-It was good.
I mean, you know, he had a real challenge at the end,
and he put that together in minutes,
and I think that's a lot of credit to him.
He did make everything from scratch.
-How did it go?
Yeah, it was mainly positive.
The pasta's a little bit underdone,
but I was pushed for time at the end.
As far as flavour-wise goes, that was actually very nice.
The flavours are amazing.
Lovely, strong flavour, I love that.
Next to take the taste test is Elisa.
She's made crab-crusted hake, with brown crab croquetas,
on a bed of fennel and samphire, drizzled with a gin dressing.
Come in, Elisa.
Did you enjoy the challenge?
I did, yes, a lot more than I thought I would!
Good, that's good.
Nice. It looks really clean and fresh.
I'm looking forward to tasting this. Let's see the fish.
Beautifully cooked fish. Look at that.
-It's really tasty.
And that is cooked absolutely spot-on.
You've got that saltiness, which is...
It's quite subtle in flavour,
but you've got that kick of salt at the end,
which gives it a really good balance.
And you've got great textures as well.
That is absolutely delicious. Really good.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you so much.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room, we'll see you shortly.
Amazing. I can't believe that I've just cooked
for a Michelin-starred chef, and he said my fish was perfect.
I'm just... Yeah.
-Really good dish.
-That was really good.
I mean, the fish was so perfectly cooked,
you could see the sort of shininess on it.
She had the right kind of seasoning,
the textures were right.
-It was very, very well done. Very well done.
Theo said that the fish was cooked perfectly,
and seeing as I haven't actually managed to find a piece
that thick to cook it... I'm astounded, yeah.
Finally, it's Ozzy.
He's made a fillet of hake, pan-fried in chorizo oil,
served with a ratatouille of Mediterranean vegetables
Come on in, Ozzy.
How was that for you?
It was good. It was a bit faster than I thought it would be.
-45 minutes is not long.
-It smells delicious.
-It smells really nice.
Good. OK, well, let's tuck in.
So, let's see the fish. It's beautifully cooked.
-The chorizo is gorgeous.
It's a really good combination.
That's really nice.
The spice in there is really perfect, because it lifts the fish.
-And the sweetness of the peppers,
because you reduced that down, it's got a natural sweetness.
You could've cooked the vegetables a little bit more,
to get a bit of, almost, caramelisation on them.
The flavour's very good, it's very nice.
-The fish is cooked perfectly.
-Perfect, lovely comments.
-Are you happy?
-Yeah, happy, definitely.
-Well done, Ozzy.
Well, if you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
we'll see you shortly.
It was really good.
When a Michelin-starred chef says that you cooked your fish perfectly,
that is really, really satisfying.
I love that idea of frying the chorizo to get the oil out,
and then cooking the fish in that oil.
It's very smart, very good.
It's really nice, Ozzy, you've done well there.
I love the smokiness of the chorizo with it as well.
Is anybody standing out at this moment?
Well, I mean, they're all confident cooks.
-It's quite even at the moment, I think.
-OK, well, that's good.
Well, it's all still to play for.
We've got your skills test now, so let's go and get on with that.
Theo can choose only one home cook
to be his partner in the Friday final.
And to help him decide who will be first to leave the competition,
he's set them a skills challenge.
So, Theo, what's the skills test today?
We're doing linguine with asparagus carbonara.
The idea of it is cooking the egg yolk so it's just perfect,
so it coats the pasta.
It is simple, but it can go horribly wrong.
The texture of the pasta and the texture of the asparagus
-is very important.
OK, so always season the water.
Plenty of salt, always use sea salt.
OK, let's get the pasta in first.
So this is going to take about eight minutes.
Pasta in, move it around so it doesn't get stuck together.
OK, let's get our asparagus.
Get the asparagus, and just snap it where it snaps.
It sounds a bit ridiculous, but if you do that,
then you won't have the tough ends.
So, this end here is really tough.
OK, so just snap those off.
The skill, really, is to cook the pasta perfectly,
so it's got a nice bite to it.
It's not overcooked, it's not undercooked.
And then, the asparagus, getting the asparagus cooked with the pasta.
Then just cut the asparagus at an angle,
just so it's almost a similar shape to the pasta.
Then once I've done that, I'm going to make the carbonara sauce,
which is egg yolks, Parmesan.
I add a little bit of garlic and a bit of salt,
just to, kind of, give it extra flavour.
And then we're going to toss that together
with the cooked asparagus and the linguine.
Linguine's a good pasta to use cos it's quite flat pasta,
so it'll hold the sauce.
The thing about carbonara, it should really coat...
the sauce should coat the pasta, almost like a sleeve.
So I'll keep that going.
So, we're going to get good quality eggs...
..and then just take out the yolk.
The egg yolks in there.
And then we're going to get a clove of garlic,
and we're going to put this into the pestle and mortar.
I'm just going to crush that with some sea salt.
Put that in there. A bit of salt.
Just crush the garlic and the salt together.
Check the pasta.
See how far away...
So, we'll put this garlic and salt into our egg yolks.
And then we're going to grate some Parmesan.
Then pop that into the eggs.
Let's get some black pepper in there.
So kind of build up your seasoning as you go along.
Check the pasta.
-And then what we're going to do, a bit of...
add that to the eggs.
The thing about pasta is, always take the pasta out from the water
with a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon,
-and then add it to your sauce.
-And that way, you'll always have hot, lovely pasta.
Into the pan, nice warm pan.
And then just take the asparagus out.
It's better to undercook pasta than overcook pasta.
So, let's get this on. The pasta just...
So you're heating it up again.
It's very important the pasta's hot,
because you're going to add these yolks to them.
So, let's get the eggs in.
And then just move that pasta around,
add the mixture of more egg.
And then just keep moving it around, and start tossing it,
so all that starch on the pasta is going to thicken the sauce,
along with those eggs, which are just going to start to set.
And the pasta water and asparagus all emulsifying together.
And then a nice...
..round of pasta in the middle of the plate, with that
beautiful asparagus, just, sort of, in between each bit of pasta.
And then finish it off with a good shaving of fresh Parmesan,
like that all over.
And then plenty of black pepper.
-And there you have...
-It smells so good.
Amazing! Right, guys, have a taste.
-The asparagus is still a bit crunchy, so that's good.
Yeah, it's amazing.
How are you feeling? Are you feeling confident you can do this?
Yeah, I think so.
If you'd like to make your way back to your work stations, we'll begin.
With just 20 minutes on the clock,
the cooks have a lot to contend with.
It seems a simple enough dish,
but in reality it's a tough exercise in technical skill and timing,
with eggs that could split at any moment.
You know what, I've always deliberately avoided carbonara,
because I'd always anticipated that
I would struggle to not scramble the yolks.
I've actually never made, for some reason,
never made carbonara before on my own.
So this is twice the challenge today.
The hardest part's not getting egg white in with my yolks.
I like how I missed it there.
-Yeah, just... separating my eggs.
I've got my pasta on, and the asparagus is in.
Hopefully going to produce one that will be close to Theo's.
Despite being a simple classic,
this carbonara is making the cooks anxious.
-Going good? So far so good?
I can't believe that the first time I'm ever cooking carbonara
is for Theo Randall!
-There's always a first time.
-There is, yeah. Yeah.
-You'll never forget it!
-No, no, no, I won't!
So, your pasta's on...
-It is, yeah. eventually I remembered to season it, which is good.
All right, we'll let you carry on.
-How's it going?
-Yeah, going quite well.
-So garlic and salt in there.
The yolks, nice.
How are you feeling about this challenge?
Um... I'm a bit wary about the eggs.
-Yeah. What you said...
-That's why I did it!
And it's also my first time making carbonara, for some reason, yeah.
-So far so good?
-So far so good.
I mean, they haven't cooked the eggs yet,
so that's going to be where it's going to go.
You get that sense that they feel quite confident now.
They've got the first stage out, they've cooked their own dish,
they've all done pretty well.
-Now they're, kind of, enjoying it more.
Yeah, I'm a lot more comfortable making a paella,
with my Spanish roots.
It's still Mediterranean, though, so...it's all good.
He did make it look very easy.
It was very nice, it tasted very nice.
Hopefully this will compare slightly!
Once the eggs have been mastered,
the cooks must balance their flavours
and ensure that the pasta is cooked to perfection.
I think I added a little bit too much cooking water,
it's a little bit loose at the moment.
That's OK, just keep tossing it and the starch will thicken it up.
Time is nearly up, and all three cooks are glad
to get it out of the pan and on to the plate.
I've chased this asparagus round, it doesn't want...
to get out of the water.
I have to say, they're all looking lovely.
-They do look good, don't they?
-I think it's going to be a tough job, Theo.
Everyone's taking it very seriously, which is very good.
After a scramble to the finish in round one,
Danny's taking no chances.
-You finished early!
-No last-minute panic this time!
-It looks good. Well done.
Time to taste.
Come in, guys.
-Did you enjoy that?
-Really enjoyed it.
-So, let's have a taste, then.
-Let's have a taste, yes.
I have to say, they all look very nice.
I mean, there's no scrambled eggs here at all,
so, you know, that's brilliant.
Do you want to pull that down here and we'll start?
-Delicious. All of them.
It's going to be tough for you, Theo!
It's a real tough one because they're all very good.
Danny, your one is really nicely emulsified.
You've tossed the pasta, you got the starch out there.
The seasoning's kind of nice, it's not overpowering.
Ozzy, yours is very nice.
Well seasoned, lots of seasoning there.
The Parmesan is more subtle in yours.
It's a really lovely sort of velvety texture and flavour.
Elisa, yours, you've got this
sort of perfect combination of egg yolk, Parmesan,
pasta cooked perfectly, and the asparagus is just spot-on.
-Well, well done all three of you.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room,
you can take your plates with you.
We'll see you very shortly. But really well done.
-All very good.
-Yeah, they did a very good job.
I mean, they're all really good cooks.
This is quite a difficult decision.
Being able to cook for Theo Randall
and seeing him taste my food and say such nice things about my food,
it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I had some technical difficulties with my hob, so...
First it wasn't hot enough, and then it was too hot.
But, yeah, in the end, it worked out.
I've just been taught how to cook carbonara by Theo Randall,
and then he said that my version was amazing,
and it's the first time I've ever made it. So... Yeah!
I can't believe it.
You have to now decide who is going to be the first
to leave the competition.
Have you got any idea of who that might be?
Yeah, I think I have.
This is all about a competition, and I want to win this competition!
-OK. Well, let's go and break the news.
Sadly, one of you does have to leave the competition now,
and Theo has made his mind up.
Well, it's a really tough call, this,
because you're all brilliant cooks.
You did a pasta dish which was very difficult to do.
You know, the pasta dried, but what was good about your dish was,
actually, your level of not panicking,
and you had five minutes to do it, and you did it.
Ozzy, you've done brilliantly.
I mean, your pasta dish was very good,
your first dish was really nice.
I mean, obviously, you're a really good cook, I can tell.
You cook with passion, you cook with love.
Elisa, you've done brilliantly. I mean, you really have.
Both things you've done have been absolutely superb.
I'm afraid there's one person that has to go.
I'm sad to say it's going to have to be you, Ozzy.
-I'm very sorry.
-I'm so sorry, Ozzy.
Have you enjoyed yourself?
Absolutely. It was really good fun, thank you.
I'm going home, but, you know,
I've done the best I could, and I really, really enjoyed myself.
Congratulations, guys, you're through to the next round!
Through to the third and final round are solicitor Danny...
I really want to win. You know, every step you get further on,
the desire grows more and more.
..and business consultant Elisa.
I'm determined to win now.
With all the positive comments that I've had,
I feel so optimistic, so... Yeah.
It's now time for our third and final round.
Now, our home cooks have been given all the ingredients to
one of Theo's dishes.
They'll have one hour to identify all the ingredients
and to create a dish of their own.
So, for you at home, here's what Theo's chosen.
Sea bass fillets, spinach and Puy lentils, butter, lemons,
extra virgin olive oil and dry white vermouth,
basil and parsley.
Easy enough for Theo, but what will our home cooks make with these?
So, Theo, any advice you can give our home cooks?
I think it's very important that
you don't get too stressed when you cook this dish,
because it's very simple, there's very few ingredients,
you've got to get them absolutely spot-on
to make it taste really good.
Well, let's get started.
Cooks, you have one hour.
Reveal your ingredients, because your time starts now.
Underneath the covers,
the cooks have found some familiar ingredients,
but not ones they're used to combining.
This challenge is at its trickiest
when there's just a few ingredients to cook with,
and for our home cooks today, this is certainly the case.
Oh, I'm baffled.
Fish is my worst nightmare. I just don't really cook with it.
Is that it? The fish is to one side? "Not doing that!"
It's to one side for now.
-It doesn't help that we're standing watching you, does it?
I'm just trying to think what to do next.
-I think it's even more difficult with so few ingredients.
Just thinking about the timings in your head as well,
and when you need stuff to be done by...
..so it comes together.
-Less is more. Less is more.
-Fry or oven...?
It's just how to put it all together,
if I'm going to use everything,
or if I'm not going to use everything.
-Lots of thought.
-Lots of thought.
It's going to be a well-thought-out dish.
A lot of thought and not a lot of doing - I don't like that.
I don't know whether to pan-fry the fish, cos it's got the skin on...
Am I going to pan-fry it? Am I going to pan-fry it?
Cook it en papillote, or...
But it's got the skin on, and I haven't done that before.
I was just looking at Elisa, and she's got the parchment out,
-I was like, "Is she going to do it in the oven?"
So I'm thinking pan-fry mine.
I'm just thinking what's best to do, with fish being my weakness.
Danny's first to make a start,
and begins with something he knows how to cook.
It's just wilting down some spinach.
I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with it yet.
Elisa is still deliberating over the fish.
I'm absolutely torn.
I don't know whether to cook it in the oven or to pan-fry it.
I've never cooked with this combination of ingredients before.
Everything separately, but completely different cuisines,
with the lentils that I usually do with Indian cooking.
I'm going to pan-fry the fish.
A bit of oil on the skin to try to get it nice and crispy in a hot pan.
That's the plan, anyway.
Finally, she's made a plan.
I'm going to do a parcel and cook it with the white wine,
but I'm notoriously bad at making these parcels.
I don't know if it's going to work.
Or has she?
Ah! Still torn, but I think I'm going to pan-fry it.
-Hi, there, Sheree. Are you OK?
-Good. How are you?
I think I'm good, yeah. I'm getting on OK at the moment.
I've just got some lentils boiling away.
I'm hoping to soften them up, use them as a bed to lie the fish on.
I'm going to pan-fry the fish. I think it's sea bass?
-I could be wrong.
-This is your worst nightmare, isn't it?
-It is, it is.
It's not something I'm used to cooking,
-but I'm going to give it a go.
Once the lentils are done, I'll try and put together a sauce.
I don't know what yet, but I'll come to it as I get along.
-How's it going?
I've spent a long time deliberating whether to pan-fry the fish
or whether to actually cook it in the oven.
I was thinking about doing it en papillote with white wine,
but it's actually quite a thin piece of fish
and I'm worried about how the skin's going to turn out as well.
-You're a smart cookie, you are!
-Are you changing your mind, though?
Yeah, I'm going to pan-fry it instead.
I'm going to do something with the lentils and the spinach.
-But with everything else, I'm a little... I'm unsure.
-We'll see how it develops.
I've never been so indecisive in my entire life.
-This is so hard.
I think fish is something that he's a bit scared of.
I think he's had... Just never cooked it,
or had a bad experience of cooking it.
When he saw that fish, his face was, like, "Aargh!"
-But he's getting on with it. I mean, they're both...
You know, they've got this far, they both can cook.
They've both proved they can cook.
Elisa this morning did the fish baked,
and I think she's probably thinking that
maybe she shouldn't do the same thing of baking the fish.
And I think Danny's probably trying to do something really good,
cos he knows he's up against Elisa
and he knows that she's done really well so far,
-so the competition's on.
So you can feel the stress in there already.
I'm just going to cook the wine down and then add a bit more
butter through it just to try and whip up a sauce.
I've committed to putting the fish in a pan,
so that's a really good sign.
-How are you getting on, Elisa?
-Erm, not too bad.
How are you? How about you?
Yeah, we'll see. Winging it a little bit at the moment, but...
Yeah, I think we both are, aren't we?
The cooks' attention now turns to sauces.
-Ah, I've burned my butter.
I didn't cook the wine off enough, I don't think,
so it's still tasting really winey, which it shouldn't do,
so I'm just going to scrap that.
Erm, I'll take it over here.
-Hi. How are you getting on?
-Yeah, I'm going well.
Got the fish on now, so I'm feeling a bit more comfortable
now that everything's cooking.
What's this? And why are you discarding it?
It was going to be a white wine sauce,
but I didn't cook the wine off enough
before I added the butter, so it wasn't right.
Can't you just put it in the pan and keep reducing it down?
No, I didn't feel like it would come back round, so it was spoiled.
It's best not to put it on.
-Are you sure?
-Sure, I'm sure.
What sauce are you going to serve then?
-Cos you've got a little drop there.
-I'm not going to serve any sauce.
-No. It's going to be good enough without the sauce.
Oh, the fish is going to be good enough without the sauce?
-Have you got any idea of how you're going to present it?
It's just going to be...
I think I need to put the fish in for a bit longer.
-Sorry, I'm worrying about it now.
-Do you? Why? No, it looks fine.
I think it's cooked through.
Can I do this in one piece without breaking it?
'For both cooks, it's now all down to the presentation.'
Just four minutes left, guys. Four minutes to go.
It looks like you're both nearly finished.
Is there anything else I can do?
There you go, my little fishy friend.
No, I'm done. Yeah.
Sometimes less is more.
Right, that's it. Time's up. Step away from your plates.
It's time to taste.
First up, it's Danny.
He's made a pan-fried fillet of sea bass
on a bed of wilted spinach and Puy lentils,
with a vermouth, lemon and parsley butter sauce.
-Come in, Danny.
-How was that for you?
-I'm looking forward to you trying it.
-Let's have a try.
It's got a nice flavour.
The only thing I'd say is
the butter has slightly overpowered the flavour of the fish.
The fish is a little bit overcooked.
The lentils are perfectly cooked.
-But it's a very good effort...
..and, you know, for someone who doesn't cook fish,
you've cooked the fish and it hasn't stuck in the pan.
You've got a nice crispy skin, and the spinach,
it's not swimming in water, and the lentils are cooked right.
-A really good job.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room for the last time,
-we'll see you very shortly.
-Thank you, Danny.
It was a bit of a nightmare when I pulled the cover back
and saw the fish. I thought, "Oh, no!"
It's a good effort.
A very good effort for someone that's never cooked fish.
I mean, it's...fantastic.
Go on, how did it go?
Yeah, it went quite well.
The fish, he said, was a little bit overcooked, but not much,
so the lentils and spinach were brilliant, they went well together.
I've really enjoyed it. I think it went well,
considering I've never really cooked fish before.
Finally, it's Elisa.
She's also made a pan-fried fillet of sea bass
with lentils and spinach,
and a lemon, vermouth, basil and butter sauce.
Come in, Elisa.
-Thank you. Did you enjoy that?
-I did, yeah.
-Well, it looks very nice.
Cooking spinach is an art form,
and that spinach is absolutely perfect.
Oh, you're kidding? Oh, my God. Wow.
The fish is really nice.
The lentils, I like them al dente. They're little bit...too al dente.
A little bit under, but a nice piece of fish.
-It's very good.
-Well, thank you so much.
-Thank you very much.
If you'd like to go back to the waiting room
for the last time, we'll see you shortly.
-Thank you very much.
Yeah, I was really surprised that that went as well as it did.
-Happy with her dish?
I mean, that spinach was absolutely delicious.
I mean, did you taste it? It was so sweet.
-How did you get on, then?
-It was nerve-racking.
Yeah, it went...went surprisingly well.
Cos I didn't think I did the fish justice at all.
I don't know how I did that spinach so well.
So, yeah, I'm really surprised.
-Have you made your mind up?
-Yes, I've made my mind up.
-I know who I'm going to take through to the next round.
Well, don't tell us just yet,
cos we're going to see what you make with those ingredients,
so let's go and do it.
So, Theo, what are we making?
So what we're going to do is we're going to do a sea bass in cartoccio,
which basically means in, like, a bag.
And we're going to bake it with vermouth, basil, lemon and butter,
and it's going to puff up, and inside it's going to sort of create
this lovely steam which is going to make the fish cook really gently.
So let's get the lentils in first.
In they go.
So, tinfoil, a nice big piece of tinfoil.
And then we're just going to fold this over.
What we're going to do is we're going to create a little kind of...
like a little oven. And we put some butter in the bottom.
So a nice rubbing of butter.
And then we're going to get a piece of bass.
So just take a little bit of the belly fat off.
Take that tail bit off, and then just trim that up there.
Then we're going to season.
And we're going to pop that into here, like so.
And then we get a lemon.
It's important when you do this dish
to put the basil on the bottom of the skin...
-Then put the lemon on top.
-..and the lemon on top of that.
And then I'm just going to fold this over,
just seal the edges.
One, two - nice seal.
And then open up, so you've got that little kind of bag like that.
And then get your vermouth,
and then just put a few spoons of vermouth - about three -
and then we're just going to fold it and then just seal it.
Now, I'm doing this one seal on it so I can check it,
so when it's cooking, I can just lift it up like that, OK?
-Then that goes in the oven probably for about ten minutes.
OK, so, in goes the spinach.
Almost just count to ten,
and then put it into a colander and let it cool down naturally,
and it will taste so much nicer.
OK, so just chop the parsley.
The parsley in, and then some olive oil.
Going to get some seasoning in there.
Salt and some pepper.
A nice bit of lemon.
And then let's have a look at this sea bass.
-So, you can see that it's sort of puffed up...
And then just open up the bag,
-and you'll see that kind of steam coming out.
-Can you smell that?
-OK, sea bass, nicely done.
And then pour all that juice from the fish,
and all that vermouth,
and the basil and the lemon has all sort of combined together.
I'm just going to cut some basil.
You've got a bit of butter in this.
And then just move the butter around the pan.
And the butter will start to emulsify,
and you'll get this lovely buttery sauce.
Let's get the lentils in here.
Let's drain those lentils.
So it's got this really lovely herby lentil with the lemon juice.
Then we'll plate up.
So put the spinach on the bottom.
Here are the lentils.
So, it's all nice and steamy.
And then you pick up the piece of fish,
pop that on the side there,
-and then pour that beautiful sauce all over the fish.
And there you have steamed sea bass
with basil, lemon, lentils and spinach.
Dig in, guys.
-How quick was that?
-What do you think?
-The sauce is amazing.
-The sauce is incredible.
-Is it super buttery?
I don't want you to take it away from me.
Right, Theo, it is time to declare your winner
and who you're going to take through to the Friday final,
but before you do,
let's have a quick recap of what our cooks made earlier.
In the first round, Danny almost ruined his pasta,
but brought it back from the brink to turn out a flavoursome dish.
In round two, he created a well-seasoned,
good all-round carbonara.
And in the third and final round, his sea bass was slightly overcooked
but he fared better with the lentils,
which were cooked to perfection.
I'd love it to be me.
I'd love to be the person going through to tomorrow.
You know, I love cooking, and I love other people tasting my food.
Meanwhile, in round one, Elisa's hake was praised for both flavour
and technical ability.
Her pasta was the best of the bunch in round two,
and in the final round, her sea bass and spinach were cooked perfectly,
but she was let down by the lentils, which were a little raw.
I really hope I've done enough to get through,
Theo can only take one of you through to the Friday final.
So, Theo, it's over to you.
Well, I have to say, you've both been brilliant.
You've both cooked very, very well today.
I mean, Danny, I was really worried about your pasta at the beginning,
but what was great about you is you listened to what I was saying.
You acted straightaway, which was great.
Your pasta was very good.
Your linguine was excellent, you cooked it really beautifully.
And your sea bass was good too,
so you've had a really good day's cooking.
You should be really proud of yourself.
Elisa, you've been brilliant all day.
I mean, from the start, for me, that first dish,
I thought, "Wow, this person can really cook."
And your piece of sea bass was really nicely cooked as well.
-Your lentils were a bit underdone.
I want to take someone really strong into Friday's final.
-Elisa, you're coming with me.
-Oh, my gosh.
-How do you feel?
-You shouldn't be in shock.
-So I can really cook, then?
-You certainly can.
In shock. I didn't know I could cook that well, so I'm really surprised.
So, Theo, any last tips for your new partner?
So, Friday - you've got to focus on what you're doing.
My game plan for Friday is to make sure that she is calm
and we go into this understanding exactly what we're going to cook.
I've just really enjoyed the experience,
and I think I've learned a lot
and I think I've...you know, I've done myself proud.
I'm just really excited to get into the final.
I don't want to let Theo down at the final,
so I'm going to work really hard and listen really well,
and hopefully do him really proud.
Tomorrow on Yes, Chef, it's the Friday final.
The teams go head-to-head
to cook for culinary royalty, Pierre Koffmann.
Whip the cream! Whip it!
Four chefs, four home cooks...
Get in there!
..but only one team will be crowned Yes, Chef champions.
Theo Randall has his eye on the prize as he puts three home cooks through a series of culinary challenges, including how to make linguine asparagus carbonara. Theo will be judged by triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann in the Friday final so his professional pride is at stake, but which home cook will he choose to be his partner?