Last week was full of surprises for our brave competitors out in Provence. For a start, they learnt that it wouldn't be their friend Dudley doing the judging, but rather two of the region's most famous Michelin Star chefs. Secondly, the first challenge involved cooking with unfamiliar ingredients under pressure and then came the biggest shock of all: Owain was sent straight back to Blighty with his seat on the plane still warm!
However, there's no time for nostalgia now because it's time for the next challenge and an early wake-up call for the seven who remain.
This weeks' challenges will include recognising unique flavours and fresh produce, and will also test the contestants' skills in studying and understanding a detailed recipe. Helping his father René judge this week will be another Michelin Star chef - Jean-Françoise Bérard. 'Jeff' as he is known is the head chef in the family-run restaurant, a culinary genius with a taste for innovative and modern cuisine. But whose food will tickle his taste buds?
The 10 Tomato Challenge
Aldwyn is 'safe' because of his success in the first challenge and Owain is on his way home. Six remain to take part in the tomato challenge.
Details of the challenge - create a tomato salad with 10 different varieties of tomatoes - each one with their own unique taste. Which oil and which herb go with what?? A dilemma for the six! Dudley wanted two teams for this challenge but who was going to be paired with whom! Aldwyn to decide!
Aldwyn's choice - Nerys and Nesta, Michael and Anna and Jan and Eleanor. And the reason behind his choice - the two N's together and the other two because they were standing next to each other!
Judging was Jean Françoise Berard - Renés son, and after seeing the three teams working and after tasting their salads he chose Nerys and Nesta as the winners. Michael, Anna, Jan and Eleanor - had to go back into the kitchen again and one of them going to be joining Owain back in Wales!
The Mille Fuille Challenge
The pudding challenge, and Michael, Anna, Jan and Eleanor were looking forward to giving it a 100% in the kitchen in the hope of staying in Provence. The task was to create a Mille Fuille with lemon curd and strawberry sauce.
Jan and Eleanor were in their element with preparing puddings, Jan had done lemon curd in the past and Eleanor likes to handle pastry but possibly not filo.
Michael did not enjoy the first challenge with the 5 ingredients so he was ready to prove he could do better, and Anna was just hoping that it would not be her going home.
It was hot in the kitchen and René ready to taste the puddings...
The one that went out...
Mille Fuille Aux Fraises A La Crème De Citron
Recipe4 Sheets of Filo Pastry
50g Unsalted Butter - melted
Icing sugar to decorate
1 Large Egg
1 Lark Egg yolk
1 Lemon - zest and juice (approx 50ml of zest)
50g Icing sugar
100g Icing Sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°f/Gas 4.
Fold the filo pastry sheets into two squares.
Brush the pastry with the melted butter.
Cut the two large squares into 6 small squares and place on a baking tray.
Sprinkle the squares with plenty of icing sugar and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until they are golden in colour and the sugar has caramelised on the top.
Remove and allow to cool in a dry place.
Mix the eggs and the sugar in a deep bottom pan.
Add the lemon zest and juice and whisk over a low heat until the mixture thickens and resembles the texture of custard.
Place the curd in a bowl and cover with cling film to avoid a skin forming and allow to cool.
Cut 125g of the strawberries into small pieces and place in a small saucepan together with the icing sugar and 2 tbsp of water.
Cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves, increase the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cut the remainder of the strawberries in half and add to the mixture.
Build each mille fuille by placing a little of the lemon curd in the middle of the plate with a square of filo pastry on top.
Place another spoonful of lemon curd on top of the pastry, add some of the strawberries and top with another square of filo pastry.
Repeat the process one more time to create a tower, finishing with the filo pastry.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and place one or two of the strawberries on the side of the dish.