Tuesday, 28 September 2021

TV chefs show their class

HOW two celebrity chefs hustled their way to prizes at last year’s Henley Show is revealed today (Friday).

HOW two celebrity chefs hustled their way to prizes at last year’s Henley Show is revealed today (Friday).

Galton Blackiston and Jun Tanaka took on a baking challenge for new TV series Country Show Cook Off, which is being aired daily on BBC2.

In the pair’s final episode to be shown tonight, the chefs are seen taking on amateur bakers in the decorated cake class at the show — and coming first and second.

The chefs were filmed travelling 260 miles from the Lake District to Henley in their camper van-cum-kitchen and competing at traditional country shows along the way.

They entered each competition under their own names but the judges were unaware that they were judging the work of professionals.

“Obviously the judges were not allowed to know anything — it was all really secretive,” said Donna Guile, who runs the produce tent at the Henley Show.

“Although the chefs did enter under their names, the tickets were all turned over as they are when they are judged normally.”

Blackiston made raspberry-topped sponge cakes and Tanaka made carrot and walnut cakes the night before but then decorated them at the showground in Hambleden on the morning of the show last September.

Blackiston claimed the winner’s prize and Tanaka was runner-up.

Mrs Guile said: “My daughter tasted them and said they were amazing. She said it was really easy to pick the winner because it looked so different from the others.

“I was hoping the chefs would take part in the Victoria Sponge class but I think they were put off because there were so many entries.

“They left their cakes behind for the stewards to eat and I am told that they were lovely. They were really nice guys and good sports who stopped to talk to other people taking part. They said Henley was one of the best shows they had been to for the number of entries.”

A segment of each episode sees the chefs spend time learning about local produce and then using it in their baking.

Blackiston and Tanaka spent a day filming with Tamsin Borlase at her market garden in Swiss Farm, Henley. Mrs Borlase said: “The whole concept of the show is brilliant. Every episode they would visit a local producer and artisan who would cook a meal.

“I cooked a dish of stuffed marrows with rice and a raspberry tart and they said it was delicious. It was a great day and the garden was looking wonderful.

“We had a lovely time. The chefs were both charming and extremely helpful in the kitchen but it is really hard to know what will be used in the film.”

The chefs left Mrs Borlase having stocked up with carrots, beetroot and raspberries to use in their cakes for the show. Blackiston and Tanaka ended the week on a high in Henley having achieved only disappointing results in previous shows.

In Hawkshead, Cumbria, the chefs made chicken liver paté. Blackiston claimed the runner-up’s prize despite the judge saying his effort was “a bit sloppy”. Tanaka was not placed due to the lack of flavour in his paté.

The chefs fared worse at their next stop in Wensleydale where both failed to secure a place on the podium with their four savoury tartlets made from filo pastry.

lCountry Show Cook Off will be shown on BBC 2 at 6.30pm.

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