Two chefs from Bristol were among hopeful amatuer and professional chefs competing in The Taste, Channel 4's answer to MasterChef and The Voice.
Tara Hofman and Kelly Sealey last night began the series among the initial 25, with Ms Sealey's spoonful of smoked duck with sprouts, pickled cherries and chocolate winning over judges Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre, earning her a place on Lawson's team.
Hello Swiggers, I thought it was about time I came clean! Yes it's my mug on the taste ads!! To follow me in the show tune in Tues 9pm c4.
— Pig & Swig (@PigandSwig) January 3, 2014
The format of last night's show saw each chef present a spoon of their dish for blind tasting by each of the three judges, who each ended with a team of four. One member of each team will be eliminated through a series of challenges each week.
Ms Sealey, who runs pop-up restaurant Pig & Swig also hosts public supper clubs. She is also head tutor at the Bordeaux Quay Cookery School on the waterfront, having trained at the City of Bristol College.
Smoked duck with sprouts, pickled cherries and chocolate
2 duck breasts
30g Cornish Smoked sea salt
180g white caster sugar
3 star anise, broken into pieces
150g loose black English tea
For the pickled cherries
100g Morello cherries in syrup
150ml red wine vinegar
50ml red wine
100g soft brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seeds
Pinch or two of salt
For the Brussels sprouts
150g Brussels sprouts
250g pack unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
4 cloves smoked garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
For the garnish
A few shavings of Willie's Colombian Black Santander Supreme pure cacao
50g fresh cobnuts, chopped
1. Start by salting the duck heavily with smoked salt. Leave aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. To prepare the smoker, line with foil as you’re going to make a smoky caramel that will burn. Add the sugar, star anise and tea, close the lid or wrap tight with foil and pop on the hob and allow the sugar to burn.
3. Now grab three saucepans. In one add all of the pickled cherry ingredients and bring to the boil. Fill another one with water and bring to the boil, and melt the pack of butter in the third one, ready to fry the sprouts.
4. By now your sugar will be burning, so add the duck, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.
5. Add salt and sprouts to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh in ice cold salted water.
6. To the butter pan add a teaspoon of sea salt and the smoked garlic. Watch the butter turn a nutty golden brown, then take off the heat and add in the lemon zest. Just before serving slice the sprouts and toss in this, keeping some whole for texture.
7. Heat a frying pan until medium hot but not smoking, and finish off the duck skin until crisp. Now allow the meat to rest for 4 minutes, then slice very thinly.
8. To finish this dish grate over a little bitter chocolate and scatter over chopped fresh cobnuts.