Three Michelin-starred chefs – Tom Kerridge, Tom Kitchin and Ollie Dabbous – will be facing an unusual challenge on BBC TV show Top Gear this weekend, when they have to produce a three-course meal for the show’s presenters.
Nothing particularly unusual about that, except for the fact that they will be doing in the back of a car (or in one case, a motorbike – don’t ask) as Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc and Sabine Schmitz zoom through Europe in a race to Venice against fellow presenter Eddie Irvine, who is taking it easy on a train.
We haven’t seen the show yet but it promises hilarious results, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of culinary achievement to their limit.
Details about exactly what happens on the show are in short supply and we wouldn’t want to spoil it in any case but Kerridge ends up paired with Evans, Kitchin with Schmitz and Dabbous with LeBlanc.
Kitchin told The Caterer: “It was one of those last-minute TV phone calls and it was great to be asked. The three of us [chefs] met in a coffee shop in Paris and we were waiting and we were like ‘oh my god what have we got ourselves into?’ and then the presenters came, picked us up in these cars and the bike, and off we went.”
Each chef was apparently allowed to select their own ingredients for their creations.
“We used our imagination, without giving too much away,” Kitchin said. “Tom and Chris were up to all sorts of mischief and poor Ollie was on a motorbike.”
You’ll have to watch the show to find out exactly how they did, but when asked if the results were edible, Kitchin was surprisingly pleased with the results: “I can honestly say everyone did an incredible job and was astounded about what they can achieve,” he said.
“It was hilarious – filleting sea bass in the back of the car. I made a tomato consommé, blending it in the car and then hanging it in muslin from the hook you are supposed to hang your suit from, covered in mess. It was like no TV I have ever done before – great fun and a great experience.”
Kerridge, who cooked in the back of an old Jaguar while Chris drove, said the whole experience was amazing.
“Chris is a dear friend so when he asked me if I wanted to go to France and cook in a car. The next thing I was in France in the back of an old Jag with a chicken!”
Kerridge spent 14 hours with Evans in the driving seat with just a static camera filming their every move.
“We ended up eating way too many Harribo’s, that by the end of it we must have just been talking complete rubbish. Chris is a very busy man, so to spend all this time with him was just brilliant.”
On the menu for Kerridge was salmon to start, followed by chicken for the main and rather surprisingly, a steam pudding for dessert (you’ll have to watch to find out how this was cooked!)
Kerridge did admit the quality of the food wasn’t to his usual Michelin-starred standard. “While the others used their vehicles for prep, I used mine as an oven. While the food wasn’t of a standard, it was edible!”
Top Gear airs on BBC 2 on Sunday 19 June at 8pm.