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Hugh's 3 Good Things

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Hugh reveals his theory that three-ingredient dishes are ideal for simple but delicious cooking... and tests it by competing against other chefs

About the Show

Hugh reveals his theory that three-ingredient dishes are ideal for simple but delicious cooking... and tests it by competing against other chefs

Series 1 Summary

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall wants to introduce a brilliant way of cooking that gives people maximum taste and creativity, with minimum fuss. It all boils down to a blissfully simple formula: when it comes to great cooking, three is the magic number.

Mozzarella, tomato and avocado; rhubarb, crumble and custard - the reason they're brilliant is that they are nothing more than three good things.

And to prove it, each episode Hugh goes up against two exciting chefs - each creating a perfect plate of food using three main ingredients.

But this is more than just a celebration of cooking - the chefs want to win. There can only be one winning recipe, chosen by an expert judge.

  • Episode 1 - Beetroot

    Hugh faces River Cottage chef Gill Meller and guest chef Florence Knight, from London's Polpetto. The star ingredient is beetroot.

    The recipes are beetroot, hardboiled egg and anchovy salad; a marinated beetroot, with blue cheese and poppy seeds; and thick beetroot, walnut and yogurt soup

    And the judge is Charlie Hicks, a man with 30 years of experience as a green grocer under his belt.

  • Episode 2 - Tomatoes

    The star ingredient this time is tomatoes. The recipes are clams with tomatoes and garlic; slow roasted shoulder of lamb with tomato and chard; and sweet raw tomatoes with lightly cured grey mullet, and finely chopped raw shallots. Once again, Hugh faces River Cottage chef Gill Meller and guest chef Florence Knight, from London's Polpetto.

  • Episode 3 - Courgettes

    It's all about the courgette this time. There's courgettes and mozzarella, and pasta and creamy courgette soup from Hugh. Gill Meller cooks a salad of courgette, mange tout and lemon, and Florence serves chargrilled courgette with salty goats cheese and honey.

  • Episode 4 - Mushrooms

    On the menu is curried mushrooms in a baked spud, a simple mushroom, blue cheese and spinach salad, a pastry parcel full of mushrooms and pancetta, and pigeon, polenta and button mushrooms.

  • Episode 5 - Kale

    There's kale, onion and chestnut pizza on the menu this time. Also kale with squid and chick peas, kale with lobster, and a perfect pasta and kale soup recipe from Hugh too.

  • Episode 6 - Lamb

    For the second week of the food competition, the chefs turn their attention to meat.

    But who can come up with the winning dish featuring three key flavours? Hugh makes a quick lamb chop with feta and tomatoes and a slow roast shoulder of lamb with potatoes and mushrooms.

    Guest chef Lisa Allen, Michelin-starred head chef at Northcote Manor, serves lamb, courgette and mint kebabs on the barbie. And Sam Rom, head chef at the River Cottage Canteen, serves lamb chops with almond crust and squash purée.

  • Episode 7 - Ham and Bacon

    The star ingredient this time is ham and bacon.

    As ever, Hugh cooks two dishes - one for fun and one for the competition. Hugh's simple recipe is a cold take on the classic ham, potatoes and parsley, this time in a salad. And his competition effort is roasted squash with ricotta and Parma ham.

    Sam Rom makes bacon chop with apple and fennel. And Lisa Allen, of Northcote Manor, has a posh take on breakfast, with streaky bacon, celeriac and a soft-boiled duck egg.

  • Episode 8 - Chicken

    Hugh's out to prove that you really can make a winning dish from three key ingredients, and he's putting his cooking where his heart is.

    This time, chicken is the star ingredient. Hugh has two classic recipes: a simple salad of cold chicken with green beans and black olives, and a warming dinner of roast chicken pieces with tarragon and tomatoes.

    Guest chef Lisa Allen makes salt-baked chicken with spuds and leeks. And Sam Rom serves up chicken on a blue cheese and mushroom base.

  • Episode 9 - Venison

    It's the penultimate day of meat week, and the chefs take on venison, a meat 'deer' to Hugh's heart.

    Hugh cooks seared venison with lemons and capers, and to offset this posh nosh, he makes venison hotdogs with fried pears.

    Sam Rom serves a Chinese-inspired venison, blueberry sauce and cucumber dish, while Lisa Allen mixes her venison with damsons and liquorice.

  • Episode 10 - Beef

    It's the final day of meat week, and it's time for beef to take centre stage.

    Guest chef Lisa Allen, of Northcote Manor, is showing her Michelin-starred skills by not even cooking her beef; she serves it as a tartare.

    Sam Rom, Head Chef at The River Cottage canteen, is looking to walk away as the week's winner with a classic take on beef and horseradish, throwing in some sweet, roasted beetroots into the mix.

    But for either of them to win, they must get past Hugh, who's making a perfect lunch of easy-peasy steak sarnie with cheddar and gherkins and a dinnertime stew of beef, tomato and shallot.

  • Episode 11 - Apples (Savoury)

    Hugh and Gill Meller are joined by Sophie Wright, who's cooked for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Roman Abramovich.

    The star this time is apple, in a savoury way. Hugh has a choice of dishes - a hot and warming apple, chilli and squash soup and a simple but colourful apple, walnut and beetroot salad.

    Gill cooks up a plateful of pork chops with apple and potatoes, and Sophie, a summery salad of apple, fennel and mackerel.

    Who will win? The judge is Alys Fowler, renowned gardener, writer, TV presenter and fruit lover.

  • Episode 12 - Pears

    Hugh creates a warm pear, black pudding and chicory salad, as well as a ginger pear and custard pudding.

    Gill serves up a classic pear, walnut and blue cheese salad, and Sophie a pear, pork and celeriac gratin.

  • Episode 13 - Dried Fruit

    On the menu this time is partridge, dried pear and spelt, dates with lemon and lamb's breast, and a salad of chickpeas, apricots and carrot.

  • Episode 14 - Citrus

    Hugh serves a simple lemon sole with lemon-flavoured mash. Also on the menu is griddled oranges with roasted pumpkin and Halloumi cheese, and grapefruit, squid and avocado.

  • Episode 15 - Apples

    Hugh makes posh apple crumble. Gill Meller makes an apple flan with almond paste, and Sophie makes a ricotta cheese doughnut with apple pureé.

  • Episode 16 - Bream

    Hugh makes a simple ceviche, served with a hot lime and mint-flavoured broth, while Caribbean fusion chef Euten Lindsay fries his black bream with Jamaican allspice with pickled carrots.

    River Cottage's Danish chef Kasper Gaard hopes to win the day with a plate of bream poached in butter and served with a celeriac purée.

  • Episode 17 - Mussels

    Hugh is never happier than when combining mussels with leeks and cider. He likes it so much, he's doing two dishes that way, one hot and one cold.

    Kasper Gaard serves smoked mussels, tart sea buckthorn berries and vanilla sauce.

    And guest chef Euten Lindsay tries to muscle his way into contention with his steamed mussels with chilli and ginger.

  • Episode 18 - Crab

    Hugh combines his crabmeat with chorizo and peas, representing the best of the sea, land and veg garden - all served on a piece of toast.

    Kasper Gaard makes a punchy crab soup that uses every part of the animal, including the ground-up shell.

    Will their efforts be enough to beat guest Euten Lindsay, who learned his craft at world-famous restaurant The Ivy? He's going down the classic route with crab cakes.

  • Episode 19 - Mackerel

    Hugh fries his mackerel coated in oatmeal and serves it with rhubarb compote, as well as baking another mackerel in foil with bay and lemon.

    Kasper Gaard goes back to his Danish roots by pickling the mackerel with red onion and fennel, while Euten Lindsay creates a Jamaican classic, mackerel run down, with coconut milk and peppers.

  • Episode 20 - Squid

    Hugh serves squid grilled with almonds and homemade hummus. He also serves barbecued squid with a salad including parsley and edible flowers

    Euten Lindsay grills his squid with courgettes and a lemon dressing.

    Kasper makes a salad of boiled and fried squid with horseradish and baby leeks.

  • Episode 21 - Pasta

    Hugh cooks up a couple of classics - pasta, tomato and blue cheese and a simple spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.

    Hugh's joined in this pasta cook-off by Allegra McEvedy, founder of the award-winning Leon chain, and River Cottage regular Tim Maddams.

    Can Allegra's pasta, mushrooms and mascarpone dish or Tim's hearty plate of pasta, cabbage and sausage win over this week's judge - Hugh's mum?

  • Episode 22 - Nuts

    It's day two of store cupboard week and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage star chef Tim Maddams and Leon founder Allegra McEvedy are all cooking with nuts.

    Hugh's plumped for walnuts to make baklava, as well as some hazelnuts to stir in with ricotta and honeycomb to make a simple but delicious pudding.

    He's not the only one with his hands in the hazelnut jar though, as Tim uses them to make melt-in-the-mouth macaroons, while Allegra knocks up a chestnut brittle mixed with cider-soaked prunes and yoghurt.

  • Episode 23 - Pulses

    The star ingredient is pulses. River Cottage's Tim Maddams makes a Mexican-inspired black bean soup; award-winning chef and author Allegra McEvedy opts for a Spanish-influenced chickpea, chorizo and red pepper tapas dish; while Hugh laps up the lentils, combining puy lentils with celeriac and sultanas in a perfect summery salad, and red lentils with bacon and onions in a wintery soup. Hugh's mum judges the results.

  • Episode 24 - Rice

    Rice is the key store cupboard ingredient this time. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall goes Japanese, teaming his rice sushi-style with seaweed and avocado and also using it Caribbean-fashion in a simple red beans and rice dish with coconut milk.

    Allegra McEvedy demonstrates her own version of that Chinese restaurant classic, egg fried rice.

    And from River Cottage chef Tim Maddams there's a West Country twist on pilaf, mixed with chicken stock and sorrel.

  • Episode 25 - Chocolate

    Hugh creates an irresistibly rich and delicious chocolate pudding with prunes and brandy, along with some DIY chocolate, fruit and nut bars.

    River Cottage chef Tim Maddams makes indulgent chocolate truffles.

    Guest chef Allegra McEvedy plans to outdo the boys with the ultimate South American-inspired chilli-spiked, creamy hot chocolate.

Hugh's 3 Good Things synopsis

Hugh reveals his theory that three-ingredient dishes are ideal for simple but delicious cooking... and tests it by competing against other chefs

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