Finalists - Sarah Cooper and James Holah, The Ebury
Sarah, front of house, and James, chef, are an engaged couple who have run The Ebury together for eight months.
Chef: James Holah
Front of house: Sarah Cooper
Restaurant: The Ebury, London
Audition dish (Episode 1): Chargrilled Cumbrian rose veal chop with sage and quinoa salad
Sarah and James are an engaged couple who have run The Ebury together for eight months. They describe it as a gastro pub with a difference, because both of them were trained in Michelin-starred establishments. They serve modern European cuisine, with strong Mediterranean influences.
Apart from pastries, James does not cook with butter or fat and hopes that this method will give classic French dishes a new lease of life. He originally trained as a solicitor, but his real ambition was to be a chef, and he’s spent the last 13 years learning his trade and working his way up, eventually to the job of Head Chef at The Ritz.
James met Sarah five years ago when they worked together at The Longridge, where Sarah was Assistant General Manager. She’s always worked in hospitality and catering, and has worked her way up to General Manager, winning the Young Chef, Young Waiter competition on the way.
It’s not obvious who’s the boss in this relationship. Sarah’s take on it is that 'he wears the trousers, but I tell him which ones'.
Semi-Final 2 Menu
- Salad of English garden vegetables with truffle
- Spiced red mullet with couscous, pomegranate, tomato, coriander and cumin
- Best end of lamb with aubergines caviar, pine nuts and a fricassee of sweetbreads, chorizo and anchovy
- Warm salad of rare roasted venison with celeriac, pear and red cabbage
- Lemon meringue tart with blueberry jelly
- Potted salmon with pickled cucumber, avocado and crème fraiche
- Ravioli of smoked ham hock and egg yolk with pea soup
- Seared red mullet and scallop with braised artichokes Provencale
- Fillet of lamb with veal kidney, spring vegetables and mustard sauce
- Roast guinea fowl with creamed cabbage, morels and Madeira
- Rosemary crème brûlée with raspberries
- Warm chocolate pot with caramelised banana and cinder toffee