Having said goodbye to risk-taker Matt Gillan on Thursday evening, this left newcomer Adam Simmonds to face off against veteran Tom Aikens both of whom are unquestionably skilled chefs. But would they make people smile? That was left to Prue, Matthew, Oliver and guest judge and comedian Arabella Weir to decide.
The laughs kicked off with Tom's chicken egg / egg chicken starter, which included playful bird's nests props with langoustine tails and slow-cooked egg yolks.
The judges seemed to agree that the dish was tasty, but weren't entirely sure where the humour was. "He's having a laugh if he thinks this is a starter size," said Prue. Arabella appreciated the opportunity to ask, "what the cluck is that?"
No such opportunities were found in Adam's starter of squab pigeon, sweetcorn, Douglas fir and granola, which was completely lacking in comedy. "It's hard to see what he thinks is funny here unless he thinks pigeon is inherently funny," said Arabella, "this is absolutely delicious but it's as if he's forgotten the comedy element."
The fish course brought with it some subtle comedy in Tom's complex dish of hand-dived scallops with apple and jasmine juice and more witty props. "I'm not actually laughing," said Arabella, "but I feel I'm laughing - that's good."
Said Oliver: "this is one of the most original dishes we've had in any competition."