The Hairy Bikers aren’t ones to mince their words. “What inspired our new series more than anything was that everybody is a bit skint at the minute,” explains Si King. “But there’s no reason not to eat great food – just on a budget.”
“If you go to a Michelin-starred restaurant, you can pay £15 for a risotto but what’s on your plate is probably worth 75p,” adds Dave Myers. “So what makes that 75p worth £15? And how can you replicate it at home?”
In Everyday Gourmets they’ve persuaded high-end chefs to reveal the tricks of their trade. But although they’re cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants rather than by roadsides – as they did in their first series – they’re adamant that “nowt” has changed. “In our view, it’s pointless cooking anything on the telly that you cannot cook at home,” says Si. “We want to empower people to give stuff a go because – fundamentally – if we can do it, so can they.”
Last time we saw them they were impressively svelte, having lost three and a half stone between them for The Hairy Dieters. Watching Everyday Gourmets, however, the Bikers are once again looking rather rotund. In fact, Dave explains, it’s because the filming of the two series overlapped.
“You can imagine what a head trip it was! One of the tougher days was cooking with Olivier Limousin, who is head chef at Joël Robuchon in Covent Garden [a two Michelin star restaurant] and afterwards he invited us to stay for lunch. We just had to say no,” he sighs, mournfully.
So far they’ve managed to keep the weight off: “Gourmet is a treat for a special occasion. A little bit of what you fancy does you good, but not seven days a week.”
Hairy Bikers' Everyday Gourmets starts tonight at 8:00pm on BBC2