About me:

Martin Blunos is one of the country's greatest chefs. Having held two Michelin stars for more than fifteen years, this blond haired, walrus-moustached Baltic giant....

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The ultimate high-energy cook-off as four culinary challengers battle it out with the Iron Chefs before a panel of food experts.

starts Mon 06 Dec, 12.40pm


Martin shows us how to celebrate Christmas the Latvian way! Martin & his family invites you to his home, they remember how Christmas was celebrated in their home town of Rega.

Each day a team of four eager challengers take on four of the UK's most notable and competitive chefs, Martin Blunos, Judy Joo, Sanjay Dwivedi and Tom Aikens.

Martin at his best demonstrating in front of the N.E.C crowd.

Old footage of Martin displaying his culinary skills.


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You will need ;

  • 1kg skinned pork shoulder
  • 300ml fresh espresso
  • 300ml water
  • 10gr coffee beans
  • 50gr tomato ketchup
  • 20gr tomato puree
  • 60gr runny honey
  • 20gr balsamic vinegar
  • 3cloves garlic, peeled and sliced finely
  • 1med red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • juice and zest from a lime
  • 8gr nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 10gr dark soy sauce
  • 3gr fennel seeds

Method ;

  1. Put the pork into a deep baking dish, add espresso and water. Cover and cook at 150oC for 2 - 3 hours or until the pork is tender and starting to fall apart.
  2. Remove from oven. Carefully transfer pork to a plate, set aside and keep warm. Re set oven to 170oc.
  3. Add all of remaining ingredients to the dish and bring to a fast boil. Reduce in volume by half.
  4. Put pork back into dish and spoon over the reduced liquor. Put dish (uncovered) back into the re set oven and cook for a further 30 mins - spooning over the liquor every 8-10 mins.
  5. The meat will become sticky and rich. Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving.
  6. Use two forks to shred the meat and serve with a spoon or two of the liquor - great with boiled new potatoes and a fresh crisp leaf salad!

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You will need ;

  • 1kg/2¼lb beetroot
  • 450g/1lb carrots
  • 8 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped roughly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp caraway seeds
  • Enough stock to cover the vegetables with about ½ a pint left over
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method ;

  1. Peel and roughly chop the vegetables. Place in a large pan with the bay leaf and caraway seeds.
  2. Cover with the stock. Bring to a rapid boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and liquidise the soup until smooth, adjust the seasoning. Pass the soup through a medium sieve.
  4. Reheat gently, do not allow to boil, serve with the soured cream and Pirags.
  5. Enjoy !

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You will need - For the lamb;

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 x 225g/8oz lamb leg steaks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

You will need - For the Anchovy Butter;

  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp anchovy essence
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 6 fresh anchovies, drained of oil and chopped

You will need - For the Salsify with walnuts;

  • 750g/1lb 10oz salsify
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints cold water
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g/3oz walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp sultanas, soaked overnight in enough brandy to cover
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley, to serve

Preparation/Method - For the Lamb;

  1. Rub the oil and garlic onto the steaks. Place them in a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge for at least six hours.
  2. A quarter of an hour or so before you are ready to cook, remove the lamb from the fridge and bring back to room temperature.
  3. Heat a griddle pan until hot. Place the steaks on the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides. Remove the steaks from the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and set aside in a warm place to rest.

Preparation/Method - For the Anchovy Butter;

  1. Place the butter into a bowl and add the anchovy essence, lemon zest and chopped anchovies and mix to combine.
  2. Place the butter mixture onto a sheet of cling film or baking parchment laid out on a clean work surface, and roll into a log.
  3. Place the prepared butter log in the fridge and leave to chill until firm.

Preparation/Method - For the Salsify with walnuts;

  1. Fill a bowl with water and add half the lemon juice. Peel the salsify and slice into 5cm/2in pieces and immediately place the salsify in the bowl (to stop it from discolouring).
  2. Meanwhile, combine a splash of the 1.5 litres/2½ pints water with the flour in a saucepan and stir to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add the remaining 1.5 litres/2½ pints water and lemon juice, along with the salt. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously. This mixture is called a 'blanc'.
  4. Drain the salsify and place it in the pan with the blanc.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until tender.
  6. Drain and rinse the salsify in cold water and pat dry.
  7. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add half of the clarified butter and then add the dry salsify.
  8. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry gently to colour and heat through. Place the remaining clarified butter in another frying pan, add the walnuts and place over a high heat for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to let the nuts burn.
  9. Add the sultanas, sugar and vinegar to the walnuts. The sugar will caramelise and the vinegar will reduce to a glaze.
  10. Remove from the heat and whisk in the unsalted butter. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Pour this mixture over the salsify and toss together.
  11. To serve, preheat the grill to hot. Remove the anchovy butter from the fridge and slice. Place a slice of butter over each lamb steak and place the lamb on a tray under the grill to melt the butter.
  12. Transfer the lamb steaks to two serving plates. Spoon the salsify alongside, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Enjoy !

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You will need - For the boiling the bacon;

  • 1.4kg/3lb 1oz collar of bacon, skin on, soaked in cold water overnight in the fridge or in a cool place
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 600ml/1 pint 2fl oz good cider

You will need - For stewing the bacon;

  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 small shallots, peeled but with root end intact
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal to 5mm/¼in thick
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced on the diagonal to 5mm/¼in thick

You will need - For the dumplings;

  • 90g/3½oz self-raising flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 45g/1½oz shredded suet
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To serve;

  • English mustard, to taste


  1. To boil the bacon, remove the bacon joint from the soaking water and put it into a large, deep, lidded saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients for boiling the bacon.
  2. Pour in enough cold water to cover the joint by 2.5cm/1in. Cover with a lid, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for one hour.
  3. Test to see if the meat is tender by piercing it with a blunt table knife. If's difficult to insert the blade, then continue cooking for another 20 minutes and test again. When the meat is tender, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. To stew the bacon, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Place a large lidded ovenproof casserole on the stove and heat until hot. Add the butter, then add the garlic, shallots and peppercorns and fry for one minute.
  5. Add the carrots and celery and fry gently for about five minutes until lightly coloured. Remove the bacon collar from the liquid the meat was boiled in.
  6. Cut and lift off the bacon skin with a sharp knife - it should come off in a single piece. Put the skinned bacon joint on top of the vegetables in the casserole. Add enough of the poaching liquid to cover the vegetables by 2.5cm/1in (you may need to top up with water if there is not enough).
  7. Cover with the lid and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, for the dumplings, sieve the flour, salt and mustard powder into a bowl. Stir in the suet, chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  9. Add enough cold water to make a stiff dough that doesn't cling to the sides of the bowl. Using your hands, divide the mixture into large walnut-sized pieces and roll into neat balls in the palms of your hand.
  10. Add the rolled dumplings to the casserole, around the joint, and place the casserole back into the oven to cook for a further 25-30 minutes. When done the dumplings should be cooked through, puffed and light. The meat will be tender and unctuous, the vegetables will have collapsed a little and the cooking liquid will have thickened.
  11. To serve, carefully lift the meat from the casserole onto a board and cut into generous slices. Divide the vegetables equally among four plates, top with slices of the meat, surround with a few dumplings and spoon over the thickened juices.
  12. Serve with English mustard.

Enjoy !

You know what it's like: sometimes you just want a quick bowl of pasta after work; other times it's a gastronomic classic for a dinner party. May I suggest a few?

About Me

Martin Blunos is one of the country's greatest chefs.

Having held two Michelin stars for more than fifteen years, this blond haired, walrus-moustached Baltic giant of a man has a wicked sense of humour and is a most colourful character. He was born and bought up near Bath, his parents having come to England from Latvia just after the Second World War.

Martin recently appeared in the new Channel 4 series "IRON CHEF UK", the ITV series Daily Cooks and Australias most popular show Master Chef Australia. In Spring 2010 Martin demonstrated at the Ideal Home Show and Vitality Show in London, and will be an ambassador for Holland America Baltic Cruises this summer.

He is a regular columnist for Air Baltic In Flight Magazine and summer 2010 will see him embarking on a new project with POM Juices - as brand ambassador.

Martin appears regularly on television and radio with regular slots as Guest Chef on BBC1s Saturday Kitchen with James Martin, ITV Daily Cooks, BBC Great Food Live! and Food Uncut, ITVs Saturday Cooks, BBC 2 Food Poker, ITV 1 Britains Best Dish, BBC Market Kitchen, Channel 5 Cooking the Books, BBC James Martins Feasts.

He made Tasting Times with Martin Blunos a ten part series for ITV and was chosen to cook for Her Majesty The Queen during her Jubilee year which was documented in a 30 minute television programme and recently appeared on BBC1 in All The Queens Cooks. He recently appeared in a new BBC series of Supersizers with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins.

In 2010 Martin Blunos is again the figurehead of the Mendip Food Festival and also the face of the Melksham Food Festival. He is appears in the ITV series Taste the Nation and demonstrates throughout the UK during the summer including the Taste festivals in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh and Foodies Festivals. He also demonstrates at major food festivals throughout the world.



Influenced by his mothers wholesome cooking from her homeland and Russian relatives, Martin has today become one of the finest chefs in the UK. In each of his restaurants he earned two prestigious Michelin Stars. After nine years he opened a larger version of Lettonie in Bath and added letting rooms. Food writers, critics and contempories were regular customers and Martins eclectic cooking attracts journalists of leading food publications from all around the globe.

Unlike many of his peers, he hasnt learnt his craft from other master chefs. He went to college in Cheltenham, did a spell at the Strand Palace Hotel in London, a season in Switzerland and many cruises on a Greek tycoons yacht before finding a job at Lampwicks in Londons Battersea Road, where the main competition came from Nico Ladenis in his early nouvelle cuisine phase.

Martin was invited to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Foreign & Commonwealth Institute to celebrate Latvia joining the EU. He appeared on SKY TVs Worlds Greatest Dishes and has also appeared on BBC 1 Holiday Programme, BBC 2 Master Chef Goes Large and presenting his own Christmas programmes for HTV. He appeared again with James Martin at the BBC Good Food Show and demonstrated at the Ideal Home Exhibition and Organic Show in London. As the figurehead for the Mendip Food Festival he will be hosting and appearing at regional and media events throughout the year.

In addition to his cooking Martin is much in demand for public appearances, talks and demonstrations, he has appeared as guest chef at the Gourmet Food Festivals in Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa and recently returned from Mexico where he attended and consulted for a new food event organised by the British High Commission. Martin was a consultant to the food operation at the exciting new Thermae Bath Spa in Bath and a consultant for Hotel & Leisure Group Hillwood Hotels. Currently he is a consultant to a hotel group.

Martin lives in Bath with his wife Sian, a trained chef herself; food writer and published author. They have two sons Leon and Max and beautiful daughter Coco and in his spare time Martin is a passionate Bristol City FC fan and a born again roadie to Maxs rock group Blackchalk