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August on Great British Chefs

August on Great British Chefs

by Great British Chefs 28 August 2015

A monthly roundup of what we have been up to here at Great British Chefs including recipes, features and brand new chefs. August heralded the beginning of both Great British Menu and the Great British Bake Off, with the latter inspiring us all the plug in our Kenwoods and get baking. We've celebrated the start of grouse season, made the most of seasonal ingredients and witnessed a number of exciting culinary collaborations across the UK.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Piping bags at dawn

The beginning of August heralded the return of the Great British Bake Off to our screens and, as usual, a baking frenzy descended on the nation. While former contestant Howard Middleton was on hand to capture every collapsed cake and showstopping sculpture of the episodes, we also shared plenty of baking inspiration for home cooks bitten by the Bake Off bug. Away from the censure and steely blue gaze of Paul Hollywood, you were free to experiment with our ideas for bread week, biscuits and desserts alongisde recipes inspired by the show - and even learn how to make those mysterious arlettes.

In week one the contestants tackled cakes, including a delicately frosted walnut cake, retro favourite Black Forest gâteau and the classic Madeira cake. Biscuit week brought with it dainty pink macarons, flavoured biscotti and biscuit boxes in various stages of collapse. Bread week covered quick breads and we witnessed a staggeringly impressive bread sculpture, while dessert week covered crème brûlée, Spanische Windtorte and perilously tiered baked cheesecakes.

Jam and Jerusalem artichokes

Over in another TV kitchen, some of the country’s most innovative chefs have started doing battle in the regional heats of this year’s Great British Menu, and blogger Food Urchin has been capturing the action with his bi-weekly episode analysis. With the final banquet being a celebratory feast for the anniversary of the WI, competing chefs - including our own Graham Campbell, Dominic Chapman and Josh Eggleton - have been breathing new life into the connotations of traditional British food and baking that come with the brief. That said, there was more than one Victoria sponge, not to mention a jam or two!

Even more cake

Those still clinging on to the last vestiges of a summer diet did well to steer clear this month, as what came after the excitement of Bake Off and Great British Menu was... more desserts.

Clare Gazzard took a look at the latest trend for hybrid pâtisserie, topped off with a deliciously tempting Raspberry and custard cruffin recipe from pastry consultant Daniel Fletcher. We shared a stunning Lemon and sesame tart recipe by Graham Hornigold, while former Masterchef contestant Rukmini Iyer gave us a recipe for her pretty Strawberry and elderflower frasiers - the perfect summer dessert.

 

Seasonal ingredients

Sally Abé’s August roundup celebrated the best produce this month brings. Clearly, while the weather is still (theoretically) warm and summer berries are still plentiful, August acts as a kind of seasonal bridge between summer and autumn: figs are plump and ripe, greengages are crying out to be whipped up into a crumble and game season begins with the Glorious Twelfth.

From the 12th August onwards grouse hunting begins, and in honour of every foodie’s favourite date Sally looked a little closer at the bird with her grouse ingredient focus. We shared advice on how to roast grouse successfully, opening up a world of glorious grouse recipes. Paul Welburn served his Grouse with haggis alongside neeps and tatties while game-focused gastropub The Jugged Hare preferred the classic accompaniment of game chips.

 
 

Food news and festival guides

Rachel Walker's Glorious Twelfth diary followed a day of shooting up in the Highlands, while elsewhere in Scotland we've kept you well fed during the Edinburgh Festival with a guide to the best places to eat at the fringe. Isaac Parham spent a day at the Whitby crab company, we took a closer look at urban beekeeping in London and Glasgow, and Ella Timney has been on the hop this month attending a beer pairing lunch hosted by the Brewers Association of America.

Felicity Spector shared her experiences from Wilderness festival, a foodie paradise culminating in a feast in a field courtesy of Raymond Blanc. Also enjoying Raymond Blanc's hospitality - albeit in altogether more illustrious surroundings - was Ollie Lloyd, who visited Le Manoir to try Blanc's collaboration with Adam Bennett at Dîners des Protégés.

 
 

The world of chefs

This month we've welcomed two new chefs to our site, namely Paul Welburn of Tonic and Remedy and the legendary chef, food writer and restaurateur Mark Hix. With them they've brought some superb recipes, including Paul Welburn's striking Octopus and black rice recipe and a glorious Portland crab rosti from Mark Hix.

Elsewhere Robert Thompson opened his own restaurant, Thompson's, on the Isle of Wight, while Lee Westcott has been playing host in his restaurant, Typing Room, as he joined forces with Mexican legend Guillermo González Beristáin to celebrate the Year of Mexico in the UK.

 

Coming up in September

That back to school feeling September still seems to bring with it will be made easier with the excitement of Great British Bake Off and Great British Menu both hotting up towards the finals. We look forward to welcoming new chefs José Pizarro and Matt Worswick to the site, and sharing some of their inspirational recipes. Several of our favourite chefs will be adding a pinch of altitude to their dishes with the upcoming London in the Sky event, while we'll be keeping our feet firmly on the ground here at Great British Chefs HQ as we prepare for the new batch of Michelin results.

 
 
 

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