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The best of 2015 on Great British Chefs

The best of 2015 on Great British Chefs

by Great British Chefs Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 has been a busy year on Great British Chefs with new chefs, a site redesign, the launch of Great Italian Chefs and a dizzying number of new recipes, videos and features. We take a look back at some of the highlights of the past year.

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

Winter

As the year began so did the Galvin brothers' Dishes of the Decade campaign, a twelve month menu celebrating some of the most popular dishes in the ten year history of Bistrot de Luxe. January's dishes put two signature classics – the Dorset crab lasagne and exquisite Apple tarte tatin – under the spotlight, which were then followed by a number of rustic French recipes throughout the year.

Festival season began early for foodies with Obsession 2015 at Northcote Manor. Running for a whopping fifteen nights (previous years had never topped ten), it was an exciting programme of guest dinners, one-off collaborations and multi-Michelin quality revelry from the likes of Brett Graham, Phil Howard, Angela Hartnett and Tsuyoshi Marakami.

Graham Hornigold joined the site in February, providing a number of beautiful desserts and eye-catching macarons just in time for Valentine's Day. As executive pastry chef of the Hakkasan Group some of his dishes, such as the Raspberry and chocolate delice and the Sheep's yoghurt mousse with pandan sponge, might look more like works of art than desserts, but we hoped at least his Love Heart macarons might've been enjoyed at a few romantic dinners across the country.

In late February a wealth of culinary talent joined together in the name of charity for Who's Cooking Dinner? to raise money for leukemia research. Founded by Peter Gordon and Chris Corbin, two experts in their field whose lives had in some way been touched by the illness, the yearly event sees twenty top chefs each preparing a sumptuous feast for ten diners – in the same kitchen! This year the lineup included Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), Tong Chee Hwee (Hakkasan), Brett Graham (The Ledbury), Marcus Wareing (Marcus), Jason Atherton and Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse). We were able to squeeze into the kitchen alongside them to capture all the behind the scenes excitement.

Spring

Spring sprung and and we brought you news of government legislation banning swearing in professional kitchens with the rise of the Fair Etiquette movement. While the savvy among you quickly worked out it was an April Fools' Day joke, we had a lot of fun discovering the hidden acting talents of Peter Gordon, the Galvin brothers and Paul A Young. From one fictional film to another, in April we also hosted the first of our Silver Screen Cuisine events at the Everyman cinema in Islington. Pascal Aussignac and Alfred Prasad prepared a bespoke menu against the backdrop of The Hundred-Foot Journey, a film about a French fine dining chef's introduction to the world of Indian cooking.

 
 

Summer

Summer was a very exciting time for us here at Great British Chefs as we launched our new look, fully responsive website design. Developed and designed in-house to showcase beautiful food photography and in-depth features, there was plenty to show off as we welcomed Xavier Boyer and Tong Chee Hwee to the site and spoke to Massimo Bottura about art, revolution and modern Italian cuisine.

We were delighted to see several of our chefs involved in this year's Great British Menu (diligently covered twice a week by Danny Kingston) and even happier when Matt Gillan won a place in the final with his impressive goat dish. Gluten-free favourite Howard Middleton took up the mantle of analysing each mouth-watering (and toe-curling) moment of the Great British Bake Off, something he did with humour and panache, while our in-house culinary expert Sally Abé took on some of the trickier challenges seen on the show and shared recipes for arlettes, mokatines and the showstopping Victorian Charlotte Russe.

We made a film of our own with Francesco Mazzei and Hollywood hero Stanley Tucci, himself a keen chef and cookbook author. Hosted by the Italian Consul General, Massimiliano Mazzanti, in the kitchens of his official residence, the trio shared recipes, cooking tips and plenty of good wine.

 
 

Autumn

No sooner had we sent out our Michelin 2016 predictions in September than the results themselves were leaked early, causing a flurry of excitement across the country – not to mention in the office! London's two newest two Michelin star restaurants, Umu and The Araki, sent everyone spinning about Japanese fine dining (again), so it was with some excitement that we went along to the UK heats of the Global Sushi Challenge at Nobu in London.

It was a fairly meaty few months over autumn, as we discovered more about the perfect steak in Ireland, the painstaking process behind Parma ham and celebrated the myriad joys of game season. We were lucky enough to spend an hour with Paul A Young learning about the busy life of a chocolatier, and quizzed Marcus Wareing on his involvement with Steven Knight's latest film Burnt and what it was like teaching Bradley Cooper how to behave like a top chef.

A great source of pride this autumn was the launch of our sister site, Great Italian Chefs, complete with twenty-one new Italian chefs and over a hundred Michelin-starred recipes. The result of months of hard work, Great Italian Chefs gives an insight into the exciting world of modern Italian cooking with exciting talents such as Gaetano Trovato, Cristina Bowerman, Fabrizio Marino and the Costardi Brothers.

 
 

In November we dipped our toe further into the warm water bath of sous vide cooking, producing a number of recipes, guides and the definitive sous vide cooking app. Claude Bosi and Bryn Williams joined the site – meaning we finally got our hands on the Odette's Jaffa Cake recipe – and we turned our attention to all things festive. Alongside handy planners and cooking tips we explored Christmas around the world, from Japan to Italy and parts of Scandinavia.

 
 

That was our year in a nutshell, and we hope you'll continue following our recipes, reading our features and getting involved in our community throughout 2016, too. We'll be adding lots of amazing new content, growing Great Italian Chefs, taking a look at new areas of food and drink and so much more. To see what we think's going to be big news in the year ahead, check out our hot tips for the next twelve months.

 
 
 

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