Week Five of the seventh series of The Great British Menu and it's the turn of the North West region. Over eight weeks, twenty four of the finest chefs in Great Britain including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu at an Olympic banquet, hosted by sporting legend Sir Steve Redgrave with a guest list of British sporting greats. This week (starting 7th May 2012) it's the turn of chefs from the North West .
On Monday they'll be presenting their starters. Simon Rogan’s starter is a grilled salad served with an English truffle custard, cobnut crisp and cheese foam. Johnny Mountain will be cooking Iberico ham, cherry ravioli and a foie gras ice cream. Aiden Byrne is making a terrine of fois gras with a palm sugar mousse with black cherries and ginger bread.
On Tuesday, they move onto a fish course, on Wednesday main course and on Thursday it's the turn of desserts. For each of those days they will have to impress veteran judge Marcus Wareing before going through to Friday's final.
Marcus has worked alongside many famous names in British gastronomy, starting with an apprenticeship under Anton Edelmann at The Savoy Hotel. He honed his skills at Le Gavroche and with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire before achieving success with Gordon Ramsay Holdings, winning Michelin stars at L'Oranger, Pétrus and The Savoy Grill.
Most days you'll find Marcus Wareing in the kitchen at The Berkeley, yet he has found time to write three cook books, make barnstorming appearances on the BBC's Great British Menu and open a 'British brasserie', The Gilbert Scott at London's St Pancras station.
On this iTunes podcast, Marcus Wareing talks to Matthew Fort about his career and his journey towards running two very successful kitchens.
Marcus has also contributed recipes for both the first and second of the Great British Chefs apps. His menus from the The Gilbert Scott include delights like Smoked Baby Beetroot, Marscapone & Tarragon Salad and Turkish delight cheese cake and more challenging dishes from his eponymous restaurant.
On Friday the two chefs who received the most points from Marcus for the week will cook their dishes again for restaurateur and cookery writer, Prue Leith, fellow restaurateur and businessman, Oliver Peyton, and food journalist and author, Matthew Fort. Matthew is Great British Chefs strategic advisor who also blogs for us and writes the introductions for a number of our ingredient collections. The winner will go into the finals (joining Alan Murchison who won the Scottish round, Daniel Clifford who won the Central round and Colin McCurran who won the North East round and Chris Fearon who won the Northern Ireland round).
You can see the full line up of chefs and judges for the Great British Menu 2012 here. Also catch up on last week's Northern Ireland Heat Final Great British Menu judging on our blog.
Great British Menu is on different times on BBC2 this week Monday at 7pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 7.30pm and Friday's final at 7pm.