This year, the premise of Great British Menu is for chefs to create a menu celebrating the Olympic Games that showcases British cooking at its best. And in Friday's episode, the judges really got to the heart of what this is all about: “Olympians stop at nothing…these guys have got to do the same.” That meant ingredients, techniques and technologies that would surprise the judges and create phenomenal dishes.
To that end, if you’ve been watching Great British Menu this week, then you may already be tired of hearing the words “innovative” and “pushing boundaries”. But that’s what the show is all about, and to that end both Alan and Colin put up a pretty good fight from start to finish. With Alan’s steely competitiveness and Colin’s jolly easy-come-easy-go approach, the two made for great television.
The drama began with the starter, in which Alan’s duck terrine with five different textures of pineapple wowed all of the judges.
Meanwhile, Colin’s smoked pigeon breast and heart with nettle foam lacked the “wiz bangery” Mathew Fort would expect of an Olympic dish (at least Prue thought it was “lovely”).
Both chefs’ fish courses were remarkable. Alan’s grilled mackerel with beetroot meringues and horseradish ice cream was stunning, called “art on a plate” by Prue and “original, clever cooking” by Matthew. Colin’s bowl of poached halibut with squid ink, seaweed and celeriac consommé also received high praise for its use of original ingredients: “this fulfills the brief almost to perfection”, said Matthew.