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Great British Menu 2013, North East Heat Preview

Great British Menu 2013, North East Heat Preview

by Mecca Ibrahim 17 February 2013

Halfway through the contest it's the turn of chefs from the North East to raise a laugh on The Great British Menu to celebrate the fun of Comic Relief. We talk to contestant Colin McGurran about his favourite dishes from the heat.

More from this series:

Mecca is Head of Marketing & Social Media at Great British Chefs.

Twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in eight regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu at special banquet at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate 25 years of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day.

As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with three chefs from each region cooking a starter, fish course, main course and dessert for a veteran judge who will select two chefs to cook their menu again on Friday's show for the judges Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton & Prue Leith. On Friday the three judges will be joined by veteran comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor to see how funny the dishes really are.

Representing the North East are Colin McGurran (who recently joined Great British Chefs site) from Winteringham Fields in North Lincolnshire, consultant chef Stephanie Moon and Charlie Lakin from The Marquis. All three chefs are veterans to the show, but it'll be the first time that laughter is part of the brief.

Colin made it through to preparing the starter at the banquet last year, so he's determined to hold onto that honour. We asked Colin about his experience:

"This year's Great British Menu experience was a lot better than last year's. I knew what to expect and how to “play the game” in regards to cooking and talking at the same time. I learnt the lesson that you must go in to the competition with a strong belief that your dishes are strong enough to go all the way. It might seem a bit cock sure or arrogant but it is essential as the opponents what nothing more, than for you to slip up and gain a psychological advantage.

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All four of my dishes I felt were strong, however I had some that were first amongst equals. This was my Tomato gazpacho and my Tommy Cooper's Fez."

We'll see Colin's gazpacho competing with Stephanie's chicken and Charlie's duck on Monday. Colin said "The tomato gazpacho was very clever in a way that it looks just like a real tomato, but is in fact a handmade copy filled with a firm tomato mousse, which you then cut through like butter and this is to be enjoyed with a cod brandade. Also it fitted the brief well as it resembled a red nose."

Desserts on Friday look fun as you can see from the video above, where Charlie Lakin adds foraged goods when he knows judge Jason Atherton isn't a fan of.

Colin's dessert is inspired by Tommy Cooper and he was particularly pleased with this. "My Tommy Cooper's dish was my favourite, as this would tick all the boxes if done to perfection. It suited the brief perfectly. Basically it was a Tiramisu crossed with coffee Viennetta, this was made to look like the great comedian's fez which then erupts when you pour a chocolate milk shake with dry ice over it."

 
 
 

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