Over eight weeks twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in 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.
Representing Northern we’ll see returning contender Chris Fearon from Deanes at Queens, Belfast, competing against his former Head Chef Raymond McArdle - now at Restaurant 23, Warrenpoint and Ian Orr from Browns in Londonderry.
As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with the chefs 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 comedy writer Charlie Higson to see how funny the dishes really are.
This week’s veteran judge and chef mentor is Glynn Purnell whose dishes made it through to banquet in both 2008 and 2009, so he knows the standards required.
Monday’s episode leads with starters. Both Raymond and Chris are preparing soup with surprised in store while Ian will be cooking rabbit.
Fish courses on Tuesday include kippers, turbot, scallop and roe.
On Wednesday the chefs will be tempting Glynn to a Cowboy Supper inspired by the Wild West from Chris Fearon. Titanic Smoked Venison, Tongue and Cheek by Raymond McArdle and Ian Orr will be cooking lamb and baked hay.
Thursday’s desserts include Chris Fearon’s dish inspired by Tommy Cooper called Just Like That (remember Colin McGurran won the North East Heat with his dessert inspired by Tommy Cooper’s fez) Raymond McArdle is making a Chocolate Volcano Mountain. Ian Orr will be hoping his Passion Egg will see him through to the finals on Friday.