It seems to have gone all secret squirrel with regards to this week’s heat for Great British Menu. No preview clip for our amusement, no heightened sense of peril or drama and no clue as to who the mentor will be; to coax, cajole and critique our competing chefs into quivering submission.
Nothing at all. Nada. Zilch. Kaput.
Perhaps it’s because this week’s chefs all have a certain degree of edge or disquiet surrounding them and this has got the BBC all nervous like. So let’s see who is on board from the North East then.
Well on paper, Mini Patel, head chef at The Pointer in Brill, Buckinghamshire, seems like a fairly innocuous sort of chap. Renowned for producing simple British classics with creative twists, his reputation for cooking and presenting beautifully proceeds him. So nothing to worry about there. Then again, apparently The Pointer used to be a drinking den for the men who planned and carried out the Great Train Robbery, way back in 1963.
Likewise, there is certainly an air of mystery about Tim Allen, who joined Launceston Place in 2012 after spending seven years slogging his guts out at two Michelin-starred Whatley Manor, in the Cotswolds. As a keen gardener, Tim put his knowledge of home-grown produce to good use and created a set of truly exceptional dishes for Launceston Place’s organic menu and garnered a Michelin star in no time at all. But by all accounts, he has recently left his post and returned to his native Yorkshire for ‘personal reasons’. I wonder what that is all about then.