So we move from east to west this week for yet another culinary tug of war, for the hearts, minds and stomachs of the nation. And at this point I did want to put in a witty comparison to the War of the Roses. Move over you House of York, with your pure white blooms and all that. For here comes the mighty House of Lancaster, ready to scatter their red rose petals upon our judges’ plates. But I fear this sort of introduction doesn’t really make much sense and some historians out there will already be snorting with anger and disdain, at my very deliberate mistake
Best I move on then and tell you who is on board!
First up is Eve Townson who is Executive Chef at The Eagle and Child, a much lauded pub in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, that is not only making waves with its food but one that is also taking great steps with regards to social enterprise. Opened in October 2011, in a bid to tackle youth employment and foster a new generation of professionals within the industry,The Eagle and Child has trained 35 disadvantaged young people and turned them into chefs. Eve herself has plenty of experience, having worked for Michelin-starred Paul Heathcote and will be drawing inspiration for her menu from the many strong women in her life.
Next up is Matt Worswick, Head Chef at The Lawns, Thornton Hall and judging by his cheeky demeanor on Twitter, he will be bringing a touch of humour into the kitchen. The Liverpudlian has already expressed his surprise at being let loose in the GBM kitchen, so perhaps sparks will fly. But given his pedigree, he has worked for David Everitt-Matthias at La Champignon Sauvage and for Simon Hulstone at The Elephant, he will no doubt bring some flair to proceedings. Matt’s grandmother was also a member of the Women’s Institute, which may or may not give him the proverbial leg-up, we shall see.
Finally we see the return of Mark Ellis, Head Chef at 1851 Restaurant at Peckforton Castle, and I just wonder if the director has instructed a cue of ‘Return of The Mack’ by Mark Morrisson on the soundtrack, for when he appears on the screen. Because that would be brilliant, but I doubt it will happen. No matter, whatever does happen, I am sure that Mark will be looking to redeem himself after an early exit in the last series. Bringing a modern twist on some British dishes, including favourites of both the WI and his grandmother, it will certainly be interesting to see what he brings to the table this time around.