A watched clock never moves. Or at least that is the usual experience when sat in doctor’s surgeries, on station platforms and for keeping your beady eye on the second hand, waiting to hoist out a perfectly soft boiled egg.
However, add a soupçon of pressure to the mix and that clock will fast forward with alarming speed. Time in the kitchen can melt away faster than butter on a scorching hot skillet. Leaving you stranded and all alone; on a small, wee island called ‘Panic’. I know, I’ve been there. And judging by the latest clip from the Great British Menu, introducing our contestants from Northern Ireland, Ben Arnold, head chef of Home in Belfast, pays a visit to that desolate place too.
But I don’t want to harp on about Ben and his tardy fish dish. Ten long, late and tortuous minutes under the withering glare of Phil Howard, chef and co-owner of The Square, must have been enough for him and we really need to find out who else is on board for the forthcoming week.
Well, Chris McGowan, chef director at Corrigan’s Mayfair, is back and looks ready to improve on his performance from last year’s GBM. Having won his heat last time, he is certainly the favourite to get through. I just hope that Chris gets the naming of his dishes spot on this time around. His ‘We are Captains of Our Soles’ really did deliver the most unfortunate of puns in the last series.
Completing the trio is newbie Danni Barry, head chef at Deanes Eipic, which is probably the correct pronunciation of “Epic” in that part of the world. Don’t hold me to that though. The good news is that we have another female chef competing to get a dish into the banquet. Of course, Jak O’Donnell is already in there with a chance for Scotland but it would be good to get another woman on board. Especially when you consider that this year’s theme is the celebration of the WI and all.