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Great British Menu 2017: Central preview

Great British Menu 2017: Central preview

by Great British Chefs 08 June 2017

Three new chefs enter the Great British Menu kitchen to represent the centre of England – see who’s competing and learn a little about their careers so far.


More from this series:

With incredible seafood in Scotland and the South West, one of the world’s best restaurant scenes in London and beautiful ingredients in Wales, sometimes the centre of England can be a bit overlooked. But it’s where a good chunk of the UK’s top chefs are born and raised – some deciding to move elsewhere to cook, others staying put and doing their hometowns proud. Three of them enter the Great British Menu kitchen in the penultimate heat of the series, hoping to get one of their dishes in the final banquet. Here’s who’s been chosen this year.

Pip Lacey, Murano, London

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Originally moving to London to become a graphic designer, Pip had a complete career change after the recession hit and decided to become a chef when she was twenty-seven. Her first job was at the York and Albany, under Angela Hartnett, and after a few years of very hard work, mentored by chef Gary Usher, she shot up the ranks despite her lack of experience. She’s been the head chef of Murano since 2014, Angela Hartnett’s Italian restaurant in London, and appeared on Great British Menu a few years ago. She’ll be hoping to improve on her scores and make it through to the final with her artistic plating and love of artisanal produce.

Ryan Simpson, Orwells, Oxfordshire

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Orwells has been a stalwart of Henley-on-Thames’ local food scene for a number of years thanks to chef-owner Ryan’s dedication and hard work. Making the most of British produce, his cooking is entrenched in the French classics, thanks to his time working in some of Paris’ best restaurants. He curates both a fine dining menu and a more casual pub menu at Orwells with his business partner Liam Trotman, and puts flavour above all else. Perhaps that’s why the restaurant has been featured in The Good Food Guide and holds four AA rosettes.

Nick Deverell-Smith, The Churchill Arms, Gloucestershire

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Leaving school at fifteen to enrol at the Birmingham College of Food, Nick started his career at the Michelin-starred Simpsons before moving on to Mallory Court, two of the Midlands’ best restaurants. Since then, he has worked with Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and Eric Chavot, and opened his first restaurant The Churchill Arms in 2015. Rather than staying in London, Nick wanted to return to where he grew up and help develop the local food scene, using ingredients from nearby producers in his menus (including herbs from his neighbours’ gardens). We’ll hopefully see some of that prize produce when he appears on Great British Menu.

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