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Great British Menu 2017: the finalists

Great British Menu 2017: the finalists

by Great British Chefs 23 June 2017

The heats are over, the best of Britain’s chefs have been chosen – the only thing left to do is throw them all into a kitchen and make them cook for their lives. Here’s who’s made it to the final round.


More from this series:

Tennis puns, mad presentation and genuinely inventive cooking – only on Great British Menu could these three things come together in some great food TV. We’ve seen plenty of astroturf, lots of tennis ball-shaped desserts and plenty of barbecues – all fitting in with the ‘British summertime’ brief. As the big Wimbledon banquet looms, this is each chef’s final chance to prove themselves and get their dishes on the menu. Take a look at who’s made it into the final.

Selin Kiazim, Oklava, London (London and South East)

Selin makes the most of her Turkish-Cypriot heritage at her Shoreditch restaurant Oklava, which focuses around communal eating, sharing dishes and getting to experience lots of very nice flavours. Far from the standard kebab shop fare, her food shows how high quality and delicious the flavours of Turkey, Cyprus and the Mediterranean can be, with plenty of colourful herbs, rich spices and fresh ingredients. Her career has seen her cook in some of London’s most popular kitchens, including Peter Gordon’s The Providores and Tapa Room as well as Kopapa in Covent Garden. We’re keen to see how she turns her love of Turkish-Cypriot cuisine into something the judges will love, while maintaining a link to Wimbledon and tennis.

Tom Brown, Outlaw’s at The Capital, London (South West)

We’ve been following Tom Brown’s career for a number of years, and even invited him to host one of our cook schools at Le Cordon Bleu in London earlier this year. Now he’s got the chance to show what he can do on the television, and we can’t wait. He’s been working with Nathan Outlaw for the majority of his career, and was given charge of the Michelin-starred chef’s London outpost – Outlaw’s at The Capital – in 2016. He now cooks at a Michelin star level, with a focus on fish and seafood. Read more about his career so far here.

Ellis Barrie, The Marram Grass, Isle of Anglesey (North West)

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From working in an Italian restaurant in Liverpool to running the award-winning The Marram Grass with his brother Liam, Ellis’ love of food came from his grandparents, who enlisted him to help in the kitchen. His little restaurant-café on Anglesey might look like a greasy spoon, but it’s won countless awards from the likes of the Good Food Guide and the Welsh Food Awards, with Ellis himself winning the prestigious Acorn Award in 2016.

Top quality ingredients are central to Ellis’ cooking, and he even rears his own pigs and chickens across the road from the restaurant, which started life as a converted potting shed. It now sees up to 2,000 covers a week, and puts locally-sourced produce centre stage.

Tommy Banks, The Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire (North East)

Tommy was born into a family of Yorkshire farmers and, while he spends his working life in the kitchen rather than out in the fields, he still works very closely with his mum and dad. That’s because they’ve owned The Black Swan at Oldstead since 2006, with Tommy landing the role of head chef in 2013 and managing to retain its Michelin star. With a background working in esteemed kitchens such as Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, he’s an incredibly talented chef, and loves nothing more than working with local Yorkshire produce and putting it centre stage on his menu. Tommy will be looking to recreate the success he had in last year’s Great British Menu, which saw him present a dish at the final banquet.

Michael Bremner, 64 Degrees, Brighton (Scotland)

Born in Aberdeenshire in 1975, Michael worked as an apprentice in Scotland’s The Pittodrie House Hotel before moving down to London to gain experience in pastry at the Michelin-starred Orrery Restaurant. He soon moved over to become head pastry chef at Quo Vadis when it was run by Marco Pierre White, before travelling around Australia working in the kitchens of Melbourne, Sydney and Airlie Beach.

Michael then arrived in Brighton to work as a sous chef at the Seattle Hotel for three years, before travelling to Canada to work in the country’s highest rated resort, the Pan Pacific Hotel. In 2007 he returned to Brighton to become head chef of Due South on the seafront, and spent the next five years raising his profile in the South East. After a brief stint as head chef at the city’s popular vegetarian restaurant Food For Friends, he opened 64 Degrees in October 2013. Focused on social dining and small plates, it has gone on to win countless awards, cementing his place as Brighton’s best chef. We spent a day with him last year in the city, touring his favourite places to eat and drink.

Phil Carmichael, Berners Tavern, London (Wales)

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Phil has been working with famed chef Jason Atherton for years, helping him open six different restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, winning a Michelin star in the process. Now he’s executive chef of Berners Tavern in London, serving modern British dishes throughout the day.

With a classical cooking style, we’re looking forward to seeing how Phil adds all the pomp and theatre that seems to accompany every dish on Great British Menu. This will be his third appearance in the competition (see how he fared last year here), and he will be looking to improve his scores and hopefully go through to the final.

Pip Lacey, Murano, London (Central)

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.

Tommy Heaney, The Great House, South Wales (Northern Ireland)

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Tommy’s first experience of professional cooking came when he was just fourteen, after a visit to his uncle Damien’s restaurant in the US. He soon caught the cooking bug, loving how full-throttle working in a kitchen can be, and returned to the UK with dreams of becoming a hotshot young head chef. He soon realised he needed to learn to walk before he could run, and spent years honing his skills under chefs such as David Everitt-Matthias, Ollie Dabbous and Richard Davies. After a few stages in Australia and Spain, Tommy settled down in Wales with his family and became head chef at The Great House Hotel in Bridgend. With a focus on foraging, fantastic local produce and cooking techniques from his time abroad, Tommy is a definite up-and-comer in the Welsh food scene.

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