Great British Menu 2012, South West Heat Preview

Great British Menu 2012, South West Heat Preview

by Mecca Ibrahim 27 May 2012

Week Eight of the seventh series of The Great British Menu and the last of the regional heats ends with the South West.

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Mecca worked as head of social media at Great British Chefs and joined at its launch in July 2011.

Mecca worked as head of social media at Great British Chefs and joined at its launch in July 2011.

Tom Kerridge will be judging their efforts this week.

Paul Ainsworth is a frequent competitor on Great British Menu, wowing the judges with his Taste of the Fairground dessert in the final banquet in 2011. His Toffee Apple and Marshmallow Kebabs were part of his fairground themed menu.

Southampton-born Paul got his break courtesy of Gary Rhodes. After spending three years at Rhodes in the Square, Ainsworth moved to Gordon Ramsay's organisation, working first at his flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant and then with Marcus Wareing at Petrus.

In 2006, the opportunity to open a restaurant with two friends brought Ainsworth to the West Country. Here they opened Number 6, set in a Georgian town house in the Cornish fishing village of Padstow.

After three years emulating his culinary mentors, Ainsworth put his name above the door and re-thought his approach. Now Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 restaurant serves simpler, more affordable food – appealing to both tourists and locals, and achieving two AA rosettes.

His food can be very playful as witnessed by his tea and cake recipe and his Boiled Egg and Soldier recipe which both featured in Great British Menu in 2009.

Finally and with is first time to the show will be be Simon Hulstone. The son of a chef, Simon was a Roux Scholar, Knorr National Chef of the Year and World Junior Chef by the time he was 30. After working in kitchens like Cotswold House, Cheltenham’s Bacchanalian and the Bailiffscourt Hotel, he moved to Devon to head up the Elephant, having already attracted the Michelin panel’s attention.

On Monday's episode, Paul, Simon & Nathan will be presenting their starters. On Tuesday, they move onto a fish course, on Wednesday main course and on Thursday it's the turn of desserts. For each of those days they will have to impress veteran judge Tom Kerridge before going through to Friday's final.

On Friday the two chefs who receive the most points from Tom for the week will cook their dishes again for restaurateur and cookery writer, Prue Leith, fellow restaurateur and businessman, Oliver Peyton, and food journalist and author, Matthew Fort. The winner will go into the finals (joining Alan Murchison who won the Scottish round, Daniel Clifford who won the Central round, Colin McGurran who won the North East round, Chris Fearon who won the Northern Ireland round, Simon Rogan who won the North West round, Phil Howard who won the London & South East round and Stephen Terry who won the Wales round).