Great British Menu 2013, Central Heat Preview

Great British Menu 2013, Central Heat Preview

by Mecca Ibrahim 10 March 2013

For week seven it’s the turn of the Central region to raise a laugh on The Great British Menu to celebrate the fun of Comic Relief. The three chefs will be creating a menu that is not only excellent food, but has to make the judges smile too.

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.

Twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in eight regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu at special banquet at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate 25 years of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day.

As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with three chefs from each region cooking a starter, fish course, main course and dessert for a veteran judge who will select two chefs to cook their menu again on Friday’s show for the judges Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton & Prue Leith. On Friday the three judges will be joined by Vic Reeves to see how funny the dishes really are.

Representing the Central are Will Holland (who recently joined Great British Chefs site) from La Bécasse in Ludlow, Daniel Clifford from Midsummer House, Cambridge whose main course made it to the banquet last year and Richard Bainbridge from Morston Hall Norfolk. All three chefs are veterans to the show, but it’ll be the first time that laughter is part of the brief. We asked Will Holland what it was like returning to Great British Menu for another year, he said " It was a pleasure to return to the Great British Menu kitchens as a reigning Central region champion after being away for 2 series. Although Daniel Clifford and Richard Bainbridge were my competition, they are good friends and I hold a lot of respect for both of them so we had a lot of good fun cooking together for a week. It was great to see how each of us interpreted the brief differently and how our different cooking styles and backgrounds came through in our finished dishes. I was really confident with all my dishes that I cooked in the competition."

Monday’s episode leads with starters. Daniel Clifford we are sure won’t be making a chip sandwich with his dish A Trip to the Chippy. Richard Bainbridge’s starter, banana split won’t be a dessert! Will Holland will be serving goats cheese mousse, balsamic jelly and gingerbread.

Fish courses on Tuesday include Catch of the Day, Tongue in Cheek and poached brill, crab, celeriac and tomato essence.

On Wednesday all the chefs are getting involved helping Richard to baste an inflated cow’s bladder in red dye, to give it the appearance of a giant red egg, it’s part of his main course. Daniel Clifford will be making Tongue in Cheek (not to be confused with Richard’s fish course with the same name on Tuesday) and Will Holland is creating a dish of roast longhorn beef rib eye, bread and bone marrow pudding and parsley paste.

Thursday it’s desserts and the menus include Daniel Clifford’s Going Out With a Bang, Richard Bainbridge’s Time to Reflect and Will Holland’s parsnip banoffee cake, chocolate tart and parsnip ice cream. We're really looking forward to seeing Will's dessert as he said "My dessert was probably my favourite dish purely because of the really unusual ingredients I used in it and the way I trialled elements of the dish with a Comic Relief project in my area to get genuine feedback".

All week the proceedings will be judged by veteran judge Marcus Wareing. He has a reputation for extremely high standards (who will forget when he gave Johnnie Mountain the lowest score ever on Great British Menu last year)!

We hope you’ll be watching the Central heat when it starts at 7.30pm each weekday night on BBC2 from 11th February 2013. At Great British Chefs we’ll be cheering on Daniel & Will for the week ahead and tweeting away @gbchefs.