Great British Menu 2014, Wales Heat Preview

Great British Menu 2014, Wales Heat Preview

by Mecca Ibrahim 26 May 2014

Week eight of Great British Menu and it's the turn of chefs from Wales to shine. Marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the chefs have to prepare a menu that's worthy of war heroes. Four overall winners will serve veterans at a banquet in London’s magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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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.

Over eight weeks twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu for the D Day special banquet.

We’re delighted to see David Kelman making his first appearance on Great British Menu. David worked at Bodysgallen Hall Hotel in North Wales, followed by periods at well regarded establishments in Gloucestershire: firstly, as Head Chef at Lower Slaughter Manor, then at Wyck Hill House where he put the 18th century manor house on the Cotswolds food map, before settling at Ellenborough where he oversees the handsome, oak-panelled fine dining restaurant – the Beaufort Dining Room – and where, in 2013, he gained 3 AA Rosettes.

Recently voted Best Chef at the Taste of Gloucestershire Awards, and Chef of the Year in the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards 2013, this area may be David’s home for now, but Wales retains a stronghold on the chef – he’s represented his country in a number of international competitions and is a member of the Welsh culinary team.

For his week on Great British Menu, David has taken inspiration from his grandmother. David's family has been in the military for the last three generations and David himself is an ex-army cadet and TA soldier. His menu will focus on the importance of remembrance.

Also making his first appearance on Great British Menu is Andy Beaumont. Andy is Head Chef at Hammet House in Pembrokeshire. His experience covers a variety of notable kitchens, and he has worked in multi AA rosette & Michelin starred establishments, such as Tyddyn Llan, Lower Slaughter Manor & The Hambrough.

For Great British Menu Andy will be taking inspiration from his family's farming background and their experiences during the war. We'll see how his dishes will celebrate living off the wartime land.

Last but not least, returning contender, Mary Ann Gilchrist, will be hoping to represent Wales this year after losing out to Richard Davies in 2013.

Mary Ann began her professional life as a nurse in the 70s, but her cooking career started in earnest when the chef at a restaurant at which she was waitressing walked out on his job one night. She stepped in to make pizzas, starting a career that would span several decades.

After working at Jeanie’s Restaurant in Oxford from 1972 until 1978, she took up chef duties at Three Conies - a gastropub in Thorpe Mandeville - as well as at a hotel in Newton Ferrers. She ultimately resettled in Llanwrtyd Wells amid the hills of Wales in 1991. She remains there today as chef and proprietor of Carlton Riverside, a restaurant with seven rooms attached located along the River Irfon.

Mary Ann’s dishes will reflect the period using ingredients that would have been plentiful during the war.

As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with the chefs cooking a starter on Monday, a fish course on Tuesday, the main course on Wednesday and dessert on Thursday. A veteran judge 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 are joined by former war correspondent Martin Bell, who will bring his special perspective on the dishes served.