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Great British Menu 2015: Wales heat preview

Great British Menu 2015: Wales heat preview

by Food Urchin 17 August 2015

It’s week three of Great British Menu and time for the Welsh chefs to face the highs and lows of competing in front of the camera to win a place at the final banquet. Food blogger Danny, aka Food Urchin, returns with his coverage of the heat and shows that the chefs are not just battling each other this week.

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Never ever pick a fight with an oven. It will always win. Largely because they are often big, made from metal and can easily reach temperatures in excess of 300°C. I know this and really, so should Adam Bannister. However, after catching a snippet advertising the Welsh heat of Great British Menu this forthcoming week, he seems like he forgets himself for a moment and decides to headbutt an oven door, cutting his eye in the process.

What a silly Billy. And I bet the fact that he is co-chef of a restaurant called ‘Slice’ isn’t lost on him either.

So, what else is store for us then? Well, Mumbai born Stephen Gomes, head chef at Moksh in Cardiff, looks set to spice things up with his experimental cuisine combined with traditional Indian flavours. Although GBM veteran Tom Kerridge, who is overseeing our chefs this week, does seem worried that Stephen is holding back on the chilli heat with his starter. It all sounds rather ’beige’ according to Tom and the WI can’t be having that now, can they?

As for Cowbridge boy Phil Carmichael, protégé of GBM heavyweight Jason Atherton and executive chef at Berners Tavern in London, his greatest concern involves a very sweaty gribiche.

Now, I am not being funny but here’s what it is, I don’t think the judges are going to be too happy with that either. Especially Prue. ‘THAT’s gomping’ she might just say. Or she might not.

Let’s wait and see.

Chef Adam Bannister
Adam Bannister after a fight with the oven
Phil Carmichael, Head Chef of Berners Tavern
Phil Carmichael, Head Chef of Berners Tavern

Interview with Phil Carmichael

On the eve of the Welsh heats the team at Great British Chefs caught up with Phil Carmichael and quizzed him on his inspiration, cooking for the cameras and what we can expect from his dishes.

How would you compare a double shift in the kitchen to a day in the Great British Menu studios?

Double shifts are easy compared to the GBM kitchen, that was completely out of my comfort zone!

What were your first thoughts when you got the brief?

I was quite pleased, I thought the scope and range of options using the WI as inspiration was relatively easy.

Who was the most influential woman when it comes to your cooking?

My mum!

Props seem to be playing more of an important role in Great British Menu - what was your favourite?

The favourite I used was the Allotment boxes for my starter, I had them made by Andrew Clarke who does all our wooden service pieces at the restaurant, super talented man!

How much time did you spend researching and testing your dishes?

Not long enough! You don’t get too much time before the brief is given and you have to submit recipes and menus. I’d only cooked the entire menu once before the competition.

How much did you draw on your Welsh roots when coming up with your menu?

It was the core element of my menu, we have so much great produce in Wales and the UK, and so many fantastic regional variations of food.

Want more Great British Menu?

Great British Menu is on BBC2 Monday to Friday every week from now until 9th October. Keep up with our coverage of the series here.

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Great British Menu 2015: Wales heat preview


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