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Great British Menu 2018: London and South East preview

Great British Menu 2018: London and South East preview

by Great British Chefs 16 August 2018

A previous Great British Menu winner is joined by two newcomers in the 2018 London and South East heats – a region home to more high profile restaurants than anywhere else in the UK. Take a look at who’s competing and get to know a bit more about them.


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This year’s Great British Menu started with the best and brightest of the North East, but the second heat of the competition focuses on London and the South East – a highly competitive region with a glut of incredible chefs to choose from. There’s one born and bred Londoner (Selin) with the other two (James and Scott) originally from Kent, and all three have remained in or near their hometowns for work. Take a look at their credentials below and discover their cooking styles before they appear in the Great British Menu kitchen.

Selin Kiazim, Oklava, London

A Londoner through and through, Selin Kiazim is a familiar face on Great British Menu. She was a finalist last year with her outstanding dessert, the glamorously titled ‘Honouring Venus Rosewater Champions’. Selin was mentored by the celebrated Peter Gordon, before opening her own restaurant Oklava in London. Oklava brings Turkish cuisine into the modern age, and the menu features an array of innovative dishes influenced by her dual Turkish-Cypriot heritage. Earlier this year she opened her second restaurant Kyseri, which focuses on Turkish pasta.

James Cochran, 1251, London

Half Scottish, half Vincentian and brought up in Kent, James Cochran certainly has no shortage of cultural influences to draw upon in his passionately personal cooking style. His culinary journey, which has taken him from Michelin-starred establishments like The Ledbury to the London pop-up restaurant scene, has taught him all about what’s it’s like to cater for a diverse range of tastes and appetites. He’s hoping to utilise his extensive experience at his brand new restaurant 1251, which is set to open this August in Islington and will serve modern British food with plenty of international twists. Note that his previous eponymous restaurant James Cochran EC3 now has absolutely nothing to do with him (the owners have kept the name to try and capitalise on his TV appearances).

Scott Goss, The Twenty Six, Kent

Scott Goss grew up amongst the abundant orchards and hop gardens of Kent, surrounded by some of the UK’s freshest, most desirable produce. After training at Thanet College, he worked for Gary Rhodes at City Rhodes and Rhodes in the Square, then at Allium under Anton Adleman and The Admiralty under Robert Spencer. His stellar restaurant career has carried him to his current position as head chef at The Twenty Six in his home county. Scott is hoping to wow the judges with his impressive knowledge and expertise of seasonal cuisine, which is what his restaurant is known for.

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