Great British Menu 2021: Central heat preview

Great British Menu 2021: Central heat preview

by Great British Chefs 22 March 2021

Get to know a little bit more about the chefs representing the Central region in the first heat of Great British Menu 2021.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Sabrina Gidda, The AllBright, London

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Sabrina is back for a third crack at the competition. After being runner-up for the Central region three years ago, this time she is determined to go all the way. Whilst studying for a degree in Fashion PR, Wolverhampton-born Sabrina worked part-time in a café. After the chef there injured himself, she volunteered to finish the service and has never looked back. Despite having no formal training Sabrina has worked in the Dorchester and was twice a Roux Scholarship finalist in 2014 and 2015. She’s now executive chef at all-women’s member’s club The AllBright, which has outposts in London’s Mayfair, Fitzrovia and in West Hollywood Los Angeles.

Combining the eclectic flavours of her Punjabi heritage, British upbringing and her love of classical French and Italian influences, Sabrina’s menu celebrates her region’s most well-known scientists and inventions dear to her heart.

Shannon Johnson, Hicce, London

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Lincolnshire-born Shannon is a newcomer to the competition who has trained under some of the best female chefs in the UK. The 27-year old worked for three years at Murano under Great British Menu veteran Angela Hartnett, training up in modern Italian cuisine. She then became head chef at Hicce in Coal Drops Yard, London, for Pip Lacey, who was starter course Banquet winner four years ago. Shannon oversees a modern British menu with a focus on woodfired cooking and has helped maintain Hicce’s Michelin plate rating.

Shannon’s culinary style is influenced by her travels as well as the restaurants where she’s worked. For the competition she’s drawing on her modern British style to celebrate significant women in science including Rosalind Franklin and her significant contribution to the molecular structure of DNA.

Stuart Collins, Docket no 33, Shropshire

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Staffordshire-born Stuart is new to the Great British Menu kitchen and, as chef patron of his own establishment, he’s fighting fit for the competition. 37-year old Stuart has worked under some of the biggest names in the industry. After a working-stage under Gary Rhodes at City Rhodes, he worked with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park for over four years and then went onto Gordon Ramsay at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay for a year before being part of the brigade that helped set up Gordon’s New York restaurants, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Maze, where he became Gordon’s head chef.

He returned to the UK as Michael Caines’ executive chef for the Abode Hotel in Cheshire and then moved to Doha, Qatar to work on various restaurant concepts before returning back to the UK in 2017 to open his own restaurant – Docket No 33 in the market town of Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Stuart’s style of food is modern British using the best regional produce. His menu for the competition celebrates a broad range of scientific innovators from Stephen Hawking to Edgar Hooley, the man who invented tarmac.

Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn, Lichfield

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Lichfield lad Liam is very proud of his origins and very competitive. His love of food goes back to spending evenings with his nana, making stews and baking while his parents both worked all hours to grow their own business. Liam has worked in some of the UK’s top kitchens such as Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Five Fields in Chelsea and Story by Tom Sellers in Bermondsey, London. He also travelled the world with stints at Quay in Sydney, Noma in Copenhagen, and at Eleven Madison Park and Gilt in New York.

In 2017, Liam returned to his hometown of Lichfield as chef owner of The Boat Inn. Since then he and his family have worked endlessly to convert the tired roadside pub into an award-winning modern British restaurant. It’s now the only restaurant in Staffordshire to hold 3 AA rosettes. Liam’s menu for the competition is creative, innovative and pays homage to local pioneers such as Lichfield-born Samuel Johnson who wrote the early Dictionary of The English Language.