Great British Menu 2021: North West heat preview

Great British Menu 2021: North West heat preview

by Great British Chefs 03 May 2021

Get to know more about each of the four chefs representing the North West of England in the 2021 series of Great British Menu.

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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.

Kirk Haworth, Plates, London

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Blackburn-born Kirk is the first plant-based chef to ever compete on the Great British Menu. While growing up Kirk was influenced by his father, Nigel Haworth, who was chef patron of Northcote Manor in Lancashire. He won North West Young Chef of the Year at seventeen and kickstarted his career working with his dad at Northcote as an apprentice.

Kirk then went on to work at other leading Michelin-starred restaurants including The French Laundry, Restaurant Sat Bains, Sydney’s The Quay and The Square under Phil Howard. With his Michelin training under his belt, in 2016 Kirk was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which led him to overhaul his lifestyle and explore a plant-based diet. After discovering that removing meat, gluten, refined sugar and dairy reduced the intensity of his symptoms, he created his own ethos for his plant- based restaurant, Plates, in London, with his sister managing front of house.

Kirk’s culinary style is modern, plant-based food, delivered with high-end execution and a focus on sustainability and wellbeing. His menu is inspired by innovations in the North West such as Vimto popular in his childhood as well as the vegetarian movement.

Dan McGeorge, Rothay Manor, Lake District

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30-year-old Liverpudlian Dan is new to Great British Menu and thrives in a competitive environment, having been semi-finalist twice in National Chef of the Year. After studying for a law degree, in 2011 Dan decided to attend Liverpool Community College and develop his passion for cooking.

Dan has worked in several high-profile kitchens including The Bath Priory under exec chef Sam Moody and under Ben Mounsey at modern European restaurant The Lawns at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa. For over three years, Dan has been head chef at Rothay Manor in Ambleside, a boutique hotel and restaurant in the heart of the Lake District and in that time, he has earned the restaurant 3 AA Rosettes. Dan also recently received a 2020 Acorn Award which recognizes the brightest stars in hospitality under thirty.

Dan’s culinary style uses the finest regional produce and his menu is inspired by local pioneering ventures such as George Garrett’s early submarine, launched in Birkenhead.

Dave Critchley, Lu Ban, Liverpool

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Proud Liverpudlian Dave has been in kitchens since he was fifteen, although he trained at university as a graphic designer and children’s book illustrator. After university, Dave felt that cheffing was for him and he trained on the job.

Dave ran some of Liverpool’s and the North West’s flagship restaurants including Alma de Cuba, The Noble House and Australasia, and became executive head chef at The London Carriage Works. In 2019 Dave took a different direction and was selected as the last ever apprentice of a world-famous Chinese chef, Master Wu, and spent time in China exploring traditional Chinese cookery. He is the executive chef of Liverpool’s Lu Ban, a fine dining Chinese restaurant inspired by the region of Tianjin.

Dave’s eclectic menu celebrates his personal love for his home city’s innovators and free thinkers with nods to all of his culinary experiences so far.

Ashwani Rangta, Gupshup, Altrincham

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Originally from Shimla in northern India, Ashwani is a newcomer to the competition and has been in the kitchen since his teenage years.Ashwani was mentored in north west frontier cuisine at the Bukhara restaurant in Agra and Delhi before working at Kebabs and Kurries Restaurant in Hotel ITC Gardenia, Bangaluru, under chef Imtiaz Qureshi, who is known as the grand master chef of Indian cuisine in India. He was then headhunted to run Asha’s restaurant in Manchester. He has won multiple food awards such as City Restaurant of the Year 2017, Best Indian Restaurant in Manchester and in 2018 he won Best in North West Asian Curry Awards at Asha’s.

Ashwani is currently exec chef at Gupshup Restaurant in Altrincham and his style of food is pan-Asian with modern British influences. He brings his Indian heritage to his menu and celebrates important Manchester based scientists, notably Alan Turing OBE.