Great British Menu 2022: Wales heat preview

by Great British Chefs 7 February 2022

The best and brightest Welsh chefs take to the Great British Menu kitchen on 15 February – get to know a little more about those appearing in the 2022 series of the cooking competition.

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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 as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Mark Threadgill, Hotel Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Proud Welshman Mark Threadgill was born and bred in Gwynedd and as a determined fourteen-year-old, he wrote in his school report that he would like to be head chef at Portmeirion Hotel. Twelve years later he made it happen and now leads the 2 AA rosette restaurant there.

Prior to landing his dream job, he worked under Pierre Reboul at Restaurant Pierre Reboul, Chris Chown at PlasBodegroes and at Hibiscus for Claude Bosi. Mark’s food is clean and bright with an emphasis on sustainability and local Welsh produce. With Welsh as his first language, and as a champion of Welsh ingredients, Mark is thrilled to be representing his home country in the Great British Menu Kitchen.

His menu celebrating British Broadcasting takes inspiration from a particular episode of the much-loved sitcom Gavin and Stacey and a certain well-guarded bhuna!

Larkin Cen, Woky Ko, Bristol

Larkin’s interest in food began as a child, watching his parents cook in their Cardiff Chinese takeaway – but it wasn’t until five years ago that he gave up his profession as a lawyer to pursue a career as a chef.

He was chef consultant at The Celtic Manor for three years, before opening his own restaurant Woky Ko. He now owns four restaurants in Bristol and has a development kitchen in Wales. Larkin’s food is based on traditional Chinese flavours and he’s keen to illustrate his refined and intricate style of Chinese cooking. As a self-confessed ‘noodle obsessive’, Larkin would love to make traditional ramen noodles on the show and hopes that a combination of his authentic Asian techniques and competitive nature will take him all the way to the banquet.

Larkin’s playful menu celebrates popular Welsh-based children’s programme Fireman Sam, along with a particularly memorable episode from Dr Who and showcases his impressive knowledge of Asian cooking methods.

Nathan Davies, SY23, Aberystwyth

Welsh-speaking chef Nathan is back in the GBM kitchen with his signature style of cooking over fire, and having missed out on the banquet last year despite being the second highest scoring chef ever in the competition, he plans to go all the way this time.

Nathan boasts a varied career from working for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, to being a private chef in France. More recently, he was Gareth Ward’s head chef at Ynyshir for four years. In 2019 Nathan opened SY23 in Aberystwyth where he showcases his ethos of locally foraged or sourced ingredients cooked simply over the fire. As a keen woodsman, Nathan makes his own pine oil – which is just one of the unique ingredients Nathan brings to the competition. Nathan’s menu celebrates BBC heavyweights Merlin and Coast, and is served up with a little magic!

Tom Phillips, Restaurant Story, London

Ambitious chef Tom Phillips is returning to the competition for a second time, after earning his second Michelin star as head chef at the acclaimed Restaurant Story in 2021.

Tom began his career at the Ritz in London, before moving to L’Enclume and New York’s Per Se, and in 2019 he was part of the team (and the youngest ever entrant) to represent the UK in the Bocuse d’Or. Tom’s cooking style is elegant, innovative, precise and unpretentious. For him, Wales will always be home no matter where in the world he is cooking, and he would be delighted to represent Wales at this year’s banquet. Tom’s menu takes inspiration from Cardiff-based Dr Who and eighties comedy sitcom, Blackadder.