Great British Menu is back and for 2012 the nation’s greatest chefs are battling it out for the chance to cook a glittering Olympic Banquet. The chefs’ task is to create a menu that captures the Olympic spirit – food that is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring.
This week it’s the turn of the Central England chefs: returning Great British Menu contenders, Aktar Islam (Lasan) and Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House) and newcomer Paul Foster (Tuddenham Mill). Paralympian discus medallist Daniel Greaves takes time out to meet one of the chefs and give them valuable tips for competing at the highest level.
Twenty four of the finest chefs in the country will compete in eight regional heats for the opportunity to create a world-beating four course menu at a prestigious event at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, hosted by British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave with a glittering guest list of British sporting greats.
Great British Menu veteran Glynn Purnell returns as a regional judge to decide which chefs will go through to the judges, Prue Leith, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort, on Friday for a chance to make the national finals.
Monday kicks off with the starters – but which one is going to be first off the blocks? Will it be pork neck with ribwort plantain and pork scratchings, veal tartare with caramelised sweetbread and burnt onions or breast of squab with confit leg, chilli and sweetcorn shoots?
In Tuesday’s programme the chefs cook their fish course – poached ray wing with chicken skin and sea vegetables; stuffed red mullet with roasted artichoke and parmesan purée and pickled mackerel with smoked langoustine and infused coconut milk.
Wednesday sees the chefs prepare their main course, but which one will get top marks? Will it be goosnargh duck breast and hearts with potatoes cooked in pine, slow poached chicken and sweetcorn egg, or coriander crumbed lamb loin with sweetbread bhajis and pea pilao?
Thursday is the final chance to impress Glynn with their dessert dishes: whipped sea buckthorn with meringue and crispy rice, raspberry and tarragon roulade with cookie dough and tarragon oil and dark chocolate with raspberry jelly and raspberry sorbet.
On Friday the Great British Menu chefs will decide which of the central region chefs make it through to the national final for an opportunity for one of their dishes to be on the menu at The Olympic Feast.
Monday 16 April to Friday 20 April