Great British Menu 2021 episode 4 – Scotland Starter and Fish: Great British Menu moves on to the Scotland heats. Competing for the top spot are four chefs, three of them all known to each other as they all have their own restaurants in Edinburgh. There is a reigning champion from last year for Scotland, Roberta Hall, and she is joined by fellow capital chefs Stuart Ralson and Scott Smith. The fourth competitor is returner Amy Elles, who has a seafood restaurant by the coast in Fife. She lost out to Roberta in last year’s Scotland final.
Presenter Andi Oliver welcomes them to the kitchen, where the theme for this year’s competition is a celebration of British invention and innovation. Given Scotland’s historic success with scientific discovery, the chefs have plenty of inspiration to draw upon, from the invention of television and toasters to penicillin.
One of the four must leave the competition at the end of the episode. Which one that is will be decided by the veteran judge of this week’s competition, a previous winner who remains a surprise to the chefs until the moment they walk into the kitchen to taste their first course: canapes.
Veteran and Michelin-starred Tom Brown, a seafood specialist, tastes their canapes, which range from a cheese tart to a duck liver parfait.
The starter dishes draw upon Scotland’s proud history of medical discovery and innovation, with a crispy shredded beef and Lanark blue cheese dish presented in a dish shaped like a giant petri dish to celebrate Alexander Fleming’s invention of antibiotics, and another a homage to the ‘Edinburgh Seven’, the first women medical students at Edinburgh University. The other two starters both take as their inspiration the invention of ‘family planning’. One, ‘the birds and the bees’, is a quail and honey dish, while the other uses aphrodisiac ingredients. But which will Tom score highest?
Great British Menu 2021 episode 4 – Scotland Starter and Fish
Then it is on to the fish course, veteran judge Tom’s specialty. He has a traditional Cullen Skink soup served with turbot to try from Roberta, on a dish celebrating the work of Edinburgh born physicist James Maxwell. The dish is served on a colour wheel as an homage to his invention of the first colour photograph. Another lobster dish pays homage to Scottish scientific pioneer Mary Sommerville and her work in the field of astronomy. But one chef must be sent home by Tom.
Along with Masterchef, Great British Menu is a cooking show that has been running so long it is basically a national institution by now. However, even after all these years, Great British Menu manages to keep fresh with new ingredients for season 16 – former judge Andi Oliver is now presenter, with cook, writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo taking her place on the judging panel.
It’s a very formidable line-up – so can the chefs impress with a menu based on innovation to celebrate thirty years of the world wide web?
Oliver Peyton is a renowned restauranteur and founder of cafe and restaurant service Peyton and Byrne, and was awarded an honourary OBE in 2012. He has been a judge on Great British Menu since it began all the way back in 2006, and has released two cookbooks: The National Cookbook: Recipes from the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery and British Baking.
Matthew Fort – Great British Menu 2021 episode 1
Food writer and critic Matthew Fort was the Food and Drink Editor of The Guardian for over ten years, and has also written for Esquire, The Observer, Country Living, Decanter, and Waitrose Food Illustrated. He has also written several books on gastronomy, and been awarded Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year, Glenfiddich Restaurant Writer of the Year, and The Restaurateurs Association Food Writer of the Year.
Fort has also presented TV shows such as UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, and has been a judge on Great British Menu since the show’s beginning.
Rachel Khoo – Great British Menu 2021 episode 1
Rachel Khoo’s breakthrough came through the BBC series The Little Paris Kitchen, which along with the cookbook of the same name brought critical and commercial acclaim. She has since released six bestselling cookbooks and toured the world making cookery shows for the BBC, Food Network UK, and other international broadcasters.
This will be her first year as a judge on Great British Menu, taking over from Andi Oliver who is now host.