Great British Menu episode 1 2020 – Central – Starter & Fish Courses

Great British Menu episode 1 2020 - Central – Starter & Fish Courses

Great British Menu episode 1 2020 – Central – Starter & Fish Courses: Great British Menu gets off to a cracking start as the heats begin for the central region. Competing for the top spot are four new chefs representing some of the most exciting culinary talent from England’s central belt. Niall Keating is executive chef of Whatley Manor Dining Room in the Cotswolds. Niall gained the restaurant its first Michelin star within a year of arriving, followed up by an impressive second star in 2019.



Sally Abé, originally from Nottingham, is head chef at the only one-Michelin-starred gastropub in London, The Harwood Arms. Proud Brummie Alex is the head chef and owner of The Wilderness in Birmingham City Centre, renowned for its modern British food and avant-garde style, and finally, Derbyshire-born Dom Robinson, who has a classical French training, is the chef and owner of one-Michelin-starred The Blackbird in Berkshire.

Presenter and comedian Susan Calman welcomes them to this year’s tougher competition, which involves an extra chef to beat and someone leaving daily during the heats. Today, one of the four talented newcomers is going home, so they have to impress their surprise veteran from the outset. First, they must rustle up a new course for this year: an amuse bouche, or tasty little appetizer to tantalise the tastebuds, that will also be served at the banquet. Unaware of who their veteran is, the four chefs whip up delicious morsels including a nori-wrapped oyster and beef tartare before Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth arrives to pass judgement. Although not officially scored, this mini course is ranked and used in the event of a tie break.


Great British Menu episode 1 2020 – Central – Starter & Fish Courses


This year’s brief celebrates British success in children’s literature. The central region chefs are specifically tasked with honouring children’s fantasy fiction, which ties in with some of the great authors who spent time in the region. For the starters, Niall’s complex mushroom dish takes inspiration from Lord of the Rings by the king of fantasy fiction, JRR Tolkien, who grew up in Birmingham. As Roald Dahl went to school in Derby, Dom is attempting to bring to life Dahl’s memorable character Mr Twit, and more specifically his unkept beard, combining stilton, grapes, walnuts and black truffle in layers of filo pastry.

If this doesn’t sound risky then Alex’s playful take on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes will – he is combining wood ants, a locust bhaji and crickets with quail to challenge tastebuds and general squeamishness. Sally is drawing on her British style, making a delicate fairy-inspired crab custard starter inspired by Cicely Mary Baker’s crab apple fairy. The chefs’ fate depends on each and every point they get from their veteran and with one person leaving after the fish course, nerves are running high.


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