This year the country’s most talented chefs battle in the Great British Menu to earn the right to cook at an exquisite banquet, held at the beating heart of the British music industry – Abbie Road Studios. The greatest place to honour the brilliance of British pop music.
The brief to celebrate Britains extraordinary contribution to pop music. They will be honouring the stars and heroes of the music industry from the 60’s to the present day.
This week it is the heats for the Central region. To cook at the banquet the chefs need to first prepare finely tuned dishes for a chef from Great British Menu’s hall of fame – Paul Ainsworth.
Lets meet the chefs…
Sabrina Gidda from Wolverhampton is executive chef at Allbright, a women-only club in London.
Starter: My Mixtape. Compiling a dish of her favourite ingredients, including pasta and ox cheek, for her Italian inspired starter.
Paul was proud that Sabrina as a ‘true artist‘ carried on and ‘delivered a great performance‘. Praising the flavours within her dish and the story, however having np sauce ‘lacked the dish‘.
Fish Course: Brimful of Asha. Releasing a dish she brought to last years competition. Combining curry with crab, turbot and a poha rice salad.
Paul knew Sabrina had taken a huge risk coming back on the GBM and presenting a dish she had previously won a top mark for last year, but the chef ‘couldn’t fault the dish‘. Saying the dish had ‘natural sweetness, sour notes and wonderful acidity‘.
Main Course: Sunday Jukebox. Taking inspiration from her grandad’s collection of old 45s for her pork wellington and Black Country faggots.
Paul thought it was very clever how Sabrina wrapped the pork wellington and loved the flavour of the faggots. However, the wellington had a ‘soggy bottom‘ and he didn’t feel the chef put ‘full attention‘ on the dish, saying it was all ‘clumsy‘.
Dessert: Fools Gold. Creating a dessert of ice cream, peanut sable and honeycomb, in a tribute to The Stone Roses track.
Paul really enjoyed the 2 ice creams, as well as the presentation being ‘nothing short of genius‘. However, the raspberry doesn’t contain a lot of acidity and the dessert needed something to ‘link the ice cream and fruit together‘.
Overall Score: 32/40
Kray Treadwell from Solihull is head chef at Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds.
Starter: Fire in the Booth. Bringing an urban edge to proceedings, with a starter inspired by grime music. It combines hot sauce, veal sweetbreads and tuna belly.
Paul loved the cooking of Krays’s sweetbreads and flavour combination, however the hot sauce was a ‘step too far‘, was missing the ‘zing of a nice herb‘ and the portion was size was ‘too small for a banquet‘.
Fish Course: Disdain for Orthodoxy. Plate inspired by punk music which includes oysters, mussels, skate, ray and turbot.
Paul loved the dish ‘visually‘, nailing the ‘inspiration and brief‘. However, Paul thought the broth was ‘under seasoned‘ and suggested the chef ‘showcase the turbot‘ and roasted the fish to add ‘meatiness‘. Paul thought the dish as an overall was ‘style over of substance‘.
Main Course: Shaarron. Going all out for the wow factor with wagu beef, American-style scones and purple potatoes, dedicated to Birmingham’s own Black Sabbath, The Osbournes and heavy metal.
‘This is the dish I’ve been waiting for from you‘, Paul started off by saying, doing ‘justice‘ to the wagu rump and overall the dish was packed ‘full of umami‘. However, the red cabbage tuile ‘didn’t do anything‘ for the chef and he wished Kray used better potatoes to produce and a ‘gorgeous dish‘.
Dessert: A New Romance. Showing his romantic side, inspired by the smell of Brian Ferry’s aftershave. It features sweet smelling peaches presented in a variety of ways.
Paul questioned the use of peaches as the main ingredient, but ‘every single part of the dish hit the brief‘, praising every element within his dish. finishing by shouting ‘awesome‘.
Overall Score: 32/40
Ryan Simpson-Trotman, making a third appearance in the competition, runs his own restaurant, Orwells in Oxfordshire.
Starter: Smoke on the Water. Combining pigeon and beetroot: he has taken inspiration from the deep Purple track.
Paul enjoyed the cooking of the pigeon and the flavours of the beetroot after the disaster in the kitchen. Chef also loved the ‘well thought out‘ brief, but maybe it was ‘so thought out it maybe lost a bit of soul‘.
Fish Course: Fishing for a 45. Chef gets soulful with a plate that utilises Dover sole, verjus sauce and grapes.
Paul enjoyed the cooking of the fish and the taste of the sauce, saying it was ‘refined, classy cooking and the whole dish had finesse‘. However, he wished the fish was ‘served on the bone‘ and thought the record box was a ‘step too far‘.
Main Course: The UK’s Number 1. Confident his dish will hit the top spot with his combination of a beef pie and rump cap.
Paul enjoyed the presentation, the simple inspiration and that the chef was ‘more focused of the food rather than the presentation‘. However, while the cooking on the outside was perfectly cooked, ‘it wasn’t on the inside‘ and Paul thought he could ‘get a shop bought pie better than the one Ryan had served him‘.
Dessert: 2 Tone. A dessert dedicated to the Conventry record label and the ska music movement. It features a brownie made of white and dark chocolate as well as black and white meringues.
Visually, Paul loved the dish as well the ‘texture and craftsmanship‘ of the meringues, but he couldn’t tell if the brownie was ‘the best he had ever eaten‘ as it was cut into tiny cubes and cold. Calling the overall dish, ‘one dimension‘.
Overall Score: 27/40
The two highest scoring chefs going through to the judges round will be; Kray Treadwell & Sabrina Gidda.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Ryan Simpson-Trotman.
The two reaming chefs must cook their four-course menus again to impress the formidable judges. Food writer Matthew Fort, restauranteur Oliver Peytonand broadcaster and cook Andi Oliver – as well as guest judge – one of the pop stars the banquet will celebrate. One of the UK’s most successful singer-songwriter, Ali Campbell from UB40.
Lets see how the chefs got on…
Sabrina, had some issues in the kitchen, trying to deliver very ambitious plates of food, but received a perfect 10 for her fish course.
Starter: My Mixtape. Sabrina has decided to put more liquid (wine) in the slow cooker to save her sauce.
The judges enjoyed the aroma and presentation of the dish.
Oliver enjoyed the ox cheek, saying it ‘packed a punch’, while Andi was disappointed by the thickness of the pasta.
Ali Campbell wished there was less on his plate, saying ‘it was big for a starter‘.
Fish Course: Brimful of Asha. Bringing back a classic.
All the judges couldn’t get enough of Sabrinas fish dish.
Oliver called it a ‘perfect marriage‘, while Ali thought it was ‘delicate and gorgeous‘.
Andi thought the ingredients and spices were ‘very well balanced‘.
Main Course: Sunday Jukebox. Rolled the pastry a bit thinner and is confident she is on point today.
The judges loved the look of the dish.
Oliver and Andi loved the faggot, saying git ‘has it all going on‘, while Ali was ‘underwhelmed‘ with all the flavours.
Matthew agreed by saying ‘its all good until you get to the wellington‘.
Dessert: Fools Gold. Adding creme fraiche to the dish and more raspberries to garnish.
Andi enjoyed the peanut butter ice cream, but didn’t find the dish ‘exciting’.
While aLi enjoyed ‘eating gold’.
Kray, dishes are visual and entertaining, failed to deliver on flavour until it came to his main and dessert.
Starter: Fire in the Booth. Using a different kind of hot sauce, to deliver a less vinegar taste and added more of generous portion of veal sweetbreads.
Andi was concerned with the portion size and wished for more a ‘delicate texture’.
Ali thought it was more ‘confusion than fusion’.
Matthew and Oliver agreed that it was a ‘fun thing to eat‘ but the hot sauce overpowered the flavours.
Fish Course: Disdain for Orthodoxy. Ignoring Paul Ainsworth advice could prove risky for Kray.
The judges loved the ‘beautiful and rock ‘n’ roll‘ presentation.
Matthew really loved the dish, saying it was ‘by far the most interesting dish of the day‘.
Main Course: Sharon. Carrying on regardless to Pauls Ainsworths comments he wants to adds more colour to his dish.
The judges loved the chef’s presentation, while Ali called it a ‘showstopper‘.
Andi enjoyed the red cabbage tuille, calling it ‘clever‘.
While the rest of the judges couldn’t get enough of the perfectly cooked wagu beef.
Dessert: A New Romance. Capturing the romance of aftershave, he adds a glittery colourful edible tuille.
the judges loved his use of colour.
Oliver couldn’t getting enough saying it was ‘cutting edge British food‘.
Matthew thought it was a ‘remarkable refreshing and clean’ flavours running through the dish.
Ali loved the ‘delicate flavours‘ of the dessert.
The highest scoring chef and representing the Central in the final of the GBM is; Kray Treadwell.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Sabrina Gidda.