This year, Tom Anglesea takes on the Great British Menu, cooking and competing through heats in the London & South East region to earn the right to cook at an exquisite banquet, held at – Abbie Road Studios. With Michael O’Hare. judging the dishes being served – They will be honouring the stars and heroes of the music industry from the 60’s to the present day.
Tom is the current head chef of the Laughing Heart in London.
We spoke to Chef Tom to find out more about her experience on the BBC2 show…
What was the reason in taking part on the Great British Menu?
I was given the opportunity to cast for it and I thought ‘wow, why not’. I’ve been a massive fan of the show for years and it was a real honour to get picked to represent the North East.
Is there a way to handle the criticism from the judges?
As chefs we put ourselves out there for criticism on a daily basis, so I was very prepared to the negative feedback which I took on the chin. Ultimately I feel the judges want the best from you so most of the points made are for you to try and improve on your dishes.
What is the atmosphere like in the kitchen cooking alongside two other chefs?
This year’s theme is celebrating Britains extraordinary contribution to pop music – What is your approach to the imagination & creation to your dishes?
I tried to tell a story of my career, travels and the music that was important to me through my dishes I presented. I also tried to link the North East in too where possible.
What does the theme mean to you and what would it meant for you to cook at the banquet?
It’s a fantastic brief, but there was so many similarities within the hospital and the music industries. Getting a dish to the banquet would be a dream come true, but just making it on the show was good enough for me.
What is your greatest accomplishment during your time on the Great British Menu so far?
Fighting back from a really rough start. Scoring a four for my starter to getting three 9’s – making it through to the finals was thrilling.
Were there any down sides during your time on the Great British Menu?
When the pomp soufflé’s didn’t puff my heart sank and I started getting low.
Would you take part again if the opportunity was to come around & would there be anything you would change?
I would love to do the show again, would be nice to go into it with a little more experience on what to expect.