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 North East 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 – Richard Corrigan.
Lets meet the chefs…
Gordon Jones is a Michelin-trained chef and owner of Menu Gordon Jones in Bath, offering a surprise tasting menu that changes everyday.
Starter: Fleetwood Mackerel. A risky combination of raw mackerel and porridge, inspired by childhood memories spent fishing and listening to Fleetwood Mac in Scotland.
Chef’s dish put a smile on Richards face, admiring his bravery and combination of flavours. He enjoyed the extra texture however, he wished for a better presentation and more flavour in the mackerel to add ‘oomph‘.
Fish Course: It must be love. Celebrates his love of unusual flavour combinations with langoustine and lamb’s heart.
Richard said the langoustine was cooked to ‘perfection‘ and the lamb’s heart cooked ‘amazingly‘. He enjoyed the seasoning, saying the chef ‘clearly understand his ingredients’, however the dish could of had more lamb heart.
Main Course: Parklife. Inspired by 90s Britpop artists Blur.
Richard enjoyed the cooking of the meat, the filling in the coleslaw roll and was happy that the presentation was better than he previous dishes. However, the seasoning and the spicing didn’t set Richard’s ‘mouth on fire‘ and thought there was ‘far too much peanut butter‘. Unfortunately this dish didn’t ‘hit the right notes‘ for Richard Corrigan.
Dessert: Bhangra Beats and Bhangra Sweets. Celebrating Indian flavours of mango, pistachio and saffron.
Richard loves Gordon’s cooking, unfortunately he ‘didn’t love this dish’, saying the mango sorbet was the best element. The Chef then went on to describe all the elements that didn’t work and why, ‘it good to push boundaries, but some things will fail and this dish did‘.
Overall Score: 31/40
Lorna McNee is a Scottish Chef of the year winner and sous chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairline, the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars.
Starter: Elton’s cheese on Toast. Draws on memories growing up, listening to Elton John, and offers a twist on the classic snack.
Richard loved the fun take on the theme, however thought the chef had ‘lost the spirit on why cheese on toast is delicious‘. It needed something spicy to dip it in and unfortunately the dish didst come together.
Fish Course: Spice up your Life, to honour the spice girls.
Richard thought the idea was wonderful, as well as enjoying the cooking of the fish. The veteran praised Lorna on her bravery for going ‘outside her comfort zone‘. Unfortunately the aubergine puree was ‘too sweet‘, the fish portion could of been reduced and there was simply too much salsa verde which ‘overwhelmed the other flavours‘.
Main Course: With a little Help from my Friends. Dedicated to supportive friends, is a celebratory dish fit for the banquet.
Richard said every element on the dish was ‘yum‘ as well as being excited that someone had presented a Scottish dish. However, it felt a bit like ‘Sunday Lunch‘ and suggested to refine the recipe.
Dessert: Lime and Sunshine,Theres enough for everyone. Celebrating the Wham classic Club Tropicana. Building a dessert to look like a coconut, in the hope of whisking diners away to their tropical paradise.
Richard thought it was a ‘real fun dish to fit the brief‘ and loved the Pina colada ice cream, finding himself ‘by the pool sipping cocktails‘. However, it needed a lot more lime to stop it from being ‘far too rich‘.
Overall Score: 30/40
Ben Reade, owner of the Edinburgh Food Studio, a restaurant and food research hub experiencing with the best of Scottish produce.
Starter: Fat of the Land. Paying tribute to the electronic rock band Prodigy’s album with a pig centrepiece.
Richard enjoyed the egg yolk surprise which added ‘richness‘ to the dish. Richard could see the chef was heading towards an earthy take to the dish, however the dish was massively ‘over salted‘ and was inedible to the other chefs.
Fish Course: The Halibut Peel Sessions. Choosing to champion halibut with a tribute to his favourite DJ, John Peel.
Richard enjoyed the cooking of the fish, but wished for more colour. Richard thought the amaranth and nasturtiums flowers were ‘unnecessary‘ to the dish. Unfortunately the dish was ‘underwhelming‘ naming the elements he wasn’t quite happy with.
Main Course: Bass Notes and Beats. Paying tribute to his favourite ‘old school’ drum and bass music, with ‘old school’ cooking techniques.
Richard really liked his lamb lollipop and wish there was another one. At last the chef found the ‘medium boundary‘ in his seasoning. However, the plate ‘lacked’, there was no crunch in his taco and expected more from the ‘Great British Menu‘.
Dessert: Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. Plays tribute to a Pink Floyd B-Side by incorporating breakfast elements.
Richard thought the dish was ‘well thought out‘, despite the missing element, saying git was the ‘best dish of the week‘. Unfortunately the balance of flavours in the croquette weren’t quite spot on.
Overall Score: 26/40
The two highest scoring chefs going through to the judges round will be; Gordon Jones & Lorna McNee
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Ben Reade.
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 – A former member of one of Britain’s most successful girl bands, The Sugababes – Pop star Keisha Buchanan.
Lets see how the chefs got on…
Gordon Jones, inventive flavour combinations gave him high scores.
Starter: Fleetwood Mackerel. Gordon left the fish a little longer to marinate, listening to Richard advice.
The judges enjoyed the vibrant colour and fresh aromas coming from the dish.
Oliver enjoyed the flavours, Andi agreed saying the porridge had a great ‘umami‘ flavour.
Matthew and Oliver thought there was ‘far too much happening’, while Keisha disagreed saying the dish had a lot of ‘character and flavour‘.
Fish Course: It must be love. Gordon doesn’t change anything, which Richard scored a 9.
Matthew loved the smoky effect from the langoustine.
Unfortunately Andi didn’t believe it felt like love in her mouth, saying ‘it felt heavy handed‘.
Oliver agreed, wishing he ‘turned down the volume‘. Keisha also wasn’t enjoying the dish saying ‘theres a lot going on, like an overly produced song’.
Main Course: Parklife. Gordon has decided to ignore Richard’s advice, as he believes the peanut butter needs to be thick and sticky.
The judges loved the colours and presentation of the dish.
Oliver wished he showed some ‘restraint‘ in his ingredients, where Keisha disagreed and loved it, giving her ‘everything‘.
Dessert: Bhangra Beats and Bhangra Sweets. Gordon took some of the pistachio’s out and Richard found them too much.
Matthew had a slight problem with the plating cup, and Keisha was expecting something more ‘grand’.
For Andi, this dish was Gordon’s best – but still wouldn’t go up for a second serving.
Lorna McNee, praised for her precise classic cooking.
Starter: Elton John’s Cheese on Toast. Despite the Richard’s suggestions, Lorna is sticking to do her original idea.
Matthew was impressed with all the different techniques involved.
Andi enjoyed the cylinder, while Oliver thought the toast was quite ‘one dimensional‘.
Keisha was trying to figure out the toast, Matthew agreed saying ‘it wasn’t quite a first course‘.
Fish Course: Spice up your life. Lorna is reducing the amount of salsa verde, that Richard said overwhelmed the dish.
Matthew was happy how ‘succulent’ Lorna had managed to get the monkfish, which he finds ‘perfect’.
Unfortunately Andi thought there was too much spice, which was ‘out of whack on the fish‘.
Keisha agreed, saying it was ‘spicy but with not a lot of flavour‘.
Main Course: With a little help from my friends. Nothing was changed on the dish.
The judges enjoyed the presentation, saying ‘it looked and felt like a banquet dish‘.
Andi was impressed that the dish was made to look ‘elegant‘ and was very happy for her.
Matthew enjoyed the dumpling and Keisha loved ‘everything on the plate‘.
Dessert: Lime and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone. Lorna has added more lime.
The judges found the presentation very ‘fun‘ as well as ‘luxurious and exciting’.
‘Full of personality‘, the dish really reminded Oliver of club tropicana.
Everyone agreed that the dish would be a ‘very high scoring dessert‘.
The highest scoring chef and representing the Scotland in the final of the GBM is; Lorna McNee
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Gordon Jones.