1. Great British Menu 2012 - Preview of Finals

    For the last eight weeks in the seventh series of The Great British Menu we’ve watched twenty four of Great Britain’s finest chefs battle it out. Now eight chefs including four chefs from Great British Chefs site are hoping they’ll be repesenting their region to serve at an Olympic banquet at the end of the week. This week (starting 4th June 2012) we will finally get to see who will go through to cook at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

    Daniel Clifford’s Raspberry and tarragon, cookie dough and tarragon oil from BBC’s Great British Menu

    Here’s a round up of the chefs in the final.  Nathan Outlaw who won the South West round. Joing Alan Murchison who won the Scottish round,  Daniel Clifford who won the Central round, Colin McCurran who won the North East round, Chris Fearon who won the Northern Ireland roundSimon Rogan who won the North West round, Phil Howard who won the London & South East round and Stephen Terry who won the Wales round.

    Hog’s pudding with seaweed, potato terrine & mushroom ketchup by Nathan Outlaw from BBC2’s Great British Menu

    In Monday’s show the finalists prepare their starters, to be tasted and scored by the Great British Menu judges and veteran judge Richard Corrigan.

    On Tuesday, the remaining finalists cook their fish dishes, which will be tasted and scored by the Great British Menu judges and veteran judge Marcus Wareing. 

    Lobster with pickled beetroot and sweet apple by Simon Rogan - from BBC’s Great British Menu

    On Wednesday, the chosen finalists will prepare their main courses, with veteran judge Tom Kerridge tasting and scoring alongside the other Great British Menu judges 

    Daniel Clifford’s slow poached chicken, sweetcorn egg and chicken spray from BBC’s Great British Menu

    On Thursday it’s the final chance to impress the judges with desserts. The Great British Menu judges will be joined by veteran judge Angela Hartnett.

    Alan Murchison's Going for Gold Dessert

    On Friday, the four winners will have been announced and the final show follows the successful chefs in the run-up to the banquet.  You’ll see their painstaking preparations for what is likely to be one of the most important meals they will ever cook.

    You can see the full line up of chefs and judges for the Great British Menu 2012 here.  Plus don’t forget our special Great British Menu Recipe CollectionThe definitive collection of recipes for Great British Menu fans, featuring old favourites like Nigel Haworth’s Lancashire hotpot, Lisa Allen’s rabbit turnover and Paul Ainsworth’s Taste of the Fairground, as well as newer classics from Great British Menu 2012 like Daniel Clifford’s stuffed red mullet dish and Alan Murchison’s veal sweetbreads 

    All this week Great British Menu will be on BBC2 at 7pm. We wish all competing chefs the best of luck in the run up to the banquet.

  2. Great British Menu Series 7 starts 9th April 2012

    The Great British Menu returns for its seventh series, this year taking an Olympic theme.  Twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site will compete in eight regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu at a prestigious event at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, hosted by sporting legend Sir Steve Redgrave with a guest list of British sporting greats.

    Judging the chefs are restaurateur and businessman, Oliver Peyton, fellow restaurateur and cookery writer, Prue Leith and food journalist and author, Matthew Fort.  Matthew is Great British Chefs strategic advisor who also blogs for us and write the introductions for a number of our ingredient collections.

    As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with three chefs from each region cooking a starter, fish course, main course and dessert for a veteran judge who will select two chefs to cook their menu again on Friday’s show for the three judges above.

    The winners of each heat will then go on to compete against each other in the finals at the end of the series, attempting to earn their dishes a place on the table at The Olympic Feast.  ”The chefs’ task is to create a menu that captures the Olympic spirit - food that is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Every great Olympian pushes their discipline on to new levels of excellence and that is the challenge for the 2012 Great British Menu chefs - can they create world class, groundbreaking food that will celebrate the Olympic ideal?" said the BBC

    Moroccan lamb with harissa-spiced couscous and chickpea salsa by Alan Murchison

    The first week starts in Scotland and the Monday’s episode leads with starters. Returning contender Alan Murchison and newcomers Colin Buchan and Mark Greenaway will be battling against each other.  Whose starter will win? Will it be duck terrine and pineapple, braised pork cheek with sea buckthorn and hot apple jelly or smoked pigeon breast and heart?  Great British Menu veteran Jeremy Lee is the veteran judge deciding who will go through to Friday’s show.

    Sea Bream with galangal broth by Alan Murchison

    We hope you’ll be watching the show when it starts at 7.30pm each weekday night on BBC2.  For now Great British Chefs would like to wish best of luck to Alan for the week ahead.

    You can see the full line up of chefs and judges for the Great British Menu 2012 here. 

  3. Food Festivals this weekend 10th -11th September 2011

    September heralds the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn and there’s plenty of food festivals running across the England this weekend to help you celebrate the new season.

    Harvest at Jimmy’s comes to Jimmy’s Farm in Suffolk on September 9th-12th Jimmy Doherty the celebrity TV farmer is putting on a unique mix of music festival (including camping) with an impressive food festival running alongside.  At both festivals, you’ll be able to feast your ears as well as your belly.

    The line up of Celebrity Chefs includes household names such as James Martin and Mary Berry, our very own Michelin starred Nuno Mendes, Tom Kerridge, Paul a Young (who wowed everyone at our Great British Chefs Food Crawl), Alex James (remember the furore over his cheese for Asda), Yotam Ottelenghi (Issac made one of his gorgeous dishes for team lunch earlier this week) and many more.  

    The bands are equally impressive and include The Kooks, Eliza Doolittle, Turin Brakes, The Divine Comedy and The Feeling. It’s the “perfect marriage of good food and great music”.  You can start pitching up your tent from the afternoon of 9th September and tickets can be purchased here.  Clearly the foodie highlight of the weekend.

    Photo by David Griffen, dish by Alan Murchison

    Elsewhere, The Ludlow Marches Food and Drink Festival will be on September 9th-11th.  This was Britain’s first successful food and drink festival, which started back in 1995 and it is still going strong.   Michelin starred chefs - Daniel Clifford from our app & Alan Murchison, soon to be on our website will be running cookery demonstrations on Saturday

    This town is known for its good food and drink. As well as food producers, Ludlow will be hosting numerous food related events throughout the town, such as Sausage Trail and the Festival Loft trails.  The various food events will be taking place inside and outside of Ludlow Castle.

    The Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival will be from September 10th -11th , with various events such as taste trials, food demonstrations from chef Rustie Lee and James Mcintosh and even a celebration of Mexican Independence day with Discovery Foods and go on a taste.

    Newquay, known for its beautiful coastline, will be given the opportunity to showcase its harbour, with a two day fish festival on September 9th-11th. Enjoy practical demonstrations from chefs and try fresh local fish from the harbour.  

    In London, as part of the Thames Festival, on September 10th-11th, you can experience a two day Korean Food experience- Korea Calling. There will be Korean food tasting, chef demonstrations, Taekwondo, juggling and many more Korean inspired events.

    Brixton is hosting a mini event for the local community on September 10th. Make it Grow It Sell It, is a community market, promoting the talents of people who grow their own produce or make and design their own products.  You can meet the producers, taste their food and even buy some plants for your garden. The Brixton pound can also be used on the day!

    The Oyster, known as the foodie aphrodisiac- is having its very own festival of dedication on September 9th-11th in Woburn. At the Woburn Oyster Festival expect to learn oyster recipes and unique ways of using them in your dishes at home. The festival also boasts a giant flea market and a children’s funfair to keep the whole family entertained.

    The St Fagans Food Festival will take place in Wales on September 10th-11th. Taste Welshcakes, pork sausages made with meat from animals reared at the Museum and some of the finest Welsh food from local producers. There will also be various food from around the world I’m sure you will find something to enjoy. A small festival, but with lots of bite!

    Finally, renowned food blogger MsMarmiteLover will have a pop up Underground Restaurant at the Bestival Festival on the Isle of Wight (tickets to Bestival are now sold out, so this is only for people who already have tickets).  While you’re trying to  walk in your Rockstar costume you may want to change costume and head down to her restaurant. The menu caters for those with specific dietary needs as well. On September 10th, there will be a Midnight Feast, where you will be encouraged to wear pyjamas, nighties, slippers, dressing gowns and don’t forget your teddy and your water bottle. The menu is not yet known. Sounds exciting! So if you’re lucky enough to have Bestival tickets already, book your table here, tickets selling fast! 

    Let us know if you visit any of these festivals, we would love to see some pictures. Also we’re bound to have missed some special food festivals taking place in Great Britain this weekend (not weekly food markets, there are hundreds of those every week), so please let us know in the comments. Enjoy!

    Blog post by Monique from Great British Chefs