Preview: Great British Menu

Andi Oliver - Great British Menu

Gordon Ramsay and co got a week’s head start with Next Level Chef but there is no competition to Great British Menu when it comes to quality, imagination and creativity on a plate.

The three North East chefs are halfway through their heat and the pressure is mounting as they create dishes celebrating British animation and illustration, inspired by Paddington’s 65th Birthday.

For the main course, one chef is taking inspiration from the Terrible Tudors and Horrible Histories written by Sunderland’s Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown – this comes with a mulled wine Tudor style jelly castle. Another is paying homage to the graphic novel, Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman and there is a Funnybones dish, inspired by the Ahlberg illustrations, with parkin wishbone. But whose approach and final delivery will veteran Judge, Angela Hartnett be most impressed by?

After the nail-biting scoring on the mains, presenter Andi Oliver asks the chefs to prepare a pre-dessert or palate cleanser. Veteran Judge, Angela must blind taste and rank them as they will be used in the event of tie to decide who goes home. There’s a stunning Victoria sponge with sorbet centre inspired by the Mole’s obsession with cake in Charlie Mackesy’s illustrated The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. There’s a nod to Wallace’s favourite cheese in a Wensleydale parfait sandwiched in a ginger cracker, and a dish inspired by comic book heroine, Ivy the Terrible.

After a glimpse of their pudding skills, it’s on to dessert. One dish celebrates Quentin Blake’s illustrations of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach with a peach centred cheesecake, woodruff lady bug, and lemon verbena glow worm. Another dish is inspired by Dapo Adeola’s illustrated book, Look Up with a multi-flavoured, phoenix meteor shower creation and there is an ode to the visual impact of popular computer game, Worms. Which chef will prove they have the winning formula to get the top marks and who will go home?

Only two will proceed to cook for the judges and have a chance to represent the North East at the regional Finals.

Great British Menu

Wednesday at 9.00pm on BBC2.

Image: BBC/Optomen TV.

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