BBC Great British Menu: Nottinghamshire chef heads home as other chefs score

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One Nottinghamshire chef fell at the first Great British Menu hurdle, but the other topped the charts after the first episode.

The 17th series of the popular cooking show began on Tuesday evening (February 1), where the winner of the entire series can serve their menu at a prestigious banquet.

It kicked off with the Central Region Heats, featuring four incredibly talented chefs, two of whom have roots in Nottinghamshire.

Sally Abé, from Mansfield, is currently consultant chef at Pem, her new restaurant in London, and Harvey Perttola, from Nottingham, is head chef at gourmet restaurant Six, in Trent Bridge.

He used to run Hill 101, but since filming has moved to the West Bridgford restaurant.

They went up against Liam Dillon, who owned the only restaurant with three AA Rosettes in his home town of Lichfield, and Ben Orpwood, the executive chef of Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat in London.

And after serving canapes, entrees and fish dishes, judged by Aktar Islam which has the only Michelin-starred Indian restaurant outside London, Harvey got the lowest score.

Harvey’s starter scored a six, and his fish course received a seven, a total of 13.

That means he’s not progressing to serving his main course and dessert, which will air on Wednesday’s (February 2) episode.

However, Sally’s starter was awarded an eight, as was her fish dish, meaning she is ahead with Ben on 16, with Liam two points behind them on 14.

Canapes are only taken into account in the event of a tie-break.



Harvey Perttola on Great British Menu

Harvey served cheese and onion canape with cream cheese, and Sally served whipped chicken tartlet with elderberry and port jelly.

The theme for this series is 100 years since the BBC went wireless, with the first television broadcast 10 years later.

Harvey’s starter was inspired by Peaky Blinders and was called ‘By Order of the Peaky Blinders’.

It consisted of a sweetbread roasted with smoked butter, a smoked apple puree, a malt vinegar gel, an emulsion of leeks in butter and a jam of whiskey and bacon without onions .

Judging, Mr. Islam said: “The bacon jam was overpowering, there was no smoke from the bacon, but the sweetbreads were perfect.”

Sally’s was inspired by Dad’s Army, specifically the episode “When’s the Last You Seen Your Money?”

She created her own sausages in addition to serving Wiltshire truffles, bubbles and squeaks and other pickled items, which were presented in a bed of fiver notes.

Mr Islam said: “I loved the presentation and the texture of the sausage was perfect, but I wanted more chicken thigh.”



Sally Abe on Great British Menu
Sally Abe on Great British Menu

For her fish dish, Sally’s effort was called “Scolli Bolli Sweetie Darling”, a nod to the Absolutely Fabulous show that she said on the show that she “spent my entire teenage years to watch”.

It consisted of scallops in a Bollinger sauce, with a garnish made from veronica, a white wine sauce with grapes, garlic butter, fennel and celery.

Mr Islam said: “It was a good link to the brief – the champagne sauce tasted good and the celery had a good texture; the scallops were cooked well, but time could have been used to give them more rest. “

Harvey’s fish dish was called ‘Monkfish Like Mobeen’, inspired by the show ‘Man Like Mobeen’.

It was a monkfish curry, with the dahl and onion bhajis from her mother’s recipe on the side; the dahl included lentil spices, cumin, coriander and curry powder and more.

It also featured cauliflower in coconut milk, cauliflower tempura and a coconut and lime leaf sauce.

Mr Islam said: “The monkfish was well cooked and the lentils were delicious, but during the mashing process some flavor was lost and it became grainy – the bhajis were perfect though, your mum would be proud .”

The scores carry over to tomorrow’s show, where the winners will be judged by a jury.

The series continues on BBC Two at 8 p.m.

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