Great British Menu 2018 chefs - Jason Hughes, Wales heat

The  Staff Canteen

Meet the Great British Menu 2018 chefs from Wales: Jason Hughes

This year Jason Hughes from Chateau Rhianfa, takes on Chris Harrod and Andrew Sheridan in a bid to make it through to the Great British Menu 2018 banquet which celebrates 70 years of the National Health Service. This year’s brief is to create celebratory and heartfelt dishes in tribute to the heroic staff of the NHS.

Jason Hughes
Jason Hughes

Jason Hughes previously worked at the Savoy Grill as head pastry chef, he then worked at the Blue Waters Hotel in Antigua, Bron Eifion country house, before moving on to his current role in 2015. He is also part of the  Culinary Team Wales which this year competed compete in La Parade des Chefs at the International Salon Culinaire, Hotelympia.

Why did you want to be involved in Great British Menu?

Honestly I never thought it was an option. When I was asked I was over the moon and I knew it would give me a chance for a life changing experience.

This years’ theme is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS – how easy was it for you to come up with dishes to be served at the anniversary banquet?

It was extremely hard,  I wanted to do well with the brief and do the NHS the justice they deserve.

What does the NHS mean to you and how rewarding is it to possibly cook your food for these incredible individuals?

I've had, like many I'm sure, a lot of different relationships with the NHS and it was a real privilege to shine some light on the great work they do.

How difficult is it to cook in the Great British Menu kitchen alongside other chefs?

I was with two excellent chefs and we really bonded during filming. I didn’t look at it as a competition, I was simply cooking against myself.

What was the best part about being on Great British Menu?

This may sound stupid but honestly the relief after it was all over, it was physically and mentally hard. I couldn’t appreciate it when I was in it, it wasn't until after.

Were there any negative parts to being on Great British Menu?

The immense pressure! But it makes you a better chef. That’s the only negative I can think of.

How did you find the criticism and being judged?

Yes definitely because you believe in your idea so when they say its not good its hard as its 'your baby'.

Were you more nervous about being judged by the veteran chef or the judges?

The chef! We can be very critical of each other because we are all different at the end of the day.

Do you have any standout memories during your time on Great British Menu?

Yes my dessert. I had practised its 30 times and on the day it didn’t work. Its painful to think about….

Would you take part in Great British Menu again?

Not for another couple of years at least.

Would you encourage your peers, colleagues and chef friends to take part in a competition like Great British Menu?

Competition is good for development of your skills so yes definitely.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th September 2018

Great British Menu 2018 chefs - Jason Hughes, Wales heat