Great British Menu 2018 chefs - Jude Kereama, South West heat

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th September 2018

Meet the Great British Menu 2018 chefs from the South West: Jude Kereama

This year Jude Kereama takes on Tom Brown and Olivia Barry 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.

Jude Kereama
 Jude Kereama

Having competed previously in 2015 and 2016, it is fair to say this is not Jude Kereama's first Great British Menu rodeo. The talented New Zealander runs the 2 AA rosette Kota and Kota Kai in Cornwall. Having trained under the acclaimed chef Simon Gault, Jude moved to the UK from New Zealand in 1996. He spent many years working in London at a variety of top restaurants before making the move to Cornwall. Kota earned its recognition in the form of 2AA rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand, due to Jude’s take on classic seafood with a twist. the restaurant has also been named in the Top 50 Summer Restaurants in Britain.

Why did you want to take part in Great British Menu again?

It’s the best competition around. I have met great friends and I have unfinished business - I want to prove to myself that I can compete and do well.

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 interesting  – the NHS is a great organisation and I wanted to support them. We all use it and I had to go with my personal experience and hopefully, they are worthy dishes to celebrate the NHS.

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

Gosh, from the birth of my son to my wife being very ill and they nursed her back to health. I think we are lucky to have the NHS and there is nothing like it in the world. We need to get behind it, support it and it was incredibly important to put my point across – how we should be celebrating them and to make dishes that are worthy of them.

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

It’s never nice to cook against anyone in a competition but cooking with Tom and Olivia was really nice - Tom is a great guy and Olivia is lovely. I tried to have a real laugh as it’s intense pressure in there, but the more pressure I am under – the more I giggle!

You have previously competed in Great British Menu - how does this year’s competition compare?

I think it’s very much the same – they have a new crew, but it’s the same kitchen and the same pressure!

Do you feel that your previous experience in Great British Menu is an advantage?

I thought having competed before would be an advantage – but no! 

What was the best part about being on Great British Menu 2018?

The level of competition was so high from the others and that was great to be a part of. Three chefs that were on top of their game but that had three completely different styles – it was fantastic to see!

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

There were no negative parts for me – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. If you don’t push yourself, you don’t know. If you do well on Great British Menu – you can do anything! 

How did you find the criticism and being judged?

If I thought they didn’t quite get it – I would pipe up, but I have to say I haven’t had that experience yet. 

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

It’s always the chefs, isn’t it?! They are the ones that have been there and done it and have been on top of their game for many years. You have to respect that they have done it all before.

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

We had an excellent veteran judge who is probably one of the most revered -  he really enjoyed the food and was positive.

Would you take part in Great British Menu again?

Who knows?! I said after the last one ‘that’s it for me' but never say never! I could be tempted again – it is slightly addictive! I feel very proud to be picked and to represent the South West.

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

I would tell them to go for it – it really does put you on the map and helps fill your restaurant. It is tough, and you have got to have nerves of steel, but to cook with the friends that I have made – it’s brilliant and such a great experience. I can only say positive things about it.

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th September 2018

Great British Menu 2018 chefs - Jude Kereama, South West heat