Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Kirk Haworth, North West heat

The  Staff Canteen

Kirk Haworth, Co-founder of London food studio, restaurant and events space Plates is one of four chefs competing for the North West on Great British Menu 2021

Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March on BBC Two at 8pm, The North West heat will be on Wednesday 5th May, Thursday 6th May and Friday 7th May. All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Kirk competed against Dave CritchleyDan McGeorge and Ashwani Rangta. However, Ashwani scored lower than his rivals for his starter and fish course and was thus sent home after the first day of the North West heat. Dave was second to leave the GBM studio, followed by Kirk, who narrowly scored fewer points than his adversary in the judges' chamber. 

Dishes

Starter

Kirk's starter, 'Vim and Vigour,' was inspired by Lancashire-born John Noel Nichols, the creator of the herbal tonic designed to invigorate its drinkers, Vimto. 

His baked beetroot took centre-stage, and was served with tencha berry, lemon verbena and fennel pollen tea; confit fennel, pickled red and yellow beets, blackcurrants, wasabi emulsion and berry powder. 

Veteran judge Tom Aikens gave the dish a 7/10 score.

Fish course

The chef's 'Fishing for More' dish, dedicated to 19th century explorer and naturalism Isabella Bird, didn't contain any fish at all. 

Instead, kombu leeks were breaded and deep-fried in a way that Andi Oliver described as having 'overtones of a fish goujon' and served with heavily-truffled Jerusalem artichoke purée, replicating the flavour and consistency of butter with oat cream, served with sea vegetables; apple and ponzu salad and jelly; wilted three-cornered leeks, seaweed, crispy shallots, sesame seeds and a shaving of truffle. 

Tom gave the chef 7/10 points for his second dish of the heat.

Biography, Path to becoming a chef, past places of work, Age/DOB, relationship status, Height

The son of hospitality household name, chef and consultant Nigel Haworth, Kirk trained under two Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains, The French LaundryThe Square, Pied à Terre and Quay in Sydney. 

The chef contracted Lyme disease while he was in Australia, and his health took a turn for the worse. Without answers from his health practitioners, the chef took matters into his own hands, learned about nutrition and the anti-inflammatory properties of certain foods.

He switched to an entirely plant-based regime and successfully regained his vitality.

He decided to combine his new knowledge of nutrition with his classical chef training, and together with his sister Keeley, founded Plates, a restaurant, food studio and events space in Hackney, London.

Everything they do at Plates focuses on the health benefits of nutritional, plant-based, sustainable food, as well as extending the definition of sustainable practices to people.

In 2019, in view of creating a hub for hospitality workers, they began hosting Chef's Wellness Events, where guest speakers are invited to discuss topics such as physical and mental health, the practice of mindfulness and yoga, nutrition and more.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th May 2021

Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Kirk Haworth, North West heat