Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Nick Beardshaw, South West heat

The  Staff Canteen

Head chef at Kerridge's Bar and Grill Nick Beardshaw is one of four chefs representing the South West region on Great British Menu 2021.

Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March and will air on BBC Two at 8pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for eight weeks. The South West heat will be on Wednesday 12th May, Thursday 13th May and Friday 14th May. All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Nick competed against Jude Kereama, chef and owner of Kota, Kota Kai, and Kuki; head chef at The Angel Dartmouth, Elly Wentworth; and chef and private catering company owner, Nat TallentsCaught in a tie-break with Nat after the starter and fish course, Elly narrowly secured a spot in the second day of the South West heat. Elly lost to Jude by a single point on day 2 of the heat, leaving Jude to go head to head with Nick in the judge's chamber. Finally, Jude secured a spot in the national finals on the third day of the heat.

Biography

Tom Kerridge protégé Nick Beardshaw joined the industry when he was just 11 years-old, sweeping the patio at his local pub.

He made his way into the kitchen after attending college, working in the kitchen at The Castle Hotel with Richard Guest in his home town of Taunton, followed by a stint under chef Daniel Clifford at Midsummer House.

He moved to The Hand and Flowers in 2010, where he progressed to the position of senior-sous, before joining The Coach as head chef in 2015. He was placed at the helm of Kerridge's Bar & Grill when it launched in 2018, 

This year will be Nick's first time competing on Great British Menu.

Dishes

Starter

Nick's starter,'Roper's herborium,' was inspired by celebrated botanist Mary Roper. A pickled red rose stuffed with a goat's cheese parfait was plated with a lovage edible stem, violet mustard, camomille jelly, compressed apple  and served alongside a flower-press feuille de brick cracker with dill and cornflowers. 

Veteran judge Angela Hartnett gave it a score of 8/10.

Fish course

Nick's fish course, 'Method Merrett,' was an ode to Christopher Merrett and his method to create sparkling wine with a secondary fermentation. 

He served a Cornish turbot fillet with sea-truffled infused, soft-cooked leeks, a potato and crab croquette, Camel Valley sparkling wine sauce, Exmoor caviar and deep-fried kombu kale seaweed feathers. 

Angela gave it a 9/10 score.

Main Course

For his main course, Nick had a new veteran judge to impress in Richard Corrigan. Inspired by the meals served on the Concorde aircraft - for which Richard coincidentally helped develop the menus - Nick made a tournadour rostini sandwich with beef dripping-fried bread, lyonnaise onions, cep duxelles, cep jelly, pickled walnut ketchup, pickled cucumber and duck liver parfait, served with ox cheek chips. 

Deeming it banquet-worthy, Richard gave it a score of 9/10.

Dessert

'Comet C' paid tribute to Cornish scientist Caroline Herschel, the first female to receive an income as a scientist as well as the first woman to name a commet. 

Nick's take on a baked Alaska consisted of a hazelnut chocolate brownie, coffee ice cream, brown sugar snd malt meringue served on a sherry-enriched cherry purée, lemon thyme purée, brandy-infused Griottine cherries, sprinkled with popping candy. 

A resounding success, it received 10/10 points from Richard. 

Full name

Nicholas Jon Beardshaw 

Nickname

Beardy

Age/DOB

37, born 4/07/1983

Place of birth / residence

Born in Weymouth, live in West Clandon 

Relationship status / children

Married / 1 daughter 

Height

183cm / 6ft

Type of chef (restaurant, hotel, development chef, etc.)

Restaurant (within a hotel) 

Favourite type of cuisine

British

Path to becoming a chef

Local pub... Potwash moving on to sandwiches and then all the way

Past and present place of work

Castle Hotel, Midsummerhouse, Hand and Flowers, The Coach and currently KBAG

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

Tom Kerridge, Daniel Clifford, Richard Guest, Heston, Clare Smyth

Guilty pleasure dish

Domino's American Hot

Best / worst thing about being a chef

Best: The spirit of the industry

Worst: unjustified reviews on user-generated review websites

Feelings  stepping onto the GBM set

I wondered if I would be nervous but when it came to it I was super relaxed and comfortable. Very proud to be part of something that I have watched and aspired to for so many years.

Thoughts about the 'British Innovation' theme this year

It was a phenomenal brief firstly because it’s an incredible thing to celebrate as there so many inventions from Britain that have helped shape the world we live in,  but also because it was open to such a huge variety of interpretations. It means we will see some seriously creative stuff this year! 

Plans for the future

In the immediate future we have managed to create and outdoor space in a courtyard garden at Corinthia where we will be cooking Kerridges style dishes on a barbecue for 5 weeks. Then when we can reopen internally it is about consolidating and rebuilding the business back up like so many others in the industry. With the year we have just had it's very difficult to plan too much further until we know we are properly on the road to recovery.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th May 2021

Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Nick Beardshaw, South West heat