Great British Menu 2015 - South West heat

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th August 2015

Meet the Great British Menu 2015 contestants from the South West; Dominic Chapman, Josh Eggleton and Jude Kereama.

The chefs will create British foods and must plate up perfection, as they fight it out for the chance to cook at a glorious banquet marking 100 years of the Women’s Institute at London's historic Drapers Hall. The challenge is to produce 21st-century dishes that honour the custodians of first-class home cooking, and pay tribute to the generations of women who have helped make Britain the great culinary nation it is today.

Dom Chapman Great British Menu 2015

Dom Chapman

Great British Menu 2015

Dominic Chapman, The Beehive

Dominic’s devotion towards food has been passed on through his family who have been running the Castle Hotel for over 60 years. His skills have been enhanced through years of experience at numerous prominent restaurants such as Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin starred The Fat Duck (2000 – 2002) and Kensington Place in London. Heston invited Chapman to be the head chef at The Hind’s Head in Bray.

In 2007, Dominic became the head chef at The Royal Oak, during his time here he helped the restaurant earn a Michelin star, three AA Rosettes and 6/10 rating in the Good Food Guide. He was at The Royal Oak for seven years before deciding to move and open his own place The Beehive.

This is the second time you have done GBM,  what made you want to take part again?

Number one, it’s good fun and I quite enjoy it. I enjoy the competition, the TV and the fact that it’s a bit of a variation to your day job, but also if you do well then people want to come to your restaurant. At the end of the day the restaurant industry is so competitive so anything to promote your restaurant and get people through the door – that is what it is all about. So fundamentally, it’s to try and fill your restaurant.

>>> Find out more about Dom in our feature with him when he was at The Royal Oak

After appearing the first time, did you notice an increase of people coming through the door?

Last year I was in a different restaurant. I opened my own restaurant in August 2014, and I did GBM in March 2014. So I think last year was a little bit of a funny experience for me with regards to getting people through the door. Many people who come into my new restaurant now, The Beehive, tell me they saw me on GBM and they loved it. We are doing a GBM dinner on August 19 and it’s already sold really well before the programme has even gone out!Dom Chapman Great British Menu 2015

Do you think TV shows like this can hinder a chef’s career or do you think it’s only positive that can come out of it?

As long as you understand it’s a TV programme and you don’t sell your soul to it then it’s a little bit of fun. If it’s taken forward then hopefully you’ll get some people coming into the restaurant and hopefully that will benefit you. At the end of the day it’s a competition and food is subjective so you go there, you try hard, you try and win by doing your best; its five minutes of fame.

Have you ever worked with Josh and Jude before?

Josh and I get on really well, we have got a healthy competitive edge and it’s the first time I have met Jude and he’s a great guy.

Have you been to Jude’s restaurant since?

No, but I am cooking there in about two weeks’ time.

Dom Chapman Great British Menu 2015The theme this year, how difficult or easy did you find it?

It was easy right up my street, very British and very traditional. You can come up with some great dishes and it was really good fun.

What was the theme when you were on it previously?

It was D-Day landing, so quite similar actually. The briefs were quite similar, they’re good and I enjoyed them.

Do you think you would compete again?

Yeah I would definitely do it. You don’t get these opportunities every day and they are quite fun actually. They’re educational, you learn a bit so it’s a bonus.

Josh Eggleton, The Pony and Trap

Josh Eggleton Great British Menu 2015

Josh Eggleton

Great British Menu 2015

Josh is chef patron of multi-award winning pub the Pony and Trap in Bristol and co-founder of the pop-up restaurant and food festival, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, which takes place on Bristol’s Queen Square each year.

>>> Read our Britain's Got Talent feature to find out more about Josh

In 2006, at 22, Josh took over The Pony and Trap pub with his sister Holly and after only a few years of being the head chef earned a Michelin star in 2011 which he still maintains. Previously he won the Gordon Ramsay College Scholar Competition in 2003 which gave him the opportunity to take in the culinary cultures of Sicily, America and France. Numerous critics have pointed out that Josh’s recipes are simple but highly playful. Some of his popular preparations include scallop pops and Scottish girolles and broad beans on toast amongst others.

>>> Try some of Josh's recipes here

Josh has also built a reputation as a sustainable business, with the introduction of a Field to Fork Kite Mark which will be used across all of its dishes sourced from within 20 miles of the pub. He is a huge advocate for promoting sustainable food, being part of the creation and operation of a number of businesses in the region designed to promote Field to Fork dining and organic farming methods. Josh Eggleton Great British Menu 2015

What made you want to take part?

I grew up watching Great British Menu and I was very proud to be asked to take part. It’s amazing to cook alongside my peers and it was great to get to know the chefs from the South West for the last couple of years.

Are you a fan of the show and why?

I've always been a fan of the show and I watch it to check out new methods and techniques and picking up what is being spearheaded by the trade and my peers. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, like the very hardest service and then times that by ten!

Have you ever worked with Dominic and Jude before?

I competed against Dominic last year and since then we've become good friends as we have a lot in common. Jude I didn't know before but I've already been down to cook at his food festival in Porthleven. It was great spending the week with both of them!

Jude Kereama, Kota

Jude Kereama Great British Menu 2015

Jude Kereama

Great British Menu 2015

Jude is the chef and owner of Kota, a restaurant situated in the idyllic fishing port of Porthleven, Cornwall. Originally from New Zealand he started as a protégée of Antony Worrall Thompson 20 years ago and has gone on to win several awards for his restaurants in London and Auckland before moving to Cornwall. Kota is well known for its stunning seafood with organic fish and farm produce that features on a daily changing menu. Jude and his wife Jane are also passionate about wine as well as food and have created an enticing wine list of over 90 wines from all over the world.

What made you want to take part?

I didn't actually, my wife made sure I took part in it. They were looking for new contenders and a chap called asking various questions on the phone about what I did, what I liked doing. Then someone came down and said he really wanted to film me in the kitchen cooking and doing a short interview and I thought I guess I have to do it. I don't think anybody really wants to be on TV, it's more because it's good for advertising and good for business.

So I got through and had a phone call and they said they really wanted me to do it. I got off the phone and said to my wife please don't make me do this but she said: "You will do it - you'll do it for me and you'll do it for your son!" So the choice was made for me.

Are you a fan of the show?

I love the show - it's great. I think it's a real challenge what they do and you see chefs with very high standards on the show. It's very rare you have pairs of professionals up against each other in a very, very, stressful situation. It's not the same as The MasterChefs, even the professionals.

Jude Kereama Great British Menu 2015It's because it's people who have come from their own restaurants with their own ethos who have been given something they've got to cook and it's their own take on it. It's quite interesting to see how chefs come up with their ideas of how they interpreted what we're supposed to do.

How easy did you find cooking to this year's theme?

This year's theme was really tough. I'm a Kiwi so we don't really have the WI in New Zealand. It was difficult but not when you got into asking the local WIs what it meant to them and what they do, they really deserve to be celebrated for what the WIs have done. Funnily enough before I knew anything about GBM, I was a bakery judge for a local competition, which was quite funny. They had loads of different cakes and biscuits and I turned up there as a guest judge, a lovely local baker came down to be another judge and a lady from the WI came down.

I arrived with just a pen in my pocket and the WI lady came down with everything: she had a clipboard, guidelines on what the Swiss do, measuring tape - everything! I felt like an absolute novice and really guilty but she was lovely. It was brilliant but it led me to realise what high expectations and standards the WI do have. It's been great what they've done for the British public and I thought it was a really worthy organisation to get behind.

Hopefully with a bit of exposure from this year's GBM for the WI, that might be a nice recruitment drive for the younger generation because they do lots of fun things. It's been great learning about them.lamb low res

Have you ever worked with Josh and Dominic before?

No, never worked with them. Lovely guys, really lovely guys - well as lovely as a chef can be! It's really nice to meet some chefs who have the same work ethos - down here in this part of Cornwall you're a little bit shut off really from other chefs. It's really nice to meet a couple of guys at the top of their game who get on really well with each other.

Although the competition was really tough at the same time it was really enjoyable to go through the same pain with each other every night and then sit down together and have a bowl of pasta. It's a long gruelling day in the studio and all we wanted to do was get something really simple and quick and mull over what we did that day.

>>> Read about the other contestants in this year's Great British Menu heats here

>>> Read more about Great British Menu 2015 here

By Rob Whitson and Aimee Davis

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th August 2015

Great British Menu 2015 - South West heat