Great British Menu 2017 chefs - Nick Brodie, Wales heat

The Staff Canteen

Meet the Great British Menu 2017 chefs from the Wales: Nick Brodie

This year Nick Brodie takes on Phil Carmichael, and Paul Croasdale in a bid to make it through to the Great British Menu 2017 banquet which celebrates 140 years of Wimbledon. This year’s brief is to create dishes that capture ‘a taste of summer’ paying tribute to the history and prestige of the Wimbledon Championships.

Nick Brodie, head chef, Llangoed Hall, Great British Menu 2017
Nick Brodie

Before settling in the Welsh countryside, Nick wanted to hone his knowledge of flavours and techniques and moved to Hong Kong where he worked at the Conrad Hotel. Coming back to the UK, he started working at Simon Radley’s Michelin starred Chester Grosvenor, then moved progressively towards the south-west side of the country while rising up the ranks. Nick is now head chef at Llangoed Hall where he earned three rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide.

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

I had a phone call and was asked to take part in a preliminary video, and with an attitude of ‘always have a go’, I decided to do it. Being on television was something that had never crossed my mind until I was asked. I have been at Llangoed Hall now for a few years and in that time the restaurant has gone from strength-to-strength including a Top 50 Restaurants listing in the UK over the last two years in The Good Food Guide. I felt it would be a good opportunity to showcase Llangoed and Wales in general and our achievements to date.

How tough was it to come up with dishes which fit the brief?

I am constantly updating our menus at Llangoed Hall and used to seasonal produce so creating dishes in a changing environment isn't a problem. Summertime a great season for chefs with plenty of produce to use, but as for the Wimbledon aspect, difficult as I know nothing of tennis.

Did you feel under pressure to create theatrical dishes rather than well cooked dishes served simply on a plate?

At the time, I felt no pressure to create anything too theatrical. I really wanted to just cook well. It’s my first time doing GBM or the first cooking competition I have ever done, to be honest. If I got a second go, bells and whistles all the way.

Did you enjoy being pushed out of your comfort zone, and how difficult was it to cook in the Great British Menu kitchen alongside other chefs?

Being pushed out of your comfort zone is always good as you can really see what you can personally achieve. As a chef our great british menu 2017comfort zones tend to change more often now than many years ago. We are under constant observation from the hotel owner, guests with many who photograph everything and of course the media. Cooking with other chefs is always a good laugh – some very cool personalities. If I ever got asked to do GBM again I would probably do things a lot differently knowing the lay of the land is a major factor with cameras, crew, directors… so very distant to a real kitchen set up.

Best and worst part of being on Great British Menu?

The best part is that it is something totally different to my normal life; it was a good push. The worst part is coming back off holiday, directly into shooting the programme, without any sleep for a couple of days, so I felt it!

Would you do it again?

Yeah why not? It was a good experience and I met some great people. I enjoyed the process and TV is always a unique medium to reach people at home. Our hotel and restaurant are located in a beautiful remote area of Wales with a small local population. Through GBM, we are able to reach millions across the UK in their homes.

If you were scoring your dishes would you agree with what your judge said or not? If not why not?

Yes, I agree, I felt pretty nervous to achieve and I thought the scoring was accurate. My judge is a great chef who’s cooking style I have always thought to be spot on, and I couldn’t think of a better judge.

How nerve-wracking was it to cook for your peers?

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but it was more of a buzz than a gone to pot nervousness.

>>> Find out about all of the Great British Menu 2017 chefs here

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th June 2017

Great British Menu 2017 chefs - Nick Brodie, Wales heat