The Great British Menu 2014 - Northern Ireland Heat

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th April 2014

Meet the Great British Menu 2014 contestants from Northern Ireland; Will Brown, Chris McGowan and Raymond McArdle.

Will Brown

Will Brown
Will Brown 

Will took the helm of The Old School House Inn near Belfast from his parents who had run the business for 30 years. At 17 he began his career by knocking on the door of Marco Pierre White’s Mirabelle in London, where he spent 18 months. He soon began to crave home and so returned to Belfast where he spent two and a half years at Paul Rankin’s
Roscoff.

From there he returned to London for a Michelin star-studded five-year stint at The Square, Gordon Ramsey’s Maze and Bruce Poole’s The Glasshouse, before returning to Belfast and the kitchen of Dereck Creagh's The Salty Dog. The Old School House Inn is listed in the ‘Good Food Guide 2013’ and the ‘John and Sally Mckenna Guide 2013’.

It is the perfect setting for Will’s cooking style of modernised classics, expertly crafted and elegantly presented. Will lists his mother as one of his biggest inspirations and his only regret in his career is not having worked with Michael Deane.  

Chris McGowan
Chris McGowan

Chris McGowan

Chris began his career as veg prep in a hotel. Today he is the head chef of Richard Corrigan’s Corrigan’s of Mayfair. Since 2008 the restaurant has won ‘The AA London Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘BMW’s Best British Cuisine’ award.

Having previously Headed Corrigan’s Michelin-starred Lindsay House, the busy father of twins has spent almost half of his more than 20-year-long career with the Great British Menu winner Richard Corrigan, and so has inherited his ‘farm to fork’ philosophy of carefully sourced, seasonal produce.

>>> Read more about the Great British Menu contestants here

McGowan runs monthly cooking classes at Corrigan’s where he aims to inspire his students with the ingredients themselves and instill the importance of knowing where food comes from.  

Raymond McArdle

Raymond McArdle
Raymond McArdle

Raymond McArdle was ambitious from the very start of his career. The Barnardo’s ambassador began at Paul Rankin’s Roscoff of Belfast, training as a commis chef, before becoming Micheal Deane’s right hand man of seven years and head chef at Deane’s Belfast. He is praised as a driving force behind the restaurant's Michelin star and triple AA rosette success.

From there he headed the Nuremore Hotel from 2001-2011 where the restaurant was also awarded three AA rosettes. He now directs the kitchens of the top ranking Restaurant 23 of The Balmoral Hotel, Warrenpoint, and The Malt Room of Belfast (formerly Restaurant Victoria). The Belfast Telegraph says; "For McArdle, fine dining is about luscious big dishes with lots of volume, textures, flavours and Irishness."  

>>> Read more about Great British Menu 2014 here

Who do you think will win? Vote on our Facebook poll here

By Harriet Knight

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th April 2014

The Great British Menu 2014 - Northern Ireland Heat