Meet the four finalists in the Great British Menu 2010

by Kerstin Kühn, Thursday 1st July 2010 17:03

The recent series of the BBC's Great British Menu was all about celebrating the best local produce from around Britain. Kerstin Kühn and Neil Gerrard caught up with the four finalists who cooked a banquet for Prince Charles and the nation's top suppliers.

The latest series of the BBC's Great British Menu was - more than ever - all about celebrating local food. And unlike previous series, where chefs were given the chance to showcase their own suppliers, this time around the contestants were tasked with sourcing their ingredients from a National Trust property in their region.

The competing chefs, who included a host of veteran Great British Menu contestants as well as a group of newcomers to the show, had to scour the farms, estates and surrounding neighbourhoods of a nearby historic property to unearth the very finest produce, celebrating Britain's home-grown food.

They each created a four-course menu to win the chance to cook for Prince Charles (president of the National Trust) and the Duchess of Cornwall, together with some of the nation's best food producers, farmers and fishermen, at the final banquet.

After two months of battling it out in regional and national heats, Lisa Allen, Kenny Atkinson, Tom Kerridge and Niall McKenna were chosen by judges Matthew Fort, Prue Leith and Oliver Peyton to cook the banquet, which was held at the National Trust's Assembly Rooms in Bath.


LISA ALLEN

Lisa Allen is the head chef at Nigel Haworth's Michelin-starred Northcote in Blackburn, Lancashire. She is the first woman to reach the final and cook a course for the banquet in Great British Menu.

Allen sourced her ingredients from Sizergh Castle in Cumbria and prepared the starter at the banquet - wild rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli.

How did you come to enter Great British Menu?

Nigel Haworth took part in last year's series of Great British Menu and when the crew came to film at Northcote I met some of them. Nigel also put me forward for this year's show. It was such an honour to be asked to take part and represent my region.

You are the first woman in the history of the programme to not only go through to the final but also to the main banquet. How do you feel?

It feels amazing. To be honest, at first it was really nerve-wracking but to be the first woman to go through to the final really blew me away.

Was it hard to hold your own among all the boys in the kitchen?

I think I did OK. All of them are such fantastic chefs and it was just a great experience to cook alongside them. We all got on really well and many of the people I met, especially the guys from the banquet, are now close friends.

I would definitely encourage other female chefs to take part in the show. All you have to do is get out there and do what you do every day and cook your heart out. I think anyone can do really well in the show as long as they give their best.

Tell us about your dish - wild rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli

I wanted to create a dish that was really British. I chose rabbit because there were a lot of them around in the area and it's an ingredient that is so underrated. I decided to make piccalilli because, again, it's very British and the vegetables I used are all the kinds of things that rabbits eat.

I also wanted to give the dish a bit of a twist so I decided to wrap the rabbit up in pastry and make a turnover, which is also a very British thing and something people can relate to.

How did things go at the banquet? What was it like to cook for Prince Charles and so many producers?

It was very, very memorable to cook for royalty and all those producers. The suppliers are responsible for producing the fantastic ingredients - us chefs simply turn the ingredients into dishes.

I think everything at the banquet went really well and that's because we worked incredibly well together. We were such a good team; everyone helped each other out during service and it was like working in a professional kitchen.

Would you go on the show again?

Definitely. It was such a great experience for me to go out there and challenge myself and meet all those new people. I really had an amazing time doing it.


WILD RABBIT AND LEEK TURNOVER WITH PICCALILLI 


INGREDIENTS
(Serves four)

For the rough puff pastry

• 900g white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
• 665g unsalted softened butter, diced
• 12g salt
• 1tsp caster sugar
• 3tbs lemon juice
• 210ml water

For the piccalilli

• 400ml white wine vinegar, preferably Chardonnay
• 200ml water
• 120g sugar
• 1tsp English mustard
• 1tsp ground turmeric
• 16 baby carrots, peeled, tops removed
• 16 cauliflower florets
• 200g cucumber, diced
• 4 spring onions, sliced into long strips

For the leek and onion stuffing

• Knob of butter
• 100g leek, white part only, finely shredded
• 30g onion, peeled, finely diced
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 60g whipping cream
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1tsp chopped fresh chives

For the dressing

• 200ml piccalilli juices, see above
• ½tsp potato flour, mixed with ½tsp water

For the turnover

• 2 x 300g rabbit saddles
• Salt and white pepper
• 4 slices ham, preferably Cumbrian
• 1 free-range egg, beaten

To serve

• 50g watercress leaves, preferably organic


METHOD

For the rough puff pastry

Blend the flour and 165g of the butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the remaining butter and blend for 2-3 minutes, or until just combined.

Mix the salt, sugar, lemon juice and water together in a bowl. With the motor running, slowly add the water mixture to the flour mixture until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead lightly for 2-3 minutes. Shape the pastry into a flat square, wrap in clingfilm and set aside to rest in the fridge overnight.

Roll the rested dough out on a lightly floured work surface into a large rectangle 1cm thick. Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle into the centre, folding the pastry into a third of its size. Turn the pastry a quarter-turn clockwise and carefully roll out again into the same size rectangle as the one you started with. Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle into the centre, folding the pastry into a third of its size. Repeat the turning, rolling and folding process 2 more times.

For the piccalilli

Heat the vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the English mustard and turmeric. Set aside. Cook the carrots and cauliflower florets in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then refresh in a bowl of iced water and drain again.

Mix the carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, spring onions and vinegar mixture together in a bowl. Cover and set aside to marinate for one day.

For the leek and onion stuffing

Melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, add the leek and onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic, cream, salt and pepper and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Stir in the chives.

For the dressing

Drain 200ml of the piccalilli liquid and heat in a saucepan until boiling. Whisk in the potato flour mixture. Cool, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside to chill in the fridge.

For the turnover

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Using a sharp knife, remove the loins from the rabbit saddles and cut each loin in half. Season each loin piece, to taste, with salt and white pepper. Spoon some of the leek and onion stuffing mixture onto each piece of rabbit loin and wrap in a slice of ham.

Roll the puff pastry out to ½cm thick and cut out 4 x 11cm square pieces. Place the wrapped rabbit loin into the middle of each piece of puff pastry and brush the edges with a little beaten egg. Fold the pastry over, pinch the sides together, being careful not to create any air pockets, cut away any excess pastry, and seal the sides together with the rear side of a fork. With a sharp knife, make three small cuts on the top of each turnover and place onto the baking tray. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush each turnover with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown.

To serve

Place 2 spoonfuls of piccalilli onto the left-hand side of each serving plate and spoon a little of the dressing alongside the piccalilli. Place a turnover onto each plate and garnish with watercress.


KENNY ATKINSON

Kenny Atkinson is chef-patron at his eponymous restaurant at the Orangery at Rockliffe Hall in County Durham. He reached the banquet for the second year in a row and cooked the fish course sourcing his ingredients from Wallington in Northumberland.

How did you feel cooking in Great British Menu for the second time?

I really enjoyed it but in a way I was under a lot more pressure because I had a lot to lose. I really wanted to make it through to the final and didn't want to get knocked out so I really had to give it my all.

I was quite intimidated when I found out who I was up against, especially Lee Bennett, whose CV includes roles with Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire. I think in the end he didn't perform as well as he wanted to and I went through. It's a different environment to the one we're used to in our kitchens - you don't have your team there to support you and it's hard to have the cameras trained on you all the time.

What was the hardest part of the series?

The sourcing was the most difficult. In previous series you could pretty much cook what you wanted as long as it was local and seasonal so last year I used a lot of the suppliers from my restaurant. But this year we were really restricted as we had to source everything from around the estate we were given so finding the right suppliers was a good treasure hunt.

Tell us about your fish dish

Initially I wanted to do rainbow trout but the quality of the trout just wasn't good enough so a week before the regional finals I had to find an alternative. I was going to use gooseberries for my dessert but then I found a recipe from the late 1880s by Mary Smith who was the house cook at Wallington. The recipe was for potted mackerel with gooseberry chutney and it seemed like a nice quirky dish to recreate.

You burnt some of your mackerel at the banquet - how much did that throw you off course?

I had a few problems at the banquet as the bread was dry and I struggled to get the mackerel. Because of unusually cold weather, my supplier in the North East couldn't get hold of any mackerel.

He drove all the way to Cornwall for me to try and find some, but ended up having to buy from a wholesaler, so they were really tiny. So I had to pan-fry them each to order, which was a real challenge, and I did burn two. But it wasn't nearly as bad as the cameras made it out to be - they just kept focusing on the two burnt pieces of fish I'd set aside.

Would you do the show again?

Having done it twice now, I wouldn't want to do it again - I'd have more to lose than to gain from the competition. The BBC did ask me to compete again next year but I declined, although I would love to get involved as the mentor for the North East.


MACKEREL WITH PICKLED GOOSEBERRIES, GOOSEBERRY WINE JELLY AND GOOSEBERRY PUREE


INGREDIENTS
(Serves four)

For the pickled gooseberries

• 100ml water
• 120ml gooseberry wine
• 300ml white wine vinegar
• 100ml rapeseed oil
• 160g caster sugar
• 1 lemon, juice and zest
• 1tsp mustard seeds
• 1tsp black peppercorns
• 200g gooseberries
• 2 sprigs fresh tarragon

For the lemon oil

• 6 lemons, zest only
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• 1.7 litres rapeseed oil

For the gooseberry wine jelly

• 500ml gooseberry wine
• 100g caster sugar
• 1tsp agar agar flakes

For the mackerel

• 2 x 600g mackerel, filleted, pin-bones removed
• Sea salt
• 1tbs English mustard
• 1 small loaf white bread, crust removed, frozen then sliced as thinly as possible
• 1tbs rapeseed oil

For the gooseberry purée

• 500g gooseberries
• 100g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
• ½ lemon, juice only
• 25ml double cream

For the pickled lemon zest

• 1 lemon, peel only, pith removed, sliced thinly
• 200g caster sugar
• 200ml water
• 200ml white wine vinegar

To serve

• 50g mustard cress or shiso cress


METHOD

For the pickled gooseberries

Heat the water, wine, vinegar, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice, mustard seeds and peppercorns until boiling. Add the gooseberries and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the tarragon and set aside to pickle overnight. Drain the gooseberries, remove the tarragon sprigs and set aside.

For the lemon oil

Heat the lemon zest, thyme and rapeseed oil. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to infuse for four hours. Strain the liquid and discard the lemon zest and thyme.

For the gooseberry wine jelly

Line a 10x6cm tray with clingfilm. Heat the wine, sugar and agar agar flakes in a pan, whisking slowly, until boiling and the agar agar has dissolved. Continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 80°C (use a digital thermometer to check this).

Pour the jelly into the tray and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or until set. Cut the jelly into 1.5cm cubes.

For the mackerel

Season with salt and set aside for three minutes. Pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper. Place two of the mackerel fillets, head-to-tail, onto a large piece of clingfilm. Roll the fillets up tightly to form a sausage shape in the clingfilm. Repeat with the remaining mackerel fillets. Chill in the fridge for one hour.

Remove the clingfilm and brush the mackerel fillets with a little English mustard. Wrap the mackerel fillets in the slices of bread and wrap again tightly in the clingfilm. Cut the mackerel fillets into 3cm slices and remove the clingfilm.

For the gooseberry purée

Place all of the ingredients into a vacuum pack bag and cook in a pan of simmering water for 30 minutes. Carefully open the bag and blend the contents in a blender to a smooth purée. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and transfer to a plastic squeezy bottle.

For the pickled lemon zest

Cook the lemon strips in a pan of simmering water for two minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes; add the lemon zest and simmer for a further five minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for a further four minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Drain the pickled lemon zest and set aside to cool.

To serve

Preheat the oven to 80°C. Place the diced jelly onto a tray and warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and fry the mackerel, turning regularly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown and crisp.

Pipe a line of gooseberry purée onto each of four serving plates. Arrange the diced jelly and pickled gooseberries in a line next to the purée and garnish the jelly with the pickled lemon zest and cress leaves. Arrange two discs of the breaded mackerel next to the jelly and finish with a little drizzle of lemon oil.


TOM KERRIDGE

Tom Kerridge is the chef-proprietor of the Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers pub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He prepared the main course at the banquet and sourced his produce from Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

How did you come to enter the competition?

I was approached to enter it three years ago but I was working in my old kitchen at the time which wasn't the most TV-friendly of spaces so I didn't do it.

They kept me on file and then I screen-tested last year but didn't get through because they chose Mark Sargeant. But this year they obviously decided I was right for the show.

How did you find working in front of a TV crew?

It wasn't that bad. I've done quite a few cookery demonstrations so it wasn't too much of a problem, but it is a different environment - it is quite pressurised and stressful. The stress and the pain that you see on all those contestants' faces is real. We are not actors; we are chefs!

Did you have a favourite dish?

I really liked Nathan's dish of lamb with mint jelly; it was really tasty. And Lisa's starter of rabbit turnover was phenomenal. Of the dishes I tasted they were the ones that stood out. But Anthony Demetre's starter with the lamb's testicles was fantastic as well.

Tell us about your main course of slow-cooked duck with duck fat chips and gravy

I had to source my produce from Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and the surrounding area. When I had a good look at the farms and the producers that were around, the duck from Aylesbury stuck out like a big shining beacon.

I didn't think anyone had won on the show with a duck dish before so it was an opportunity to showcase someone local who was producing a fantastic product.

How did you feel when you found out you had got through to the final?

To be honest, I thought I was going out on the Thursday. I got so much of my dessert wrong but I pulled it together at the end and pipped Tristan to the post. But as I went into the Friday something different happened and instead of feeling like a competition, it felt like a normal kitchen and I felt much more at home.

I had one of the best days I've ever had in a kitchen on the Friday when it was me against Anthony. I've never laughed so hard - my sides were hurting.

By the end of the Friday evening, when we went into the judging process to be told who had won, neither of us minded who went through because we knew we'd lost to someone who was very good.

Would you do the show again?

Absolutely. It was a phenomenal experience and a real emotional rollercoaster. Coming out the other side as a winner of the main course was absolutely phenomenal.

I put my main course on at the Hand & Flowers at the weekend for £22.50 and I sold 110 portions, which is great considering we are only a 45-cover restaurant. We sold 210 portions in the second week - so it has had a phenomenal impact on the business. It was a fantastic experience from a business point of view - it really raises your profile.


SLOW-COOKED DUCK WITH DUCK FAT CHIPS AND GRAVY



INGREDIENTS
(Serves four)

• 1 large Aylesbury duck

For the duck legs and peas

• 1 whole star anise
• ½ stick cinnamon
• 10 black peppercorns
• 1tsp coriander seeds
• 1tsp fennel seeds
• 1tbs rock salt
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 1 litre duck fat
• 4tbs clear honey
• 2 large banana shallots, peeled and finely diced
• Knob of butter
• 500g cooked peas
• 100ml brown chicken stock, or beef stock
• 2 Little Gem lettuces, finely sliced
• 20 fresh mint leaves, sliced into thin strips
• 1 punnet pea shoots, to serve

For the duck breasts

• 3tsp ground mace
• 1tbs vegetable oil
• 2tbs clear honey
• 50g unsalted butter

For the gravy

• 1tbs vegetable oil
• 4 carrots, peeled, chopped into 3cm pieces
• 4 celery stalks, chopped into 3cm pieces
• 1 onion, peeled, chopped into 3cm pieces
• 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
• 150g clear honey
• 4 cloves
• 2 litres brown chicken stock
• 500g unsalted butter
• 1 lemon, juice only

For the duck fat chips

• 15 large potatoes, cut into wedges using an apple corer
• 5 litres rendered duck fat, for deep frying


METHOD

Prepare the duck by removing the legs and wings and set aside. Take out the wishbone and remove any excess fat and skin. Remove the backbone to leave the crown (keep the bones for the duck gravy).

For the duck legs and peas

Preheat the oven to 130°C. Tie the star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel seeds up in a piece of muslin cloth. Place the reserved duck legs, rock salt, bay leaves and muslin bag of spices into a lidded pan and cover with the duck fat.

Bring the mixture to the boil, cover with a lid and roast in the oven for 3-3½ hours, or until the duck is tender. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the duck breasts

Score the skin on the duck crown and rub in the ground mace. Fry the duck crown in a pan, skin-side down, until the fat has rendered out and the skin is crisp and golden-brown. Remove the duck crown from the pan and set aside to cool.

Place the duck crown into a vacuum pack bag, seal with the vacuum pack machine and place into a water bath set at 62°C for 1½ hours. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Remove the duck breasts from the crown and fry, skin-side down for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Add the honey and butter to the pan and turn the duck breasts over until covered in the honey mixture.

Remove the duck breasts from the pan and set aside. Meanwhile, continue to cook the honey mixture until it caramelises and pour over the duck breasts. Keep warm.

For the gravy

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Chop the reserved bones and place into a flameproof roasting tin; add the reserved wings and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the carrots for 5-10 minutes, or until almost black. Add the celery, onion and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove the bones from the tray and add to the saucepan.

Drain off any excess fat from the pan, add the honey and cloves and cook until the honey caramelises. Deglaze the pan with a little of the chicken stock. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pan and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and skim off any excess fat.

Measure 1 litre of the gravy into a saucepan, add the butter and return the pan to the heat. Cook the gravy until emulsified and reduced slightly. Season, to taste, with lemon juice.

Meanwhile, remove the duck legs from the fat and place, skin-side down, into an ovenproof frying pan. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside; add the honey and continue to cook until the honey has caramelised. Pour the caramelised honey onto the duck legs and set aside to cool.

Fry the shallots in the butter for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the peas, chicken stock, lettuce and mint. Flake the meat from the duck legs and add to the pan. Divide the duck leg and pea mixture between four small bowls or pots and garnish with the pea shoots.

For the duck fat chips

Blanch the chips in a pan of salted boiling water, for 4-5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. Half-fill a deep, heavy-based saucepan with the duck fat and heat to 140°C. Fry the chips for 8-10 minutes, or until the oil stops bubbling, which means that the moisture has been removed. Remove the chips from the oil and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

Heat the oil to 180°C and fry the chips for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove the chips from the oil, set aside to drain on kitchen paper and season to taste with salt.

To serve

Slice the duck breasts lengthways and serve with the chips, duck legs and peas, and gravy.


NIALL MCKENNA

Niall McKenna is chef-proprietor of the James Street South restaurant in Belfast and represented Northern Ireland in the final of Great British Menu. He cooked the dessert at the banquet, and his ingredients came from Castle Ward in County Down.

What was it like being in front of the cameras all the time?

The first day was really difficult - I was useless and all over the place - but I quickly relaxed into it and from the second day it was fine. You never forget that the cameras are there - after all, it is a TV show - and the producers are always there, talking to you, asking questions so it's constantly in the back of your head.

The hardest part was juggling the cooking with being pulled away to answer questions and taste the other chefs' dishes. It made it quite difficult to concentrate on the cooking.

What was your favourite dish of the series?

I think all of the food was fantastic. The standard throughout the competition was extremely high and there was so much flavour to all of the dishes. But I'd say Kenny's mackerel dish was my favourite. Mackerel is such an underrated fish but the flavour of his dish was just unbelievable.

Tell us about your dessert - poached rhubarb with strawberry jelly, yellow man and lavender ice-cream. Why did you choose this dish?

Using these ingredients was the only way of keeping it local. Rhubarb and strawberries were growing near Castle Ward and lavender was growing on the estate. I wanted to create a simple, clean dessert and I love lavender.

What was the most challenging part of the series?

The hardest part was the banquet - I took four days to recover. Because of the volcanic ash cloud I wasn't able to fly to the banquet on the Monday as planned, as all flights were cancelled. So I caught a taxi from Belfast to Dublin, the ferry to Holyhead, then the train to Cardiff and a taxi to Bath. I left at 7am on Sunday and arrived at 12.45am the next day.

At the banquet there wasn't enough space in the kitchen and it was so hot that my dessert was melting after just 30 seconds on the plate. I moved to the other side of the building and had to run backwards and forwards. I think I lost about a stone and a half.

You also had some problems sourcing the strawberries for the banquet

There had been really cold weather and I hunted everywhere for strawberries - I even looked through the Yellow Pages. The day after the banquet everyone had strawberries but before it was an absolute nightmare to get hold of any.

Luckily I found this fantastic small farmer who was growing strawberries in a greenhouse and they were beautiful.

Has your appearance on the show made an impact on your business?

Yes it has - not a massive impact, but we've definitely noticed the difference. Belfast is very small and there are lots of restaurants so there's a lot of competition. We have seen a change in business and we have a lot of new customers. We're serving the dishes from Great British Menu both as a set menu paired with wine and also on the à la carte.


POACHED RHUBARB WITH STRAWBERRY JELLY, YELLOW MAN AND LAVENDER ICE-CREAM


INGREDIENTS

(Serves four)

For the sugar syrup

• 200ml water
• 350g sugar
• 150ml mead
• 2 vanilla pods

For the poached rhubarb

• 4 rhubarb stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways

For the strawberry jelly

• 800g ripe strawberries, chopped
• 50g caster sugar
• 3 vanilla pods, seeds removed
• 6 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water, drained

For the lavender ice-cream

• 350ml whole milk
• 600ml double cream
• 1tbs chopped fresh lavender
• 4 free-range egg yolks
• 150g caster sugar

For the tuile

• 300g caster sugar
• 20g glucose

For the yellow man (honeycomb)

• 165g caster sugar
• 60g glucose
• 60g runny honey
• 40ml water
• 20g bicarbonate of soda

METHOD

For the sugar syrup

Heat all the sugar syrup ingredients in a pan, stirring regularly, until the sugar has melted. Remove the vanilla pods and set the syrup aside.

For the poached rhubarb

Place the rhubarb into a vacuum pack with 175ml of sugar syrup and seal with the vacuum pack machine. Place the sealed bag into a water bath set at 80°C for eight minutes. Remove from the water bath and set aside to cool.

Remove the rhubarb and reserve the syrup. Cut the rhubarb into 0.5cm dice. Line the bottom of four chefs' moulds with the rhubarb and leave to chill in the fridge.

For the strawberry jelly

Mix the strawberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and 150ml of sugar syrup in a bowl until well combined. Cover with cling film, set over a pot of simmering water and steam for 45 minutes. Strain the strawberry mixture through a sieve.

Measure 500ml of the liquid and stir in the gelatine leaves until dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve and pour into the moulds. Chill in the fridge for eight hours, or overnight.

For the lavender ice-cream

Heat the milk, cream and lavender in a pan until simmering. Remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and thick. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the eggs and return the mixture to the pan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Do not let the mixture boil.) Sieve the mixture into a clean bowl and set it over another bowl filled with ice. Set aside to cool, then churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice-cream to a plastic container and store in the freezer.

For the tuile

Preheat the oven to 240°C. Gently heat the sugar and glucose until the mixture becomes caramel. Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat and set aside to cool. When cooled, blend the mixture to a fine powder in a food processor.

Place a rectangular biscuit cutter onto a baking tray, sieve the powder into the cutter and repeat three more times to make four rectangles. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully shape into cylinders by wrapping the biscuits around a lightly oiled plastic rolling pin. Set aside to cool and transfer to an airtight container.

For the yellow man

Line a baking tray with silicone baking paper. Heat the sugar, glucose, honey and water in a saucepan, stirring continuously, over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 170°C (use a sugar thermometer to check this). Carefully whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. (The mixture will increase in volume; do not leave the pan unattended.)

Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and set aside to harden. Once hardened, break the honeycomb into small pieces.

To serve

Place the rhubarb and strawberry jelly onto a serving plate, with a tuile alongside. Roll a scoop of lavender ice-cream in the honeycomb pieces and place it on the plate. Drizzle over the reserve rhubarb syrup.



GREAT BRITISH MENU LINE-UP

LONDON 
Tom Kerridge The Hand & Flowers, Marlow (finalist)
Anthony Demetre Arbutus, London
Tristan Welch Lauceston Place, London
Judge: Jason Atherton


CENTRAL
Will Holland La Becasse, Shropshire (finalist)
Daniel Clifford Midsummer House, Cambridge
Richard Bramble Morston Hall, Norfolk
Judge: Glynn Purnell Purnell's, Birmingham


NORTH EAST
Kenny Atkinson Rockliffe Hall, Co Durham (finalist)
Lee Bennett Le Pont de la Tour, London
Tim Bilton Butchers Arms, Hepworth, Yorkshire
Judge: Nigel Haworth Northcote, Lancashire, and Ribble Valley Inns


SCOTLAND
Alan Murchison Paris House, Woburn (finalist)
Tony Singh Oloroso, Edinburgh
Michael Smith The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
Judge: Jeremy Lee Blueprint Café, London


WALES
Aled Williams Plas Bodegroes, Gwynedd (finalist)
James Sommerin The Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouthshire
Richard Davies Bybrook Restaurant, Manor House Hotel, Wiltshire
Judge: Stephen Terry The Hardwick, Abergavenny


NORTH WEST
Lisa Allen Northcote, Lancashire (finalist)
Aiden Byrne The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire
Johnnie Mountain Mosaica Restaurant at the Factory, London
Judge: Marcus Wareing Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London


SOUTH WEST
Nathan Outlaw Nathan Outlaw Seafood and Grill at St Enodoc Hotel in Rock (finalist)
John Hooker Browns Hotel, Tavistock, Devon
Henry Herbert Coach & Horses, Clerkenwell, London
Judge: Michael Caines Gidleigh Park, Devon


NORTHERN IRELAND
Niall McKenna James Street South, Belfast (finalist)
Brian McCann Shu restaurant, Belfast
Derek Creagh formerly of Deane's restaurant, Belfast
Judge: Richard Corrigan Corrigan's Mayfair, London


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