Archive for February, 2013

The North East Heat - Great British Menu

I cannot believe it as I watched the programmes this week (yes we get to see the end result at the same time as everyone else no sneak preview!). It was so close!

I loved Friday’s programme with the judges. Having been in the chambers once before, I knew the pressure and the feeling of competing in there.

Tim Brooke Taylor from The Goodies joined as the fourth judge and this was great news for me. A childhood favourite from my younger TV viewing years. He rocks as far as I am concerned!

The programme seemed to be very even and the judges comments were mostly phenomenal.

Oliver Peyton– After eating my starter
“Great job, flying start, we are in for a good day”

Matthew Fort – After eating my fish course
“This custard doesn’t quite cut the mustard!”

Tim Brooke Taylor – After eating my fish course

Tim Brooke Taylor – And main course
“Very even but I know who is leading in my book- come on Steph!”

Pru Leith – After eating my pudding
“I love it and the biscuit is so short, perfect, highly enjoyable”

I really did give Colin a run for his money.

Here are my four recipes from the Great British Menu. As you will see they are complex and will take you a while even if you are an experienced chef. They are hard core!

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Whitby Crab Custard Pie

Behind the Fun is some Serious Game

Raspberry Blower

Great British Menu has been supporting Comic Relief . Throughout filming I have learnt much more about the work they do. Rudding Park have also been supporting Comic Relief with their Menu Relief Afternoon Tea.

Finally, I would like to thank all the team from Great British Menu for an experience I will never forget and thank you to everyone for their wonderful support.

Keep laughing!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

The ‘Main’ Event

Two courses down so onto the main course.

All three of us struggled with time. I think the  pressure got to us and we all rushed certain aspects. That’s why we lost a few points.


Jason however liked my title ‘Behind all the Fun is some Serious Game’ and there was some fantastic local produce used in my dish including the new Harrogate Blue Cheese.

I’m looking forward to tonight, you’ll be ‘blown’ away!!!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Well, the fish course. My crab custard pie was one of my favourite dishes on the Great British Menu for me but Jason just did not see it and found it “Nice”.

Nice as a Chef is a tricky word to hear! We would rather it be delicious.

Still a good score so in the middle at present.

FINAL Crab Custard Pie 033

The other chef’s fish courses were lovely and having cod tongue and potato rocks was an education.

The chefs are settling down now to the job in ‘hand’ and it is becoming a battle of wills as well as cooking.

The Whitby Crab custard pie recipe is attached here !!!!!!

I hope you enjoy tonight.

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Another year, another Great British Menu!

The North East Heat - Great British Menu

Jason Atherton is a tough judge, there is no doubt about it and I was eager to please with my starter dish “Why did the Chicken…”

The chicken was a “Herb Fed” locally reared, free range bird from Thirsk. Ed Wilkinson, the manager of the company, has a great ethos of feeding his birds on waste herbs and salad leaves that he acquires from his Aunt Alison Dodd so the herbs seemed to go well with the chicken. I served them together in a dish that set the bar high having 8 difficult components.

Jason knew I was hungry for success this time and to be honest it was really great to get a good score to start off the week.

Laughter from the Beginning

The two competitors I am up against are last year’s rivals. It is amazing that our heat has been kept to the same chefs for a second year- a true honour for me as it is my third year on Great British Menu and another chance to try to get to the banquet.

I got a great score for the dish and totally agreed with Jason’s comments on where I could improve.

Talk about hitting the ground running , it’s fab to be back on Great British Menu and the Comic Relief brief is right up my alley.

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Knowing where we have some sloe trees at Rudding Park, I helped Sarah forage in the woods in search of some sloe magic.

Setting off to the golf course!

Setting off to the golf course!

Well the golf buggy is a slightly less traditional way to forage but still great fun!

I have to be honest this year the weather has really hit the sloes so if you do not have any stocks of sloe gin you can buy some local sloe gin from http://www.sloemotion.com/

Sloes hanging on for dear life!

Sloes hanging on for dear life!

I think you will struggle to find some now so this is more of an idea how to use your sloe gin to great effect!

Sarah not so Sloe at picking!

Sarah not so Sloe at picking!

We collected sloes and wood sorrel and then headed back to the golf club and Sarah gave a brief demonstration on how easy this chocolate cup recipe is to put together.

See the recipes here….

making the chocolate cups

making the chocolate cups

Chocolate blending

Chocolate blending

We then met up with Peter the Golf Chef and he agrees this chocolate cup is fit for anyone’s specialValentine surprise.

Sarah and  golf Chef Peter

Sarah and golf Chef Peter

Let’s hope they like it!

Steph x

Read Full Post »