Historically, Britain has not had the greatest reputation regarding food. You'll have heard stories of over-cooked, burnt or boiled beef. The home of the classic “meat and two veg” which usually meant a slab of meat served with soggy, dull vegetables lacking in colour and taste. However, those days are long gone and now Britain has fully embraced the gastronomic delights of other cultures. This has a led to an exciting diversity that makes the current British culinary experience extremely rewarding. Not only have we borrowed from other cultures, we've also revived and reinvented our own classic dishes from shepherd’s pie, beef wellington and fish and chips to the great British pudding, be that rice pudding, bread and butter pudding or sticky toffee pudding. Let’s take a brisk culinary journey across Britain. Videos from Great British Chefs demonstrate how some of Britain’s best chefs source fine local ingredients to create wonderful dishes for their restaurants: South West Award winning chef Paul Ainsworth is known for his fresh and imaginative dishes. He blends fashionable ingredients and techniques with familiar, comforting touches and well-sourced fine foodstuffs.
With Padstow becoming one of the UK’s most-visited destinations for food lovers, Paul Ainsworth's Number 6 has carved out a niche as a friendly place which makes full use of the wealth of great local ingredients and aims to be inclusive to all. London Few will require an introduction to Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing, head chef at The Berkeley and The Gilbert Scott. He’s one of the country’s most revered professionals, who has long stamped out a reputation for near-perfection.
On the menu at The Gilbert Scott you can expect to find food influenced by ‘the pioneering and skilled cooks of old time England, such as Florence White, Isabelle Beeton, Agnes Marshall and John Nott’. This takes the form of delightfully retro and recognisable dishes like Lincolnshire haslet, partridge terrine with blackberries and girolles; mulligatawny with quail and onion rings; and smoked Welsh rarebit. West Josh Eggleton is a bit of a culinary prodigy, having won his first Michelin star aged just 27 - only a few years after becoming a Head Chef. Eggleton’s career started at his local fish and chip shop when he was 15. In this video he takes time to outline his unique approach to food:
After becoming a Gordon Ramsay Scholar in 2003 (which involved taking in the culinary cultures of Sicily, America and France), Eggleton returned to Chew Magna near Bristol to transform The Pony & Trap kitchen into the Michelin starred enterprise it is today. The restaurant delivers both the perfect steak and more playful creations like a Pimm’s jelly with cucumber sorbet. Scotland Langoustine with white chocolate; sweetbreads and buckwheat; smoked salmon and caramelised cauliflower and smoked konbu – Martin Wishart is a chef with a wide-ranging culinary curiosity, which he uses to show off superb Scottish core ingredients to brilliant effect.
In the video above Martin shows us how to expertly prepare fresh sea bream. Inspired? Visit Great British Chefs for over 1,000 recipes from these chefs and many more to create at home. This is a guest blog post by Mecca Ibrahim, Head of Social Media at Great British Chefs (the featured image is of bread and butter pudding, and is by Paul Ainsworth)