They like putting themselves through it at Rudding Park. We’ve just heard that consultant chef Stephanie Moon and sous chef Robert Hutchins are taking part in two of the most high profile competitions in the country.
Hutchins has reached the finals of the Roux Scholarship. The winner who gets a three month stage at a 3-Michelin starred restaurant ‘anywhere in the world’, is invariably launched on a glittering career. Hutchins competed against 18 eager young hopefuls from places like the Ritz and Pont de la Tour and is now down to the last six. The finals take place in April. Congratulations and good luck from Squidbeak..
When Stephanie Moon took part in last year’s Great British Menu on BBC2, she claimed it was the toughest and most stressful thing she had ever done. But like childbirth she must have forgotten the pain and only remembered the joys. She didn’t reach the final, but won through a few rounds and the judges loved her inspired pudding that was a Jackson Pollock affair eaten straight off the table.
For 2012, the producers claim that they’ve brought together ‘the biggest names in the culinary world’ to prepare an Olympic Feast. Steph is back and competing with her in the north east regional round are Colin McGurran of Winteringham Fields and Charlie Larkin of the Marquis restaurant in Kent. Kent? He’s a Yorkshireman whose served time at the Star at Harome and the Feversham Arms.
Now into its seventh series, Great British Menu is uncannily similar to ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish’ in which our Mandy was an esteemed judge and managed to offend one of the country’s supposed top chefs by suggesting his Squidbeaky pudding – a plate of dinky dibs and dabs needed more focus, a tart maybe. He replied acidly that he hadn’t done that sort of thing since the 1980s. If either gets invited back, we’ll let you know.