Just when we were excited about Great British Bake Off, another cooking show came to surprise us – and there are chefs from Edinburgh in the mix.
The seventeenth series of the BBC show will start on Monday February 22 and will be broadcast three times a week on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and Thursdays at 8 p.m. – so that’s a lot of tasty TV to get your teeth into. !
This week’s four chefs are a mix of exciting new talent and strong competitive returns.
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Last year’s runner-up Stuart Ralston, who is head chef at fine dining restaurant Aizle and Noto in Edinburgh, is determined to go further, as is Dundee-born Adam Handling, Gleneagles youngest apprentice and award-winning restaurateur from The Frog in Covent Garden, The Loch and Tyne in Windsor and Ugly Butterfly in Cornwall, which is dedicated to a zero waste philosophy in its kitchen.
The first of the new arrivals is Calum Montgomery, born and bred on the Isle of Skye, who is the chef patron of Edinbane Lodge, a 16th century hunting lodge with a 3 rosette restaurant which he runs on the island of Skye.
Finally, there’s Fraser Smith, head chef at Angels with Bagpipes on Edinburgh’s most iconic street, The Royal Mile, who brings his creative, seasonal style to the competition.
This year’s theme celebrates 100 years of British broadcasting.
So what about the two competing Edinburgh chefs? Learn more here.
Fraser Smith – Head Chef at Angels with Bagpipes
Fraser may not have worked in any Michelin-starred restaurants, but he’s confident his seasonal and creative dishes will impress any seasoned judge.
Cool and calm under pressure, Fraser is determined to prove himself in the GBM kitchen.
Fraser started cooking when he was just 14 and spent eight years working on and off with Ian McNaught at the Roman Camp Hotel, which has held 3 rosettes for over 20 years.
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Fraser credits Ian with being one of his biggest inspirations and passion for good food today.
Fraser is now proud to be the head chef of Angels with Bagpipes on Edinburgh’s most iconic street, the Royal Mile.
Fraser creates a visual rabbit dish inspired by the children’s show “Down on the Farm” as well as an impressive monochrome cod dish that mirrors the first live transmission of the Epsom Derby.
Stuart Ralston – Chief Patron of Aizle and Noto
Stuart returns to the kitchen of The Great British Menu for his second consecutive year. After showing up to the judges last year, he has the resolve to go all the way to the banquet this time.
Stuart brings a wealth of expertise to the competition, having worked in prestigious restaurants including Gordon Ramsay (2*) in New York and catering for VIPs at the exclusive Sandy Lane in Barbados.
Growing up in Glenrothes, Stuart’s father came from a family of chefs. Cooking is therefore something close to his heart.
After an eclectic career at home and abroad, Stuart returned to Scotland and opened Aizle, a fine dining restaurant in Edinburgh which serves a carefully curated tasting menu, and Noto, a wine bar offering delicious tasting dishes. inspired by his stay in New York.
Stuart describes his style of cooking as natural and organic with Japanese and Asian flavors and techniques.
This year, Stuart turns to Scotland’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’ program to inspire a beautifully earthy autumnal dish, and to the BBC’s ‘Coast’, where he aims to create the ultimate ode to the seafood pantry. Scottish.
How does the contest work?
Chefs will compete from nations and regions such as: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions of SW, NW, NE, Central and SE (including London) .
In weeks one through eight, four chefs representing a nation or region will compete each week to cook canapés, appetizers, fish dishes, mains, pre-desserts and desserts.
A chef is eliminated at the end of the first episode each week after cooking the fish course. Another chef leaves the competition at the end of Desserts, which is the second episode of the week. That leaves only the two chefs with the highest scores who have to cook their entire menu for the judges in the final episode of the week.
The judges must then choose a winner to represent their nation or region. Each week, the regular judges are joined by a fourth guest judge, related to the theme.
During finals week, the eight finalists compete against each other. A winner will be chosen each day to cook either their starter, their fish dish, their main course or their dessert. The highest-scoring runner-up who has not won any of the four dishes may cook the canapé and pre-dessert at the banquet.
The Great British Menu 2022 series begins Tuesday February 22 on BBC Two at 8 p.m.