LIGHTNING does strike twice. Adam Reid, who reached the Great British Menu finals in 2016, is back again after pipping Hrishikesh Desai of Michelin-starred Gilpin in the North West heat of the BBC2 cook-off series.
Three years ago Adam’s ‘Golden Empire’ won through to be dessert course in the final banquet. At ‘Adam Reid at The French’ You can still taste this intricate marvel in the Initials Menu for a £20 supplement. It’s a sugar sphere, filled with a meadowsweet mousse then three different types of diced apples, then served on a bed of crumble with a granny smith snow.
It was a career-defining time for the East Manchester born chef as he took the reins from Simon Rogan at The French inside the Midland Hotel. Since when he has put his own true to the North West stamp on the food there. For £85 currently you can taste the dishes he has served up so far in GBM, following the pop music brief marking 50 years since the last time The Beatles played live as a group…
From the Beatles to Oasis (tater’ash with malt bread & beef butter); Northern Soul (almond poached cod, smoked roe sauce and leeks); Comfort food sounds good (Rhug Estate chicken, barley, sweetcorn and turnip stew: ‘Madchester’ I am the resurrection (treacle tart, clotted cream ice cream, orange and mint).
Eight chefs will finally emerge from the regional heats to continue the fight to cook at the final banquet, held this year, appropriately at Abbey Road Studios.
GBM is one stepping stone for aspiring chefs; another is the 2019 Estrelle Damm National Restaurant Awards, to be handed out in London in June. The shortlists for its three categories have been announced. Established North West figures feature in Chef’s Chef of The Year (Mark Birchall, Moor Hall) and Restaurateur of the Year (Simon Shaw, above, El Gato Negro, Canto), but the shortlist that excites is Chef To Watch.
Here you’ll find Simon Martin of Mana in Ancoats (we gave it five stars) and, just across the Yorkshire border above Sowerby Bridge, Alisdair Brooke-Taylor of The Moorcock Inn, Norland (five stars). Two astonishing young chefs. Both deserve to win.