Padstow chef represents South West in national television series
By Inhouse Studio | Friday, May 18, 2012, 11:58
Padstow's Paul Ainsworth will face his toughest challenge yet against two of the South West's leading chefs in the BBC2 series Great British Menu.
Paul will pit his culinary skills against fellow Cornish based chef Nathan Outlaw and Torquay's Simon Hulstone in the Westcountry heats, which will be shown every weekday commencing Monday 28th May at 7.30pm.
This year's challenge is to create a groundbreaking menu fit for Olympic heroes; celebrating the arrival of the London 2012 Olympics and demonstrating the extraordinary Olympian heights the talented chefs can reach.
Having won the South West heat last year and making it through to The People's Banquet with his dessert 'A Taste of the Fairground', the pressure is on this year for Paul to create a menu fit for champions.
The highly regarded chef, who owns Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 as well as Italian restaurant Rojano's in the Square, said: "I found this year's competition extremely tough, there was a lot more pressure being a champion from last year.
"It was a really good brief and a brilliant thing to be a part of. You had to make groundbreaking dishes with amazing touches and flavour, so it was really pushing all the chefs out of their comfort zones."
Paul Ainsworth is appearing in the series Great British Menu, currently airing on BBC2.
Paul will be cooking against Nathan Outlaw, whose two Michelin star restaurant is based across the Camel Estuary in Rock, and has also been named the best fish restaurant by the Good Food Guide in 2011. Nathan is no stranger to the competition having previously won the South West heat in the 2010 series.
Also taking part is Simon Hulstone, who holds a Michelin star at his Torquay restaurant The Elephant. Simon is a newcomer to Great British Menu, but he is an experienced competition chef having represented his country more than 20 times, most recently in the Bocuse d'Or.
For Paul to make it to the national finals he must impress judge Tom Kerridge with his menu consisting of 'Breakfast of Champions', 'Monkfish "Two Showings"', 'Wishful Chicken' and dessert 'Then & Now'.
Tom will choose the two chefs who will then face the Great British Menu judging panel of Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort in the regional final on Friday 1st June.
Cornwall is well represented in this year's competition with Nathan and Paul highlighting the foodie credentials of the Camel Estuary.
Paul said: "Nathan is a great sport and a brilliant chef. Lots of people think we are rivals because our restaurants are across the water, but we are good friends.
"I respect Nathan a huge amount and I really love what he does, it was just like cooking with a good friend, it wasn't daggers at dawn."
Paul is one of 24 of the country's finest chefs competing for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a world-beating four course menu at a prestigious event at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave will host the gala event with a glittering guest list of British sporting greats.