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Northern Ireland chefs turn up the heat in race to win Great British Menu

By Rebecca Black

Published 01/09/2015

Competition: Ben Arnold
Competition: Ben Arnold

Three of Northern Ireland's top chefs are set to battle it out this week for the chance to cook at a prestigious banquet in London.

Ben Arnold, head chef at Home Restaurant in Belfast, and Danielle Barry, head chef at Deanes Eipic, also in the city, will be joined by Chris McGowan, from Corrigan's Mayfair, in London.

They are each hoping to win the honour of competing with the best chefs from the UK to cook a dish at a special banquet to celebrate 100 years of the Women's Institute.

Competitors will be asked to show how the organisation has inspired them via four dishes they created for the BBC'S Great British Menu Northern Ireland heats.

Just one chef will be picked to go through to the final and have the chance of one of their meals being chosen for the event.

A Northern Ireland chef has not been selected to cook at a Great British Menu banquet since 2011, when Deanes at Queens head chef Chris Fearon triumphed with his Season, Shake and Curry On Coronation Chicken dish.

Ben said he was so passionate about Northern Ireland produce he had brought his own lamb to London, but it got lost so he ended up with an English one.

"I'd spent a lot of time organising and sourcing this great piece of lamb and going to the abattoir, then somehow it never made it to London," he said. "They had to get me a new lamb but sadly it wasn't from Northern Ireland."

Ben called the experience of the Great British Menu as "pretty brutal". He could not reveal which of the local chefs won but said he felt he did himself proud.

The Great British Menu continues on BBC Two tonight at 7.30pm.

Belfast Telegraph

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