Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Head chef has a taste of success in TV cookery contest

One of Belfast chef Michael Deane's protégés is this year's winner of the Northern Ireland heat of the Great British Menu.

Chris Fearon, originally from Warrenpoint, blew away competition during the week under the watchful eye of acclaimed chef Richard Corrigan.

The 30-year-old is the head chef at Michael Deane's restaurant Deanes at Queens opposite Botanic Gardens in the south of the city.

In the first week of series six of the popular cookery competition, which was aired on Tuesday night, Chris was pitted against other Northern Irish hopefuls Chris Bell and Brian McCann.

They were then introduced to Richard Corrigan, who explained to the three chefs that the theme for the week would be sharing fun food and childhood memories.

From the start, Chris blew the other two away with his adventurous and risky chicken starter which he called ‘Season, Shake and Curry On' — a fun and engaging dish that required the diner to shake the chicken up in a bag with curry powder before eating.

Thankfully for Chris, judge Corrigan saw the funny side of it.

Chris fell at the second hurdle on Wednesday's show however, having failed to impress Corrigan with his salmon dish.

He soon bounced back though, with a pork platter called ‘Fancy Dress Piggy’ and a dessert that included a liquorice, lemon and sherbet Battenberg cake.

Chris said: “From the start I realised that I could've just done normal restaurant food and let

the judges rip a bit off to taste it, but I knew I had to do something engaging and different.”

Even though filming was intense, Chris explained how he kept his family and friends up to date with his progress: “My mum and Michael Deane were ringing me constantly, and at times I was too busy to talk, but we kept in close contact.

“When I came back on the Saturday after I'd won, Michael had the champagne on ice.”

Chris will now go up against some of the UK’s finest chefs.

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