Britain’s Best Dish – Chilli Grower Craig from www.wegrowourown.co.uk is in the final

by wegrowourown on September 16, 2010 · 0 comments

in News

Britain's Best Dish

Britain's Best Dish

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@wegrowourown) will know that I have recently appeared on Britain’s Best Dish on ITV cooking my starter of  ‘Thai Spices Mackerel with a Cucumber and Green Papaya Relish.’

I decided on this dish, so that I could use my home grown chillies.

I have so far won the Midlands Regional Heats and the Midlands Regional finals.  Footage of my previous rounds can be found on my YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/wegrowourown.

My next appearance is in the National Finals which will be shown on ITV at 5pm on 20th September

For those of you who have never seen it, it is a cooking programme that is broadcast on ITV every weekday at 5pm, and each contestant cooks one dish only. Eventually the best starter, main course and dessert cook off against each other in the final to be voted ‘Britain’s Best Dish.’

It all started off when I received an email from the production team asking me if I wanted to enter. I went along to the audition in Nottingham thinking nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, I received a call saying that I had been picked to appear on TV in the Midlands heats.

To say that I was nervous was an understatement! Although I had cooked the dish over and over again at home, the pressure of having the cameras watching my every move, together with three professional judges, one of whom has a Michelin Star to his name, sat on the other side of the studio within earshot commenting on every move got to me!

I also overcooked my mackerel so it started to disintegrate as it came out of the pan. There was no time to rescue it, so I plated it up as best as I could, and hoped for the best. I really thought that I had blown it, as the fish looked like it had been through someone else’s system before it hit the plate.

I think you can tell by the look of shock on my face when they announced the result how surprised I was to be put through to the next round!

I had very little time to get over the shock of getting through before going back down to London for the next round of filming. This time it was for the Midlands finals, and there was the added carrot of £500 being up for grabs for whoever won.

Although I knew what to expect this time, I was up against someone else who had won their heat, so the pressure was still as intense. It wasn’t helped by the delicious smells coming from the food from her side of the kitchen, as I love duck, and the dish she was creating looked and smelt gorgeous.

Again, in the line up I was thinking to myself “Oh well, I’ve had fun, and it was an experience that I would never have expected at the start of the year.” So, hopefully again that explains the look of shock on my face when my name was called out as the winner of the Midlands starters and that I was going through to represent the Midlands in the National Finals.

Oh and also that I had won £500 to boot!

The nerves then kicked in again, as not only would I be cooking off against six other cooks who had won their regional finals, but I would also be being judged by three restaurant critics as well as the three judges.

I would also be cooking in a professionally kitted out kitchen at Hackney Catering College.

So, what happened in the National Finals? Well, you will have to watch ITV at 5pm on 20th September to find out!
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