Winning chef of Great British Menu dessert course revealed

01 April 2022 by
Winning chef of Great British Menu dessert course revealed

Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 chef de cuisine Chris McClurg, who was representing Northern Ireland, has won the dessert course on Great British Menu.

His triumphant trifle, an infusion of oloroso sherry, cocoa nibs, almond nougatine, and roasted vanilla ice cream, was inspired by the 2018 teen sitcom series, Derry Girls.

There was an added personal touch to the dish, as it paid homage to his mother's love for Derry and the pudding. The judging panel sat beside apple-green chequered tablecloths and a vintage radio in McClurg's effort to "transport [them] to [his] mum's kitchen table".

The judges were particularly impressed by the temperature contrast between the ice cream and the warm chocolate moelleux.

Chef Adam Handling, who was also participating in the dessert final, described McClurg's dessert as "a bowl full of cuddles".

McClurg, from Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, spent three years under the tutelage Jack O'Shea at his London butchery, before he became part of the team that won Number 6 a Michelin star in 2013. He was named Observer Food Monthly's Young Chef of the Year in 2018 and since 2019, he has been No6's chef de cuisine.

It was an extremely tight final between McClurg and his rival, Spencer Metzger, the Ritz London head chef who scored a double win in the previous episode for his main course and fish course, as both candidates received top marks for their desserts.

McClurg said: "I'm over the moon. I've loved every minute. That's probably my biggest Irish dish as well, so representing Northern Ireland with a homage to my mum's home country is pretty special."

McClurg and Metzger will also be joined by Sally Abé, head chef of the Pem in London, in cooking for the banquet celebrating 100 years of British broadcasting, as she was the highest scoring runner-up during nationals.

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