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New BBC TV series to feature Alex Polizzi in chef hunt

17 April 2015 by
New BBC TV series to feature Alex Polizzi in chef hunt

The BBC Two 16-part series, Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial, will feature four establishments which are struggling to find a head chef. One outlet will be featured across four programmes each week over the next four weeks.

Owned by the Cunliffe family since 1987, Gilpin will feature in the first four episodes of the series, which starts on Monday 20 April.

Polizzi will put nine candidates at the hotel through a rigorous interview process, which will include a test of their cooking skills and a face-to-face interview. They will also be given the chance to cook their signature dish.

One of the first technical tests they will undergo will be the filleting of a halibut.

The programme intends to show that hiring a head chef can make or break a business, and that the process of selecting an individual who is both an outstanding cook and who can handle the pressure is challenging for many operators.

The four-AA-red-star, 26-bedroom Gilpin hotel won the Hotel of the Year - Independent Catey award in 2012. It was also named AA England Hotel of the Year 2011-2012 and currently holds three AA rosettes.

The Cuncliffe family said that working alongside Polizzi had been "an absolute pleasure" and they were proud to be approached to take part in the series. "Finding the right blend of culinary talent and business acumen for our restaurant has been a delicate balancing act and Alex's expertise has helped add a special dimension to what has been a unique - and very exciting - interview process," they said.

"The filming itself took place on a series of crisp winter days and the cameraman described the shots as some of the best landscape scenes they had ever done, so we are really looking forward to seeing the Lake District shown in all its fabulous glory - and of course, to being able to announce our exciting new executive chef at the end of the four programmes."

Polizzi described the Gilpin hotel as an exclusive country house hotel. "It is a close-knit family affair, built up by John and Christine Cunliffe over a quarter of a century, and has won many an award for its excellent rooms and food. Son and managing director Barney Cunliffe needs an executive head chef without an ego, who can elevate the fine dining at the restaurant and help it to gain a Michelin star."

Week two of Alex Polizzi: Chefs on Trial will feature the Miners Arms, a pub in the Forest Of Dean, owned and run by Mario and Karen Constantinides. Sam Sheffield-Dunstan's seafood restaurant, Amélies, in Portlevan, Cornwall, will be the focus of the programme in the third week; while Potli, an Indian restaurant in Hammersmith, headed by Jay Gosh and Uttam Tripathy, are set to complete the series in week four.

Cateys 2012: Hotel of the Year - Independent - Gilpin Hotel & Lake House >>

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