Northcote head chef wins BBC2 ‘Great British Menu’ contest

Lisa Allen Great British menu North West winner
Lisa Allen Great British menu North West winner
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A CULINARY star has received further recognition of her skills by being crowned North West winner of the BBC Two’s Great British Menu for the second year. Lisa Allen, head chef of Northcote, will now represent Lancashire and the North West in the final.

Lisa said, “After winning with my starter last year, there was a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations and standards I had set myself. I am absolutely ecstatic I have the opportunity to represent the North West for a second time. It is a huge privilege and something I am extremely honoured to be able to do.”

Lisa received 34 points out of a possible 40 from Marcus Wareing which enabled her to cook for the judges. Lisa was crowned the North West winner by the Great British Menu judges, Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort. In the regional heat she beat stiff competition from Johnnie Mountain and former Northcote chef Jason Birbeck.

The menu Lisa will take to the final is crispy shoulder of suckling pig, pancakes and dip; whole salt baked sea trout to share, cockles, potato salad, fennel and samphire; barbeque “beer can” cornfed chicken, summer beans, potato skins, tear and share bread and raspberry and chocolate pavlova, sheep’s milk and nut ice cream pots.

This year the Great British Menu is working with The Big Lunch, a Big Lottery funded community street party initiative, run by The Eden Project. Last year the best part of a million people took part in a nationwide one day event that encourages people to cook and eat with their neighbours. Inspired by this, the Great British Menu chefs are battling to create spectacular sharing dishes, platters that will get everyone talking, proving food has the power to bring us all together for the best street party ever.

If Lisa makes it to the final, her dishes will be paraded down the ancient cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market in London to about 100 expectant guests.

Nigel Haworth, managing director/chef patron of Northcote and 2009 Great British Menu winner said, “Lisa has worked exceptionally hard, putting a lot of thought and effort into the brief for banquet this year, which has so far paid off. I am extremely proud of her and she is a deserving winner. Lisa represents the calibre of women chefs in the industry today and we have our fingers crossed for the national finals!”