York chef to star in TV’s ‘ultimate cooking competition’

20 May 2017 @ 6.25 pm
| Food & drink

One of York’s leading chefs is going whisk-to-whisk with two rivals in a TV cooking showdown next week.

Josh Overington of Walmgate restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle stars in Great British Menu, BBC2’s ‘ultimate professional cooking competition’.

It sees 24 of the nation’s top chefs compete to create the finest four-course banquet. The winner gets to cook at a prestigious Taste of Summer banquet celebrating 140 years of the Wimbledon tennis championships.

Our Josh is competing in the North East heats, which run Monday to Friday (May 22-26) at 7.30pm.

Risky dishes

Josh (centre) and Tommy Banks appear unimpressed by Danny Parker’s gesticulations

Josh is up against tough, Michelin-starred competition. Danny Parker is head chef of Newcastle restaurant House of Tides, while Tommy Banks runs The Black Swan at Oldstead in the North York Moors.

The first show of the week sees the trio compete to create the best starter.

All three take risks, with Josh pinning his hopes on an unusual use of ingredients – his dish centres on a savoury strawberry veloute.

Josh working on his dessert

On Tuesday we are on to the fish course.

Here Josh doesn’t hold back, creating a decadent dish inspired by the Wimbledon Championships. His fish stew comprises champagne, lobster, scallops and truffles.

Pressure hots up

Ready, steady, cook – wait, that’s a different show

Wednesday brings on the main course, and Josh’s dish is inspired by memories of his grandfather and his summers spent with him at family barbecues.

Hurray! Its dessert time. It’s the last chance for the chefs to secure a place cooking for the judges and so the pressure is intense.

Josh in action on Great British Menu

Our man is making a panna cotta using the flavours of foraged herbs. But only the top two chefs will go through to cook for the judges on Friday.

And who are those judges? Andi Oliver is a food broadcaster and runs her own restaurant in London, Oliver Peyton is a renowned restaurateur and writer, while Matthew Fort is a highly regarded food writer and critic.

They are joined in this round by guest judge Judy Murray, mother of Wimbledon champions Andy and Jamie.

Rising star

Josh (centre) with his Great British Menu competitors Tommy (left) and Danny

Josh previously worked at Michelin-starred The Waterside Inn in Berkshire and the The Pipe and Glass in South Dalton near Beverley.

Wanting to hone his skills he then trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris where he developed a love for French cuisine.

He opened his ‘petite French restaurant’ Le Cochon Aveugle in York in 2014 – a successor to the Blind Swine.

It showcases his modern take on bistro dining. The menu changes frequently and the diners are served ‘blind’, unaware of the dishes they’ll receive.

It has won rave reviews. Described as ‘excellent on all levels’ by Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2017, the Guardian said “This tiny, open kitchen is churning out wildly impressive stuff.”

Last year Josh and partner Victoria Roberts opened wine bar Cave du Cochon just a few doors down from the restaurant.

Best of British Josh!