Exclusive Interviews

Deanes Eipic Head Chef Danni Barry discusses the pressures of Great British Menu

Today, we’re delighted to bring you our very first interview on Leeds Foodie!

Followers of the blog will know that we’re huge fans of Great British Menu. This week is Northern Irish week and it’s already turned out to be a classic, with some awesome cooking coming out of that pressure cooker of a kitchen!

Danni Barry, Head Chef at Deanes Eipic and one of the chefs cooking this week on Great British Menu, was kind enough to take a few moments out to speak to us. Here’s what she had to say!

D Barry


What inspired you to compete on Great British Menu 2015?

I have always been a fan of the Great British Menu, and always keen for a challenge. Moving back home to Northern Ireland this year I was delighted to be given an opportunity to represent the region and with the brief being about Inspiring Women, it seemed fitting to take part this year.

Who has had the biggest impact on your style of cooking?

Growing up on a farm and having an understanding from an early age of where food comes from has had the biggest impact on my style of cooking, which is basically to use great, local ingredients and cook thoughtfully to bring out as much flavour as you can. This, mixed with training under Michelin starred chefs such as Simon Rogan and Derek Creagh, has taught me the importance of flavour and making food that is great to eat.

Deanes Eipic is known for its local, seasonal produce – what local product do you treasure most and why?

At Deanes Eipic we work closely with local suppliers. In Northern Ireland we are blessed with outstanding seafood, especially shellfish! We’re spoiled for choice with oysters, mussels, langoustines and lobster…even scallops that are with us in the restaurant within an hour of being on the boat. All the green fields means lots of well fed beef, lamb and venison too!

EIPIC Halibut


What was the most challenging aspect of competing on Great British Menu?

The most challenging aspect of Great British Menu has to be cooking in a television studio. There are cameras and sound guys everywhere, a director, producer… it’s a huge production and with everyone battling to get their job done the pressure is very intense and things that can go wrong will go wrong!

EIPIC Danni Barry

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my main course. The veteran judge Phil Howard was tough with scores all week and to get a high score for that I was really pleased.

Which is your favourite restaurant?

My favourite restaurant has to be El Cellar de Can Roca in Spain. Currently number 1 in the world it’s a very special dining experience. Closer to home, Shu restaurant in Belfast is consistently great cooking.

Thanks Danni for answering our questions. Good luck for the rest of the week!

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