Exclusive Interviews

Richard Bainbridge discusses working under Michel Roux Snr, chicken balls, and Great British Menu

This week is Central week on Great British Menu. We’ve already interviewed Pip Lacey and Jason Hodnett, and now we bring you an exclusive interview with Richard Bainbridge, a true veteran of the competition.

Richard is yet to reach the banquet despite his best efforts, but seems confident that this could yet be his year. Let’s see what he had to say ahead of this week’s Great British Menu action.

What inspired you to compete on Great British Menu 2015?

The brief this year struck a chord with me and I wanted to pay homage to the women in my life and give it one more go as we were about to open our own restaurant, Benedicts.

Who is your food hero and how have they influenced your style of cooking?

Michel Roux Senior. After working at the Waterside Inn, I found his true passion for the industry to be amazingly inspirational and that style of food is the foundation of everything I do today.

You’ve previously worked with the Roux brothers – what were the most important lessons you learned from them?

Working at the Waterside Inn was like going to University for me; seeing classic French cooking at 3 Michelin Star level was mind-blowing to me. I use things I learned with them every day.

Which dish at Benedicts that you have created are you most proud of?

My Caesar Salad, as it is one of my favourite dishes and now, owning my own restaurant, I have the freedom to create my own food and my own version of classic dishes.

Copyright Katja Bainbridge

Copyright Katja Bainbridge

How hard was it to avoid creating ‘restaurant’ dishes on Great British Menu?

This is one of the hardest things as this is what we do every day. Trying to do dishes to a brief is really difficult but using the women in my life as an inspiration made it a lot easier; I was cooking for them.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

Male chicken balls! So, cocks’ balls so to speak. Never again!

Which is your favourite restaurant?

MINE! Just because it is something I have wanted and worked towards for years!

Thanks very much Richard for taking the time to chat with us. Best of luck with this week’s action on Great British Menu! You can follow his progress every evening this week at 7.30pm on BBC2 and find out more about his restaurant Benedicts here.

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