Exclusive Interviews

Chatting Great British Menu, laver bread and roast dinners with Andrew Birch

After an impressive debut on this year’s Great British Menu, with Wales week reaching a really high standard, perhaps even seeing a starter dish from Phil Carmichael ending up at the banquet, we were delighted to catch up with Andrew Birch to see what he made of his time on the show.
You’re well known for your focus on local produce. Was this easy to keep up on Great British Menu?

Wales has a lot of great produce, so it was easy to incorporate this into my menu but I also used other great produce from around Great Britain.

Wales produces some absolutely outstanding produce, but is there any produce that you feel is yet to be fully appreciated by outsiders?

One of my favourite Welsh products is laver bread but it is used very rarely outside Wales. I use it for all sorts – in sauces, risottos, or just heated up and served as a garnish for a fish dish.

How difficult was it sharing a kitchen with your fellow chefs?

The other two guys knew the kitchen very well as they were both in it last year but I got my head around it reasonably quickly and found it OK! It was like half kitchen, half studio with cables and cameramen everywhere.  I just put my head down and tried to crack on.

Aside from your own, which restaurants have you really enjoyed eating at?

My favourite restaurants in the UK are Gareth Ward at Ynyshir Hall, The Walnut Tree, Le Champignon Sauvage, and Matt Worswick at The Latymer.

Finally, what is your favourite cuisine?

I love a good Sunday roast!

We think Andrew does some fine cooking and if you want to enjoy his food then you can get your reservation at the fabulous Fishmore Hall in Ludlow herehere.

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