Northern Ireland’s hottest chef Chris McGowan makes his television return next week when he competes in BBC Two’s Great British Menu for a chance to cook at a banquet at London’s Palace of Westminster.
Chris will appear on the popular show every day from Monday to Friday at 7.30pm when he will demonstrate the epicurean mastery which last week secured his restaurant, Wine & Brine in Moira, a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand.
The Co Down restaurant, which Chris opened less than a year ago in December 2015 with his wife Davina, was also recently named Best Local Restaurant in the UK in the 2017 awards by the Waitrose Good Food Guide.
Chris first appeared in the Great British Menu cook-off back in 2014 when he won the regional heat for Northern Ireland, attracting high praise from judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort, and Oliver Peyton, the latter who said Chris’ ox Tongue’n cheek pie “should be a NI heirloom”.
The following year he came runner up in the regional heat, only missing out to another local chef, Ben Arnold, formerly head chef at Home in Belfast.
Back then Chris was working for Richard Corrigan, of Corrigan’s of Mayfair in London, but this year Chris is appearing in his own right, for his home team, Wine & Brine.
This year’s contest, featuring 24 chefs from across the UK regions, celebrates everyday great Britons honoured by the Queen, in the year of her 90th birthday.
As he competes for a place in the final Westminster banquet, Chris will demonstrate the visionary but simple fare which can be found on the menus at Wine & Brine, a lovingly-restored Georgian property on Moira’s Main Street.
His innovative dishes, which has secured him legions of returning foodie patrons, illustrate his love of old-school and traditional cooking methods like aging, curing and brining – hence its name.