WHITCHURCH chef Stuart Collins is through to face the judges of the Great British Menu after making a stellar start to the Central region.

Stuart, who owns High Street-based Docket No.33, top-scored on the opening starter and fish course for the 16th series of the BBC2 show, which has a theme this year of the genius of British innovation.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen was the the expert judge Stuart and his rivals had to impress and he kicked off with a chicken and mustard mousse for his appetiser – inspired by the invention of Cluedo.

For his starter, he took his inspiration from designer of rationing in the Second World War, Elsie Widdowsson, with a dish was called 'Take with a Grain of Salt' – apple-based, pork cheeks, smoked bacon, cabbage, among others.


Stuart was last to go to make his starter and the feedback from his contestants was largely positive, with one giving his starter a 10.

Expert judge Lisa said: "The link to the brief really came through and the cooking of the pig cheek was spot on.

"The bacon and cabbage had light pops of juniper and a slight crunch to it as well. I really enjoyed it but if you were to do it again, I would like light and aromatic pork jus, but I liked the use of the pork scratchings for that extra salt – it was good fun."

He received a nine for his starter.

For the fish course, the judge stepped out because of a fish allergy, so revered chef Simon Rogan stepped in.

Stuart took his fish course inspiration from Professor Stephen Hawking's discovery of black holes with a dish called 'Singularity', using trout as his main ingredient topped with a black coral crisp.

The show then focused on his work so far, including a trip to Whitchurch, and once again received excellent feedback from his fellow contestants.

In his judgement, Mr Rogan said: "This concept was well through through and visually exciting.

"It brought a sense of theatre with the black coral crisp and in my mind the trout and beetroot was perfect.

"The aromas all came through and the seasoning was spot on – a very balanced dish."

He received an eight in his score.

On Thursday, it was his main course and desserts and again he starred, with a main inspired by John Spilsbury who created the first jigsaw.

He used pan-fried veal, with a prime fillet and a shin with ingredients grown close to Whitchurch.

He received excellent feedback again and scored eight, while for his dessert – which was based on the first tarmacked road in the world – and he scored nine.

He faces the judges on Friday (tonight).