Cotswold chef wins BBC show Great British Menu

l-r Chefs Colin McGurran, James Durrant, Emily Watkins, Adam Simmonds talking to Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo by Andrew Hayes-Watkins/BBC.

l-r Finalists Tom Sellers, Chris McGowan, James Durrant, Emily Watkins, David Kelman, Colin McGurran, Aktar Islam, Jacqueline O'Donnell and Adam Simmonds. Photo by Andrew Hayes-Watkins/ BBC,

WINNER: Chef Emily Watkins

First published in News

A COTSWOLD pub owner is celebrating after winning the BBC Two programme, Great British Menu.

Emily Watkins who runs the Kingham Plough, near Chipping Norton, had the honour of cooking her fish course at the final banquet at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Millions tunes into the show last Friday, which followed four days of intense competition between eight of the country's top chefs.

The heat was on in the kitchen but the 34-year-old's Normandy Beach Scene fish course of fried scallops, cockles and sea veg was a winner in the eyes of the judges and veterans.

Emily and her fellow winning chefs Adam Simmonds, James Durrant and Colin McGurran cooked up a storm for the wartime heroes, D-Day veterans, family members and even Prime Minister David Cameron .

"It was brilliant," she said. "It was such an honour, it was a really cool thing to be part of the 70th anniversary commemorations there were some amazing people there.

"Once you got through the competition it was actually really good fun. It was quite full on, it was really nice to be working together with the chefs rather than against each other. We all did it together everybody mucked in to make sure the dishes were ready.

"It's an amazing thing to be doing. You could relax and enjoy your cooking rather than competing."

The chef said the competition was even more poignant for her as both her late grandparents served in the navy during the Second World War.

"It was very important for me to try and do my best and try and get my dishes through," she said. "My grandfather was a big foodie, he would be immensely proud of me for doing that.

"It would have been brilliant if they had been there."

Diners can try Emily's winning dish, which is now on the menu at the Kingham Plough.

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