North Lincolnshire chef Colin McGurran reaches national finals of Great British Menu
Top North Lincolnshire chef Colin McGurran has reached the national finals of BBC2's Great British Menu.
After winning the North East regional heats in last year's competition, Colin, head chef and owner of Winteringham Fields, has repeated the feat in the current series of cookery shows.
Last year, he went on to cook one of the final four courses, after his Quail in the Woods starter was chosen for the Olympic-themed banquet.
On last night's show (Friday, February 22), Colin cooked a menu consisting of a tomato gazpacho and garden salad starter, cockles, mussels and salmon fish course, duck and turnip main course and a Tommy Cooper inspired tiramisu dessert.
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Colin was definitely cooking under pressure during Friday night's show, where he competed against fellow chef Stephanie Moon.
Before he launched into his starter, which scored a 7 earlier in the week, he said: "It is going to be a tough day and there are going to be a lot of emotions."
Judge Prue Leith said: "This is just delicious - I'd like it all over again."
Celebrity guest judge and comic actor Tim Brooke-Taylor agreed and said: "It is absolutely scrumptious."
However, no sooner had Colin's starter gone down a treat, he hit a wall with his cockles, mussels and salmon dish.
Disaster struck when Colin used too much dry ice on his starfish jellies and they would not set.
He managed to salvage the starfish jellies, but Colin was concerned.
He said: "I am a bit concerned about the plates buckling.
"It can be fixed, but it is just so frustrating when you have put all this work in and something like that happens."
And Colin's fears came true, when the plates buckled, causing leakage, while the judges were eating it.
Prue said: "I think we have a serious problem with these dishes. He has to have a good rethink - this won't do."
Tim said: "I find it strangely delicious."
Colin then moved on to his main course - duck and turnip.
Before he tackled his main course, Tim told the chefs it was very close between them.
Colin said: "Tim saying we are neck and neck - yeah I am a bit worried."
Colin lost confidence in his foie gras bubbles and decided to abandon them, as it was 'so stressful'.
He said: "I have no regrets about the bubbles."
One of the key elements the judges were looking for with the dishes was humour - to celebrate 25 years of Red Nose Day.
Judge Oliver Peyton said: "Some very nice elements and this is a pleasant, nice, good dish - but what has this got to do with Comic Relief? Where is the humour?
Tim said: "The duck is absolutely delicious as far as I'm concerned, but it is not making me laugh."
For his dessert, Colin cooked his Tommy Cooper inspired tiramisu dessert.
He was given a perfect ten-out-of-ten for this same dessert on Thursday's show - only the third time judge Jason Atherton has awarded full marks during his five years on the show.
Tim said: "The presentation is wonderful and it is witty."
Prue said: "The concept is so fantastic, I think it is a winner."
Speaking before the judge's decision, Colin said: "If I was to go home, I would be devastated."
Judge Matthew Fort announced that Colin was the winner 'by a very small margin'.
He said: "It was your first course."
The judges revealed they gave this dish high marks with Tim scoring it an 8, Oliver and Matthew scoring it a 9 and Prue scoring it full marks - with a 10.
She said: "It was vibrant in colour and vibrant in flavour."
Speaking after the decision, Colin said: "It has been too close for comfort and it could have gone either way.
"I knew that full well coming into the competition.
"I was pushed to the wire."