Interview with Elly Wentworth representing the South West region on Great British Menu 2024 – Women In the Food Industry

Great British Menu (GBM) returned to our screens on January 23rd for season 19.  The BBC2 show puts the nation’s most talented chefs to the test. At Women in the Food Industry we are interviewing the strong female line-up of chefs from across Britain competing to serve their dish at the final banquet. To continue our series, our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, interviewed Elly Wentworth Head Chef at The Angel in Dartmouth, Devon.

Elly Wentworth Great British Menu 2024

How did you start working in the food world and where did you train to be a chef?

I trained and qualified in Plymouth. I started to work with Chris and James Tanner at Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth. I worked for them for a couple of years.  I then moved onto Michelin starred restaurants including  including The Elephant, under Simon Hulstone, The Bybrook at The Manor House under Richard Davies, and Restaurant Hywell Jones at Lucknam Park. In total I’ve had 10 years in Michelin kitchens.  I’ve now been Head Chef at The Angel for six years.

This will be your third year on the show, how did you get onto it  and did you find it different from previous years?

I was asked back, I had a little break as I was last on the show in 2022. I was thinking, third time lucky, let’s go on and smash it.

I felt more confident this year. I know what they want, I know what they don’t want. I am older, wiser, I felt that this year was going to be a good one.

How did you prepare for the Olympics theme?

When I first got the brief, I thought this is difficult. You had to think of something regional too.  But once you start researching about the Olympians and Paralympians you get quite excited. Then the food comes into your head and you know what you want to do and what works. So yes, I was excited for the brief.

Great British Menu South West Chefs 2024

Which was the hardest course to research for?

The starter to be honest.  Plant based is a different style of cooking. There’s no dairy. You have to maximise the flavours just as much as the other courses. You are showcasing another dimension of cookery. I put a lot of effort into my plant based starter.

GBM is very much known for its props, did you embrace the props on the show?

I think I was quite clever with the props. I didn’t go over proppy. Whatever I wanted to showcase I did it well.

South West Chefs - Great British Menu 2024

Which chef that you have worked with has given you the most inspiration?

Chris Tanner and Hywell Jones. I am very close to Chris, we have a phone call every week. Hywell Jones is one of the best chefs in the UK. He is very good at what he does, and has had some of the best chefs coming out of his restaurants. They have all gone on to do good things.

Elly Wentworth at the Pass

If you were marooned on a desert island, what was the one type of dish you could happily live on?

Scrambled eggs on toast. With some Lea and Perrins.

Elly Wentworth and team at The Angel

Finally, what do you know now that you wish you could have told your younger self when you were starting out?

Explore the world. Go and try to learn every cuisine you can think of. Get as much knowledge as possible. Enjoy every step of the way.

Elly will be appearing on Great British Menu from Tuesday 12th March 2024 representing the South West region. Look out for more in our series of interviews with the great women chefs on Great British Menu 2024.

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