Interview with Lottie Noren representing Northern Ireland 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 continuing our series of interviews with the strong female line-up of chefs from across Britain competing to serve their dish at the final banquet. Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, interviewed Lottie Noren Chef Patron of EDŌ Restaurant, Belfast.

Lottie Noren - Great British Menu - Northern Ireland 2024

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

As a young women I needed to support myself I started washing pots at 16 years old in a cafe in the lakes called hot mango I worked along side a very talented young chef Sophie she helped me understand the basics and understanding a kitchen from there I got the bug I wanted to become a chef.

Northern Ireland Chefs - Great British Menu 2024

How did you get onto Great British Menu this year and how did you prepare for the Olympics theme?

When I got a phone call from Great British Menu I was hesitant at first but I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone and why not? Don’t regret the things you do but regret the things you don’t do.

Preparing for the theme Olympics was challenging especially not knowing too much about sport but with a good bit of research I found myself really enjoying educating myself about the history and talent we have here in the UK. And I felt proud to be showcasing the Olympics.

This is your first time on Great British Menu, how did you find it working in the studio kitchen and under the eye of the cameras?

I would be lying if I said working in the Great British Menu kitchen was easy . All the cameras and not having my comforts of my own kitchen was hard. I found my mistakes hard to accept. The team made me feel at ease though and I had the best laugh.

Lottie Noren - Great British Menu 2024

Which was the hardest course to prepare for when you were researching for GBM’s Olympic theme?

The hardest course was the pre dessert believe it or not I think I practiced 20 other desserts and setting them on fire before I was happy.

Lottie Noren - Fish Course - Great British Menu 2024

Did you embrace the props on the show?

The props were a challenging aspect of the competition. I’m very simple in what I do “less is more” I wanted there to be more of a story.

Which chef have you worked with in your career who you found the most inspiring?

The very first kitchen I worked in when I was 16 I had a head chef called Gustav he was South African he taught me the raw side of being a chef. He was like a father figure in the kitchen. Hard but fair his knowledge was outstanding every day I pushed myself to prove to him I can do it. He made me the chef I am today. I still use his knowledge to this day .

Northern Ireland Chefs - Great British Menu 2024

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

If I was stranded on an island I guess my biggest option would be fish. I’m absolutely happy with that. I would eat prawns for breakfast, lunch and dinner from a prawn cocktail to a langoustine ceviche, I’m there !

Lottie Noren - Photography by Elaine Hill Photography

Photography of Lottie by Elaine Hill Photography

Lottie Noren

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

Hahaha this question! Oh god trust me, there’s a hell of a lot I could tell my younger self but if I didn’t have my journey I wouldn’t be where I am today and I’m OK with that. I’d probably give myself a wee nudge and tell young Lottie to believe in herself

Lottie will be appearing on Great British Menu from Tuesday 5th March 2024 representing Northern Ireland.  Look out for more in our series of interviews with the great women chefs on Great British Menu 2024 – this page will be regularly updated.

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