Josh Eggleton joins BBC Two’s Great British Menu

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This year’s Great British Menu, being shown on BBC Two, commemorates the Centenary of the Women’s Institute – and this year, Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton from Chew Magna’s The Pony & Trap has been chosen to represent the South West.

The challenge for this series is for Josh and his fellow chefs to create 21st century dishes that honour the WI, paying tribute to the generations who have helped to make Britain the culinary nation that it is today.

The overall winner of each regional heat will enjoy the chance to cook at a prestigious banquet in Drapers Hall in London, held to celebrate the centenary.

In the South West heat, Josh will be competing against Jude Kereama from Kota in Cornwall, plus Dominic Chapman from The Beehive, Berkshire. A veteran chef of the competition will put the top two through to a regional final, where regular judges Prue Leith, Matthew Ford and Oliver Peyton will decide on their fate.

This series will also include a variety of guest judges every week – longstanding WI members, mothers and home cooks – including Mary Gwynn (author of the WI Centenary cookbook), Rosemary Bishton MBE (a WI member for 42 years, who comes from three generations of WI members), and Angela Baker – one of the original WI calendar girls from the famous nude calendar, who posed in memory of her husband John to raise millions for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. These guest judges will ensure that any dishes that make it through to the finals measure up to the Institute’s exacting standards.

Each chef has taken inspiration from both the women in their families and the pioneering women of the Institute to turn home-cooked classics into modern masterpieces.

Josh explains: “During the filming of the show I spent a lot of time talking to the local WI members in the communities around the Pony and also took inspiration from my great grandmother who was one of the founder members of the WI in Norfolk. The WI is all about bringing people together which has a great synergy with what I love about cooking – getting everyone around the table, talking and enjoying great food.”

In 2006 Josh took over the Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, which made him one of the youngest restaurant proprietors in the country. Over the last nine years the Pony & Trap has gone from strength to strength and was this year named the second best gastropub at the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropubs Awards. Josh has held a Michelin star since 2011.

 

 

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