The Great British Cookbook ‘Onion Challenge’ - Come and have a go if you think you’re quick enough!!


We are raising awareness for The Great British Cook Book through our “The Great British Cookbook Onion Chopping challenge”

Our aim is to get as many chefs to take up the challenge and record/film them chopping as many onions in 30 seconds.  (They can be posted on our Face Book and Twitter page)


If you can use the hashtag #gbcookbook  @gbcookbookgary @GBCookBook  @macmillancancer  @HospAction     


We will create a leader board and will post Chef Name – Venue – Region – Onions chopped


Don’t forget to nominate a challenger!!  


We look forward to getting as many chefs involved to help raise awareness for the book and the charities it supports.


The challenge starts today 1st of Nov and we will announce the winner 1st of Dec 2016




Red or white Standard size onions - Peeled already

You have to chop the onion in half, then cut both halves into slices (Not diced)


You only have 30 seconds starting from the first cut, to chop as many onions as possible


The winner will be the most onions chopped in the 30 seconds


Good luck!

The Great British Cookbook - What can be Expected?

Words by Melissa Taylor.

The Great British Cookbook is a cookbook created to raise money for two charities – Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospitality Action. It includes 10 sections for 10 different regions within the UK including Northern Ireland. Including 200 recipes each shown with mouth-watering pictures of the creations and biographies of the chefs who have created them. The chefs include some well-known faces as well as some local restaurants using local produce. During this blog, some of the chefs from these 10 different regions will be explored.

 The Great British Cookbook Cover

The Great British Cookbook Cover

The cookbook begins with the London and South region. London as a city has many restaurants which are both well-known and impressive. This book features some of these restaurants, including some celebrity chefs that you may recognise.

Levi roots is just one of the well-known names in the book, he is best known for his Reggae Reggae sauce, which gained investment when he appeared on BBC’s Dragon’s Den. Although he is well known for his sauce, he is also a great cook having 6 cookbooks to his name all specialising in Caribbean flavours. For the Great British Cookbook, he has used his Caribbean flare to create a flavoursome dish – lime marmalade, rum and chilli poussins.

As well as Levi roots there is also another acclaimed British chef who has provided a great recipe for the book – Tom Aikens. Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin Stars. He has written three cookbooks, and featured on the Great British Menu on BBC2 in aid of comic relief. The recipe featured is - seven hour-braised shoulder of lamb, showing potentially an alternative for a Sunday dinner.

The sponsors of the Cookbook – Le Cordon Bleu are also featured in this section. Le Cordon Bleu is the leading culinary arts, wine and management school in Great Britain. With 35 schools in 20 countries, welcoming over 20,000 students of more than 100 different nationalities. It has a team of dedicated master chefs some with Michelin stars all sharing their expertise. The recipe featured in the book is a fruit macaroon crown, the picture portraying an intricately perfect piece of sweetness.

 Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu

The South west is the next region being featured, with the big name in this section being Michael Caines. One of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs - awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry. He is currently the Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park, the acclaimed and prestigious country house hotel. He produces some breath taking dishes, and the one featured in the cookbook isn’t an exception… you will have wait and see it for yourself.

Being a sweet toothed person, one of the desserts featured in this section caught my eye. Chocolate is my weakness… so chocolate popcorn brownie couldn’t sound any better. This recipe comes from Shaun Rankin at the Ormer restaurant in Jersey. Shaun is a Michelin Starred published chef who has also featured on TV. The image of the dessert alone is enough for any sweet tooth to want to buy the book to see what other sweet delights are featured.

 Chocolate Popcorn

Chocolate Popcorn

The next section – The South East. If you love seafood, then the South East section is the one for you. With many coastal restaurants providing recipes that you will just have to try. This section also features some vegetarian recipes, as a lover of vegetarian food the first recipe featured in the section from Terre A Terre immediately got me interested. Terre A Terre was founded by Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor before vegetarian food became more fashionable. The recipe featured is created by head chef Matt Bowling. He creates many ingenious vegetarian products, being a firm believer that there are no limits to what can be created from vegetables, roots, fungi’s, seeds, herbs, flowers, fruit and nuts. 

 Terre A Terre recipe

Terre A Terre recipe

The next section explores Wales. I’m not the biggest fish eater, but the recipe that caught my eye in this section comes from the restaurant Coast in Saundersfoot. The picture displayed is one of a delicious looking lobster. The recipe is Caldey Island Lobster and sounds very indulgent. The chef Will Holland earned a Michelin star before the age of 30, and has appeared on television programmes such as James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen and the Hairy Biker’s “Food Tour of Britain”. He opened Coast in 2014 to use his own expertise to create some amazing dishes using the best produce available.

 Coast's dish for The Great British Cookbook

Coast's dish for The Great British Cookbook

Central England includes some amazing restaurants. One of these restaurants is Simpsons based in Birmingham. Luke Tipping the chef director has held a Michelin Star at the restaurant for 15 years. He describes his style as seasonal and free flowing. Even though Luke didn’t intend to become a chef, actively avoiding it due to the lifestyle his father had due to the career, Luke has become one of the best chefs in the region. As I was looking through this region in the cookbook I came across a picture which I find amazing. It is essentially a tree, the recipe is called Autumn Apples. It comes from Nick Claxton-Webb who works in the Henry Tudor House at Congham Hall Hotel. He uses the renowned garden there to create his masterpieces, and the picture proves that they really are works of art.

 Simpsons recipe from Central England 

Simpsons recipe from Central England 

The East Midlands begins with a recipe from MemSaab a restaurant in Nottingham, serving traditional Indian food not the standard curries. It prides itself on being a fine dining restaurant. The observer food monthly awards have named MemSaab as best restaurant runner up in 2001, 2013 and 2014. They have traditional recipes on offer as well as alternative ones for example some featuring ostrich meat.

Leicester is a very culturally diverse city. Lilu is a restaurant in Leicester which is aiming to bring both the best of British and Indian food to Leicester. It is an Indian fine dining restaurant with a British Indian fusion menu. Created by the chef Amardeep Singh Anand who won the coveted Asian chef of the year in 2012. The recipe featured is called Hiran Ki Kadhi which includes a venison filet, vine tomatoes and shallots. It doesn’t sound like your traditional Indian recipe; this is what makes this restaurant sound so interesting.

In the North East region, there is a picture of an exquisite looking cheese plate. It is created at Café Royal in the heart of Newcastle, and is described as a stylish café bistro. The picture shows how intricate and unique the food available is. The recipe called elements of gazpacho, describes that there are different elements to the dish which allows for an individual appearance.

The Star inn, Harome Yorkshire is also featured. It is owned by Andrew Perm, who has had a Michelin star there for 13 years, many industry professionals state the Star Inn as one of the top restaurants north of London. It serves food all day from breakfast to dinner including afternoon teas. The recipe makes your mouth water with just the image of eating it. With delicious sounding flavours.

The North West is home to a lot of fantastic local restaurants and pubs. Luke’s eating house in Chester is run by Luke Thomas who at 18 years old became chef patron of his first restaurant – Luke’s Dining Room. He also ventured into a pop up diner in Mayfair recreating childhood favourites into more up to date dishes. His latest restaurant however is Luke’s eating house opened in 2014, with the recipe featured sounding very tasty.

Scotland is the next section in the book. The Fourth Floor restaurant at Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh is run by chef Stuart Muir who has been there since opening in 2002. He was awarded a Michelin star at the age of 22. The Fourth Floor restaurant is award winning. He uses locally sourced produce to create modern dishes. For example, the recipe featured is roast mackerel with ingredients including caramelised melon.

Tom Kitchin is one of Britain’s leading chefs and was born in Edinburgh. He now owns his own restaurant called The Kitchin. It showcases his training under other Michelin starred chefs with great food. He has appeared on many TV shows including BBC’s Saturday kitchen. The recipe in this cookbook is one sounding amazing – strawberry and yoghurt panna cotta.

The final region in the book is Northern Ireland. One of the most unusual looking recipes and images I found in this section was Asian noodle cakes. This comes from Mourne seafood bar. Andy Rea is one of the most prolific and experienced chefs working in Northern Ireland. He has travelled around America and worked with Paul Rankin. This recipe looks amazing and is definitely one to try out.

I have only mentioned a few of the recipes, chefs and restaurants featured in this amazing book and those alone are exquisite so much so that I can’t wait to recreate them myself. It also gives me an insight into the great chefs we have in the UK, and I wish I was able to visit them all so I am able to try the food I have seen on paper. Don’t forget to pick up your own copy of the cookbook on the 3rd of October to see all of the ingenious chefs and restaurants featured, so you too can be inspired to travel the UK and try some of the culinary masterpieces, and maybe even make some for yourself.

Words by Melissa Taylor.


World Leading Cookery School Sponsor the Great British Cookbook.

The Great British Cookbook is now in the latter stages of releasing their second book, which raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospitality Action, and are delighted to announce that Le Cordon Bleu London, leading culinary arts, wine and management school are sponsoring the cookbook.

Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has grown from a popular culinary magazine to one of the most prestigious global networks of culinary arts and hospitality management institutes.

In 2012, Le Cordon Bleu London moved from its base on Marylebone Lane to its new state-of-the-art premises, 15 Bloomsbury Square.

Offering a range of industry relevant cuisine, pâtisserie and wine Diplomas alongside a variety of engaging short courses taught by their team of high calibre Master Chefs, students are often considered to be synonymous with outstanding ability across the globe.

Although traditional French culinary techniques remain at the heart of Le Cordon Bleu, the school’s academic programmes continue to be pioneered as a response to consumer and industry demands, which as a result has seen the introduction of the Diploma in Culinary Management and the Diploma in Gastronomy, Nutrition and Food Trends within the last two years.

Le Cordon Bleu’s place in the industry plays an integral part in the success of the hundreds of students who graduate each year. With such a respected reputation, Le Cordon Bleu London also host a number of industry competitions from National Chef of The Year to Bocuse d’Or, which benefit from the professional facilities and equipment.

The Master Chefs at Le Cordon Bleu can often be found on the judging panel at culinary competitions, or sometimes actively competing in their own right. This maintains the vital connection the school has to the industry, and opens a unique opportunity for students to witness first-hand the dedication and passion that chefs require to become and remain successful.

Chef Alan Swinson, Culinary Arts Director at Le Cordon Bleu London comments: “The book is supporting two very worthy causes and we are delighted to be sponsoring this collection of recipes from Britain’s best chefs. With the evolution and transformation of British food over the last two decades The Great British Cookbook brings together and demonstrates the culinary excellence we have to offer today.”

Gary Allen Founder of the book quoted “We are delighted to have the support from such an iconic cookery school who have no doubt had so many chefs involved with the book come through their school.  The book will certainly inspire people who want to be part of the hospitality industry and Le Cordon Bleu are a great organisation to provide the training.”  

The Great British Cookbook will take you on an unforgettable journey through 200 of the UK’s most prestigious pubs, guest houses, hotels, AA Rosette and Michelin Star restaurants showcasing 200 of the UK’s finest chefs who have created 200 culinary masterpieces using locally sourced produce; for you to cook with your family and friends in your home.  If all this wasn’t enough the cookbook is your very own road map of exceptional places to eat.

Proceeds from the book sale are going to Macmillan Cancer support and Hospitality Action

To find out more about Le Cordon Bleu you can visit and for The Great British Cookbook visit

Catering apprentice secures recipe spot in prestigious British cookbook

A young chef at BaxterStorey, the UK’s largest independent work place catering company, has been announced as the first apprentice to have a recipe feature in the prestigious Great British Cookbook. 

Created to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospitality Action, the Great British Cookbook is supported by some of the UK’s most renowned chefs and has showcased recipes by big names such as Michael Caines and Cyrus Todiwala. 

This year’s edition will now include a recipe from 26 year-old Karlis Pumpurins who was selected as the winner of a national competition run by HIT Training, during which, apprentices across the country worked with the national hospitality training provider’s Professional Chef Trainer Assessors to design a dish to be entered into the Cookbook.

Karlis, who works as chef de partie at BaxterStorey, will see his Caribbean inspired dish of jerk pork belly with coconut-infused sweet potato dauphinoise hit book stores in 2016.  He came up with the dish with the help of his head chef who, alongside his trainer, nominated Karlis during his level one training at the BaxterStorey Chef Academy.

Karlis said: “I was thrilled to be selected by BaxterStorey to compete for the chance for my recipe to appear in The Great British Cookbook. To have a dish I’ve created published alongside those by really respected celebrity chefs and to know that it is going to be cooked in kitchens across the country is just incredible.”

Noel Mahony, co-chief executive at BaxterStorey, said: “We’re delighted that the BaxterStorey Chef Academy has inspired Karlis to create such an innovative dish. His success in being chosen to be part of The Great British Cookbook demonstrates the talent of our apprentices, their passion for innovation and their skill for making the very most from fresh, locally sourced produce. We couldn’t be more proud of Karlis and I’m sure this is just a sign of great things to come.”

Talking about how he developed his winning dish, Karlis added: “I developed the dish while at a BaxterStorey Chef Academy workshop. We had visited a local meat supplier, spending time learning about butchery and cooking with a variety of different cuts of meat. I loved the quality of the free range pork and instantly knew I wanted this to be the basis of my dish.”

Paul Mannering, academy principal at HIT said: "It has been a fantastic opportunity for a specialist training provider such as HIT to be able to work alongside Karlis, a very talented Apprentice and a professional employer with the highest of standards such as BaxterStorey, it further demonstrates the importance of Apprenticeships and the need to develop people in this great industry'

The Great British Cookbook will be available to buy next year with proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospitality Action.


Hélène Darroze of Hélène Darroze in Paris, France and of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in London, UK has been named the 2015 Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. She will be honoured at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, in London on the 1st June.

  Hélène Darroze

Hélène Darroze

French-born Hélène Darroze is a fourth generation chef who, after completing a degree from l’Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bordeaux, joined Alain Ducasse's team at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco.
After three years under his tutelage both in business and in the kitchen, she returned home to the family restaurant, Chez Darroze, in Villeneuve-de-Marsan in the Landes region. There, in 1995, Darroze’s father gave her the keys to the kitchen, where she spent the next four years refining her culinary style and honing her skills.
At the age of 32, Darroze closed the family restaurant and set her sights on Paris, opening her eponymous restaurant on the Left Bank to critical acclaim and widespread commendation. Darroze’s talent and heartfelt contemporary French cuisine caught the attention of the Connaught, leading to the opening of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in 2008.
Seven years on, Darroze remains head chef at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and her namesake restaurant in Paris. She travels regularly between Paris and London with her two children, Charlotte and Quiterie, overseeing all aspects of her businesses.

  Hélène Darroze Restaurant, Paris

Hélène Darroze Restaurant, Paris

An integral and common thread in Darroze’s restaurants is not just her impeccable gastronomic expertise but the seasonal, authentic ingredients that take precedence in her contemporary French recipes. Darroze has spent a lifetime gathering her network of loyal suppliers, allowing her the freedom to create stunning seasonal dishes using the freshest, highest-quality produce the market has to offer. One of Darroze’s signature dishes - squid ink risotto with sautéed squid and chorizo, confit tomatoes and parmesan foam - exemplifies her cooking: it is simultaneously complex and modest, but also impeccably balanced.
As well as being named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2015, Darroze’s other accolades include admittance into the French Legion of Honour as a Chevalier by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. Darroze’s likeable and even-handed personality inspired the character, Chef Colette, in the 2007 Pixar Animation Studios’ hit Ratatouille. She is also a judge on France’s Top Chef 2015.
Through this accolade The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, shines a light on a rarefied family of extraordinary female chefs. The Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef award celebrates the work of a woman whose cooking most impresses the world’s toughest critics and most venerated chefs, more than 900 of whom voted in this category.
William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said, “Celebrating the success of remarkable female chefs, in what remains a very male-orientated world, is of enormous importance. In conjunction with Veuve Clicquot, we are proud and excited to present the award to Hélène Darroze. Hélène’s impressive accomplishments, passion for exceptional produce and dedication to the profession makes her the perfect recipent of this year’s Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef. She is an inspiration to future generations of women who want to enter the profession, proving that skill, hard work and passion will be rewarded and celebrated.”
The Veuve Clicquot Champagne house has long been known for empowering innovative and audacious women. It began with Madame Clicquot, who came to the helm of the business in 1805, creating the successful global brand of today which extends to the 41-year-old annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.
Commenting on Darroze’s victory, Veuve Clicquot President, Jean-Marc Gallot, said, “We are thrilled to present Hélène Darroze with the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award. Her work and tireless passion, spanning Paris and London, truly embodies the spirit of the award and we look forward to watching her continued excellence in years to come. We are delighted to celebrate exceptional female chefs and women in business that embody the same drive and resolve as Madame Clicquot herself. Celebrating the accomplishments of women like Hélène through the award and other initiatives like the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award is of great importance to the House. Not only does this award celebrate extraordinary women in the industry but it also encapsulates the harmonious pairing of excellence in food and the exceptional art of wine making.”
Darroze responded to the news of her win by saying: “As much as the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef is an accolade for me, it is also an accolade for my team at the Connaught in London and Hélène Darroze in Paris. I am honoured to win the award because there are talented female chefs all over the world and I imagine choosing only one is challenging. I think it is important to celebrate women and their achievements. My hope is that the recipients of this award inspire young women, including my daughters, to follow their passion and work hard to hone their skill regardless of profession. I greatly admire all of the previous winners of this prestigious award and I am thrilled to now be in their company.”

As a winner of the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award, Hélène Darroze joins a group of exceptionally talented chefs including luminaries, Elena Arzak of Spain’s Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic in France, Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in the Italian countryside and last year’s winner, Helena Rizzo of Brazilian restaurant Mani.
The selection process
The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award is voted for by almost 1,000 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up the Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The Academy comprises 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 36 members, including a chairperson. None of the event’s sponsors have any influence over the voting process.
Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award 
The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award celebrates the work of an exceptional female chef whose cooking excites the toughest of critics. The award is inspired by the life and achievements of Madame Clicquot who nearly 200 years ago set the standard for women in business. The winner reflects Madame Clicquot’s attributes of innovation, creativity and determination.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards:
This year’s results will be announced at the annual awards ceremony, held in London’s Guildhall on 1st June and published live on twitter (@TheWorlds50Best) and later on
The awards will also be streamed live courtesy of our main sponsor, S.Pellegrino & Aqua Panna via their content
Further information, photography and video footage is available on

Gok Wan joins The Great British Cookbook with his own recipe.

Celebrity fashion consultant, TV presenter, author and chef, Gok Wan, is set to be in the next edition of The Great British Cookbook. The cookbook, which is in aid of two fantastic charities; MacMillan Cancer Support and Hospitality Action, was first released in October 2014, with the second book coming out later this year.

 Gok Wan - Image from

Gok Wan - Image from

Gok Wan, who is originally from Leicester, is an awarding winning TV presenter and recently delved into the cooking business with his TV show ‘Gok Cooks Chinese’ which was followed by his first cookbook of the same name. He has won multiple awards for his endeavours on TV including, Miss Plus Size International Award for Best Stylist in 2013, the Royal Television Society award for Best Lifestyle Programme, TV Choice Awards for Best Factual Entertainment Award and the Media Award from the British Hairdressing Awards.

Probably best known for his TV show ‘How to look good naked’ and his reoccurring role on ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Gok has proved himself to be a dab hand in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to Chinese food.

The cookbook itself features 200 different recipes that are created by 200 restaurants and chefs, with some having Michelin Stars, AA Rosettes and celebrities. The recipes and chefs are chosen from 10 different regions of the UK to make sure that the cookbook becomes as diverse and creative as possible. With all proceeds going to the two charities mentioned, the book is a great way to show your support and cook some delicious starters, main courses and deserts too.

The first Great British Cookbook was an online publication that could be purchased through Amazon, Apple and Android. However, the second edition of the cookbook, as well as sticking to its roots and being an online publication, will also be coming out in a printed version. The estimated 600+ page cookbook is brilliant value for money. You are guaranteed to find a recipe for any occasion, as well as learn about all the chefs in the book through their bio’s and images.

Find out more about The Great British Cookbook at, where you can purchase the current book, read blogs about some of the chefs in the book and enjoy a range of images of the beautiful dishes that were submitted into the book.