After four years of tantalising the tastebuds of diners with his cooking at Llangoed Hall, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Mid Wales, talented head chef Nick Brodie is a television star this week.
Nick is one of three chefs battling for the right to represent Wales in the BBC Two’s series Great British Menu. After three dishes, he is chasing leader Phil Carmichael with all is to play for as the dessert follows tonight.
The chefs are battling for the chance to put their four dishes before a panel of judges, which viewers will see on Friday evening.
Brodie, who has travelled the world as a chef, filmed for the series last September, the day after returning from a holiday in Spain. A whirlwind week of filming included cooking in the studio in London and visits to the garden at Llangoed Hall at Llyswen, near Brecon and a sheep farm near Sennybridge.
“It was a very intense week, starting at 6am and carrying on until 7pm each day,” said Brodie. “I was so nervous to be put in the limelight on TV, but I enjoyed the experience. It was also an absolute buzz and a cool thing to do.
“I would definitely do it again, but I would be much better mentally prepared next time. The competition has left an indelible print on my mind.”
Nick cooked a dish named ‘The constant gardener’ for his first course, which comprised rabbit and carrot cooked different ways. Second up was line caught mackerel, pickled peach and tomato.
His main course was summer Welsh Lamb followed by a dessert featuring strawberries. He revealed that his first dessert choice was apples from the well-stocked garden and orchard at Llangoed Hall but the producers wanted a seasonal summer dish instead.
“I wanted to showcase everything we have in our garden because that’s what we cook with,” added Brodie.
He opted for a main course of summer Welsh Lamb, supplied by Sennybridge farmer Gethin Havard to Brecon butcher Paddy Sweeney, because of its rich flavour and he was filmed visiting and cooking at the farm.
“The Great British Menu was not important to showcase my skills because anyone who eats at Llangoed Hall will know I cook good food,” explained Brodie. “The reason I wanted to do the programme was to represent Wales and what we have here.
“Wales has great produce, so why don’t we sell that more? I can produce better food here than they do in London because we get the ingredients straight from the garden or local suppliers, which preserves the taste and doesn’t clock up food miles.”
Llangoed Hall’s managing director Calum Milne said: I’m chuffed to bits that Nick has been given this opportunity to not only show off his own dishes and skills, but also the sustainability from our garden and the quality produce from our local Welsh suppliers.”
The Great British Menu celebrates 140 years of the Wimbledon tennis championships and chefs’ dishes are challenged to fit the theme of ‘a Taste of Summer’ which encourages them to reflect the taste, smells and colours of the season. The judges are Oliver Peyton, Matthew Fort and Andi Oliver.
To see how Brodie gets on in the competition, tune into BBC Two tonight at 7.30pm.
If you want to sample his culinary delights, pop into Llangoed Hall for their £15 Lunch time menu, starting 1st July!!