Portmeirion chef Mark Threadgill will not prepare a dish for the Great British Menu banquet in Brighton.
Mark was one of eight regional finalists to compete this week to cook a course at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion to celebrate the 65th birthday of Paddington Bear and everything that is great about Britain’s animation industry.Viewers of the BBC show watched Mark work hard all week to get a dish on the menu, but he failed to impress the judges enough with his fish course, starter, main or dessert.
On Monday, Mark prepared his starter, ‘It’s a Fire! Call Sam!’, in celebration of Fireman Sam. The dish came joint third.
In the fish round on Tuesday, Mark presented his dish called 'Help Super Ted! They're stealing our Pearls!', inspired by the cartoon, Super Ted, and the episode where he rescues the pearls. The competition was high and Mark was placed last by the judges.
On Wednesday Mark's main course, called 'The King's Last Feast', impressed some of the judges, but they said they wanted more and acknowledged issues with some elements. His fellow chefs said it tasted good, with one praising Mark for producing his best dish so far. But it wasn't enough for the judges who, once again, put Mark in last place.
Thursday night saw the chefs prepare their desserts and second to serve was Mark who said: "The pressure is on today. There's only one more slot in the banquet."
Following feedback from the judges in the regional round, Mark said he had decided to tweak his honey-based dish for the final.
"It's more refined, better flavour, better ingredients," he said, "so hopefully they'll see that and taste that".
His dish was called 'Honey Sandwich, My Favourite' based on the animation, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. He made some honey and raspberry mead jelly bees and changed the honey from the previous dessert round. Preparing the rest of the honey tuil and honey sourdough parfait sandwich, he told presenter Andrea Oliver that he also wanted to heighten the link to the animation brief, and added characters to the dish to do that.
Guest judge for this round was Morwenna Banks who voices the character of Queen Marigold in Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, but would that influence Mark's score?