Michelin-starred Leeds chef Michael O’Hare to cook in final banquet on The Great British Menu

Michael O'Hare
Michael O'Hare
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Leeds’s own “rock and roll” chef Michael O’Hare has helped himself to another high-profile success – just weeks after winning a Michelin star.

The distinctive-looking restaurateur, who runs The Man Behind the Curtain on Vicar Lane in the city centre, has made it through to the final episode of BBC Two show Great British Menu on Friday.

He discovered in Thursday night’s show that he had been selected to cook the fish course in a four-course centenary banquet for the Women’s Institute.

His squid ink cod was described as “really brilliant” by judge Prue Leith.

Reacting to the news, O’Hare – originally from Teesside – said: “It’s a little unexpected. I didn’t know how that style of cooking would go down with the ladies of the WI.”

This week has seen the winners of the eight regional heats competing on consecutive nights for the right to prepare the banquet’s starter, fish, main and dessert courses respectively.

In Thursday night’s desserts episode, O’Hare won praise for his experimental pudding, which he nicknamed Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Comprising lavender chocolate mousse, violet ice cream and a controversial mashed potato and vanilla custard foam, the dessert prompted Prue Leith to describe O’Hare as “the rock and roll star of this competition”.

She added that it “has got all the fun that [the WI] will love”.

But the dessert was ranked third best on the night.

Friday’s episode, which airs at 7pm, will show O’Hare cooking alongside fellow chefs Rich Bainbridge and Matt Gillan at London’s historic Drapers Hall.

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