Spencer Metzger was crowned winner of the 17th series of The Great British Menu.
After eight weeks of battling the most talented and experienced chefs from across Britain, the Ritz’s 29-year-old chef has been named Great British Menu Champion of Champions for 2022.
On the BBC Two show, top chefs from different regions compete to create a themed menu and if successful, the chef’s dishes are served at a prestigious banquet.
In the final week, Metzger was one of only a few chefs in the history of the competition to win two dishes for the British Broadcasting Centenary banquet.
Metzger’s fish course, entitled Be Careful What You Fish For, was inspired by Sherlock Holmes and his main course, First Impressions, was based on Pride And Prejudice.
This year’s banquet was held at Alexandra Palace in London and was attended by famous faces from all genres of television and radio.
After the serve, Metzger said the contest was “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my life.”
During the grueling week of finals – in which the remaining chefs cooked a different dish each day in hopes of securing a seat at the banquet – Metzger competed against seven other chefs, including Adam Handling, Olivia Barry and Chris McClurg.
Butcher from Chigwell in Essex entered the competition fresh off a promotion to head chef at The Ritz in London.
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At the age of 15 he came to the kitchen of the Ritz for an internship.
He later joined as an apprentice and rose through the ranks, also working at two-Michelin star L’Enclume in Cumbria and three-Michelin star Frantzen in Stockholm.
The judging panel featured special guest judge and soap star Anita Dobson, along with Michelin-starred celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, chef and restaurateur Nisha Katona, and comedian and Off Menu podcast host Ed Gamble.
Metzger’s dishes impressed the judges, particularly Kerridge, who said of his fish dish: “This is one of the best dishes I’ve eaten anywhere in the world, it’s outstanding.”
“I would travel across continents and countries to eat this dish again, it was absolutely stunning.”
As a tribute to Sherlock Holmes, the dish was served with a magnifying glass made from recyclable cardboard wrapped around the plate and contained a hidden message revealed under UV light.
Banquet guests were blown away by the quality of the dish, with Dame Mary Berry commenting, “The brill was cooked to perfection.”
For Metzger’s main course, the room was designed to resemble a 19th-century style banquet to complement his Pride and Prejudice theme.
During the banquet, Alison Steadman – who played Mrs Bennet in the 1995 BBC adaptation of the Jane Austen novel – called the dish “absolutely beautiful”.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/winner-of-the-great-british-menu-2022-revealed-41512401.html Great British Menu 2022 winners announced