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Great British Menu 2011 - Johnnie Mountain Interview (North West)

Johnnie Mountain and Marcus Bean at Kai We Care by Kavita Favelle of Kavey Eats
L-R: Johnnie Mountain of the English Pig, London (Great British Menu 2011) and Marcus Bean of The New Inn, Baschurch (Iron Chef Winner 2010) at Kai We Care (photo © Kavita Favelle of Kavey Eats)

“It’s a pretty tall order given the competition, but even among chefs, Johnnie Mountain could be considered seriously eccentric”
Charles Campion

I'm ashamed (relieved) to say that my TV viewing has diminished greatly of late, but I'm hoping to catch Great British Menu 2011 from tomorrow.

This year the chefs are being challenged to cook for the ultimate street party, The People's Banquet - inspired by The Big Lunch, a nationwide one-day event that encourages people to cook and eat with their neighbours in the spirit of community, friendship and fun.

This week on the Great British Menu, it's the turn of the North West chefs Bruno Birkbeck, Johnnie Mountain and Lisa Allen to fight it out.

I got the chance to speak with Johnnie Mountain, chef/owner of the English Pig on Aldersgate Street, London at the New Zealand Earthquake charity event Kai We Care earlier this month (more of which soon), and having spent a short while in his company, I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing how he fares - even though he does scare me a tiny bit due to a startling resemblance to Gary Oldman.

The Great British Menu 2011
The North West round starts Monday 18th April at 6.30 on BBC2


Mat Follas said…
I love Johnny and am both scared and in admiration of him. ... a small insight to this weeks show ... it is a must-see

Kavey said…
That little period of calm in that side prep room was so much fun! Johnny made me laugh so much, was such a pleasure to meet him.

Suz said…
I keep forgetting to watch Great British Menu, but I'll make sure to tune in tomorrow. He seems lovely!

Hope you're well. :) x
meemalee said…
@Mat Follas - Yes, I can see how he could inspire all those emotions :)

@Kavey - The Cheese Room was where it was at.

@Suzler - Cool - he was :) I am my dear - hope you are too x
Jenny Eatwell said…
I was rooting for him last year and will be again, this year. :)
meemalee said…
Thank heavens he did do last year's Great British Menu too - just noticed a daft typo on the video where I said 2010 instead of 2011!
Nicky said…
I thought he was fab on GBM last night - full of fun, imagination and wickedness. I suspect he'll do less well on the fish course, but I'd love to see someone with that level of personality get in front of the judges on Friday :)
PDH said…
He cuts quite the dashing shape, sensible hair cut and glasses! That man should go far :^P
Miss Whiplash said…
And on top of that, what an awesome name - I wish I was called Mountain :-)
chumbles said…
Thanks for this MiMi; Johnnie is one of those people who are genuinely eccentric - so much so, it is easy to lose sight of how much cooking means to him. I was in tears when he got through to the judging on his dessert, I really could not tell whether he or Lisa Allen was going to win! He ought to write a book "Down and Out and Cooking in London" :-)
Jaysus. Gary Oldman. Spot on. Bloody uncanny.

Lovely pic, Kavey

meemalee said…
@Nicky - Perfect description!

@Pavel - Biased!

@Miss Whiplash - Haven't dared ask if it's his real name or not.

@chumbles - I believe Johnnie is writing a book but that isn't the name :)

@Going with my Gut - Every time I see him it just confirms the fact.
ferdiesfoodlab said…
I'm loving Great British Menu, like reading a top end cook with no hands! So many great techniques and ingredients, I'm constantly scribbling ideas down!!
Anonymous said…
But where did he get his glasses from? I loooove them!