Stuart Collins, chef-patron of acclaimed restaurant, Docket no.33 in Whitchurch, Shropshire, is confirmed in lineup by BBC Two for this year’s Great British Menu, set to air on Wednesday 24th March.
The renowned chef, who opened Docket no.33 in the market town of Whitchurch back in 2017, has been selected, alongside some of the UK’s best chefs, to star in the BBC 2 show. Competing against fellow chefs from the ‘Central’ region including Liam Dillon, Shannon Johnson and returning-chef Sabrina Gidda, Stuart will create his ultimate dishes in a bid to reach the finals and get it featured on the menu at this year’s prestigious banquet.
It’s no surprise that Stuart was invited to join the star-studded lineup with consecutive ‘Michelin Plate’ accolades and a series of top UK and international establishments under his belt. His extensive experience includes working with a host of household names including Gary Rhodes, Michael Caines and Gordon Ramsay.
After a working-stage under Gary Rhodes at City Rhodes (1*), he worked with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park (2*) for over 4 years and then went onto Gordon Ramsay at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (3*) for a year before being part of the brigade that helped set up Gordon’s New York restaurants, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (2*) and maze, both at The London NYC, where he became Gordon’s Head Chef at Maze.
Stuart returned to the UK as Executive Chef for Michael Caines’ venture at the Abode Hotel in Chester before jetting back overseas to Doha, Qatar, working across four varying hospitality projects for Qatar Foundation.
In 2017, Stuart and his wife Frances took the leap to open their own restaurant, Docket No.33, in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The restaurant, which has featured for two consecutive years in the prestigious Michelin Guide GB & NI, offers a carefully curated Tasting Menu with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.
The menu is a take on modern British cooking along with influences from Stuart’s international career, such as pan roasted quail with globe artichoke, Girolle a la Grecqué & black truffle egg yolk and Ruby chocolate cremeux, yuzu, vanilla shortbread, golden sorrel.
On the Great British Menu announcement, Chef Stuart Collins comments: “Following a turbulent year, it’s a huge honour to have been invited to participate in the show this year against a top line up of chefs and some stiff competition. I loved every minute of it and believe the dishes I have created reflect the lengths that we go to create the perfect dish at Docket.
“Shropshire is known to be a hub for exceptional local producers allowing us to curate contemporary British dishes with a trace of international influence from my travels and experience. Although we have had a truly humbling response to our ‘Docket at Home’ offer, now an opening date is insight for the restaurant, I’m waiting with bated breath for the show to air and can’t wait to open the doors to the restaurant once again for people to experience my cooking first hand.“
After a difficult year for the industry, the return of the much-loved Great British Menu show has been eagerly anticipated. The series will follow the same format as previous years with chefs from eight different regions of the UK participating. A week will be dedicated to each region with four chefs cooking their dishes for a judge who will score their courses out of ten. The lowest scoring chef after the starters and main courses will leave the competition, and then another chef will leave after the remaining have been served. The final two chefs will then cook all of their dishes for the panel of judges, who will then decide which chef has won the region.
Andi Oliver will present the show, replacing Susan Calman, who hosted last year’s series. This year, British innovation will be celebrated as 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee inventing the World Wide Web and Helen Sharman becoming the first British astronaut to go into space.
Stuart and the team have kept busy over the past few months, not only with Stuart’s filming commitments for Great British Menu, but with their ‘Docket at Home’ offer. Recognising that guests were missing their tasting menu whilst in lockdown, the team developed a weekly-changing menu featuring much-loved dishes including Braised beef cheek with pickled green sauce, rainbow chard & puffed potatoes and Rhubarb & custard tart with pistachio praline, Champagne & rhubarb puree. Sold in boxes that guests simply ‘finish’ from the comfort of their own home, the menu has sold out every week since launch and so the team plans to continue to offer the meal kits even after reopening the restaurant.
The team hopes to open the doors to Docket No.33 once again in May, subject to government guidelines.
To book Docket no.33 or to purchase Docket at Home, please visit http://docketrestaurant.com/no-33/.