Ian makes his Great British Menu TV debut

Head Chef Ian Orr serving up Prawns on Katiafa Pastry and Venison Pasta at Brown's Restaurant, Bond's Hill, yesterday afternoon. 2202JM48
Head Chef Ian Orr serving up Prawns on Katiafa Pastry and Venison Pasta at Brown's Restaurant, Bond's Hill, yesterday afternoon. 2202JM48

A local chef is to appear on the popular BBC cooking programme - Great British Menu.

Ian Orr, Chef Patron of Brown’s Restaurant and Champagne Lounge on Bonds Hill in Derry’s Waterside, will be the first chef to appear on the show that hails from the north west.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ he said, “The show were looking for new talent to take part in the show, so I put my hat in the ring.

“The production team came to film me for a short piece and then I got the call that I had made the final cut.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity and one that I took very seriously.

“Last May I got the word that I was one of the three chefs taking part in the Northern Ireland heat, and between then and filming in November I practised and refined my recipes countless times.”

Great British Menu always follows a theme, and this year is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Comic Relief. The chefs had to produce menus that were funny and quirky, designed to make the diner laugh.

They also had to organise a fundraising event however Ian is keeping tight-lipped about both.

“I can’t say anything ahead of the show airing but I’m happy with the dishes I presented, and you can see the fundraising idea when it’s aired too.

“The experience was brilliant, and I gained so much from taking part. The mentor really steers your ideas and I was fortunate to have someone who I respect as my mentor.”

The exposure on the show is great, not just for Ian and his restaurants, but for the city during the City of Culture year.

Ian said: “I was always trying to plug Derry and the City of Culture accolade so I’m hoping they include that in the final show but you film for four hours every day and it’s compressed into 30 minutes, so we’ll see!”

Aside from the show Ian has been busy preparing for the opening of another restaurant in Derry, this time based in the city centre on the Strand Road.

Called ‘Browns in the Town’, it will be another fine dining venture and Ian says this is indicative of the burgeoning food scene in the city.

“Derry is expanding its food tastes and people are expecting more, so we’re hoping that our fine dining experience will be well received.”

You can catch Ian’s television debut on Great British Menu every evening on BBC2 at 7.30pm from Monday 4th to Friday 8th March.