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Interview with Ruth Hansom representing North East on Great British Menu 2020

In the last week of regional heats for Great British Menu, Women In the Food Industry spoke to Ruth Hansom, the first female chef to win Young National Chef of The Year.

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Interview with Ruth Hansom representing North East on Great British Menu 2020

"Good things will take time. I think I may have been too young when I did some competitions, so select those you feel really ready for."
Ruth Hansom

Great British Menu (GBM) returned to the nation;s screens in March for season 15 and puts the nation’s most talented chefs to the test. Women in the Food Industry are continuing their series of interviews with the strong female line-up of chefs from across Britain competing to serve their dish at the final banquet. Co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, nterviewed Ruth Hansom, Former Head Chef at Pomona’s and first ever female winner of Young National Chef of The Year.

Ruth got into the food world with a programme called Future Chef, which is run by Springboard and is held for school children under the age of 16. Her sucess in that programme led to working at The Ritz where she won The Craft Guild of Chefs'  Young National Chef of the Year Award in 2017. She was the first woman to win the title and said "It took me three years to do it, I came second and third in the first years I entered, so became really determined to win that".

Ruth is no stranger to competitive TV shows and was a winner on BBC's Million Pound Menu. She was asked how being on Great British Menu compared.

"Well Great British Menu is quite well established so it’s a lot smoother. When I was on Million Pound Menu that was its first year, so it was all a bit hectic and there was less time to prepare in advance. Whereas Great British Menu is in its fifteenth year and is a well oiled machine".

All of the chefs taking part in Great British Menu seem to have enjoyed working with the children's literature theme. Ruth explained how she prepared for it:

"When I first got the theme I was thinking how on earth am I going to do this. But when you start thinking about it, children’s books are full of food and it allowed for some really good props, which you will see. With our week, we’ve gone really heavy on the props. Not just my dishes but everyone else in the round. You’ll see some big props.  My fish course was probably the most proppy.

She found the dessert course her hardest to prepare for "Although I do desserts, I think I found it the most difficult. You are given sub-genres and ours was realism in children’s literature. There is some realism in children’s books but they’re also primarily fictitious, so I found hitting the dessert brief here probably the hardest".

Ruth will be appearing on Great British Menu from Wednesday 6th May 2020 representing the North East.  You can read the full interview with Ruth Hansom on Great British Menu here and find out more about her background and who inspires her in the food industry.