"It was important to me that the props didnt overshadow the food and that taste was still the most important thing. I really wanted to embrace the whole experience as much as possible."
Roberta Hall-McCarron & Amy Elles made history as the first two women who competed in the judges chamber on Great British Menu. Women In The Food Industry spoke to Roberta, who has now reached the finals about her experience.
Roberta Hall-McCarron, is Head Chef of The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh which she runs with her husband Shaun. She was first approached to be on Great British Menu in 2019 around the time she was opening her restaurant. She said "It didn’t quite feel like the right time as I was still very much finding my feet in my own kitchen and really wanted to focus on the restaurant. When they got back in touch this time around it was a no brainer as I had a strong team around me to look after the restaurant while I prepared for the show".
She has already won a number of accolades, including Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards and Breakthrough Chef of the Year in the Food & Travel Reader Awards. When asked if she felt she was under a lot of pressure to get to the banquet of Great British Menu, she replied:
"I don’t think the accolades put me under any pressure to get to the banquet, it is only the pressure I put on myself. I am a competitive person and I always want to cook to the best of my ability. If I can do that then I will be happy. Naturally, I am nervous about being judged on TV, I want everyone to like my food and especially as it is broadcasted to however many number of people nationally".
Great British Menu is very well known for the props used in the dishes to help tell the story for show's banquet theme. Roberta said. "It was important to me that the props didn’t overshadow the food and that taste was still the most important thing. I really wanted to embrace the whole experience as much as possible and give myself the best possible chance of getting to the banquet.
After competing with Amy Elles in the judges chamber and impressing judges including Andi Oliver, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort, Roberta will now be representing Scotland in the finals.
You can read the full interview with Roberta Hall on Great British Menu here and find out more about her background, how she opened her restaurant and who inspires her in the food industry.