John's culinary skills put to TV test

It seemed a “rasher” idea but over a couple of pints at his friendly local Norfolk farmer John Kenny was persuaded to take the plunge and put his culinary skills to the test.

It seemed a “rasher” idea but over a couple of pints at his friendly local Norfolk farmer John Kenny was persuaded to take the plunge and put his culinary skills to the test.

And tonight, using his own local product, he will be cooking for national television in a competition to choose Britain's Best Dishes.

Mr Kenny, a self-taught enthusiast who does all the cooking for the family, has won through to the regional final and will be cooking his favourite recipe, slow-cooked belly of pork with spiced roast apple and crackling - from one of his own pigs.

Landlord of the King's Head, Coltishall and masterchef Kevin Gardner, who taught him how to prepare the pork belly, is confident that he could go the whole hog and win the national contest.

“We use John's pork,” said Mr Gardner. “Jane, his wife, and I put him up for Britain's Best Dish and I showed how to cook that dish.”

“I still can't really remember agreeing to enter,” said John, who looks after his five rare breed sows at Spratts Green, near Aylsham.

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“I think they were looking for people who really use local, regional or seasonal produce. And I think I probably had the edge because I was cooking slow-cooked crispy belly pork from my own pigs.”

After months of auditions and weeks of tasting more than 120 recipes from across Britain, the three top judges, restaurateur Ed Baines, wine expert Jilly Goolden and Michelin-starred chef John Burton Race have tasted the very best recipes from the nation's amateur cooks. They will select the best starter, best main course and the top pudding but the viewing public will decide Britain's best dish.

Will John make it through to the live final of Britain's Best Dish on Friday night and win the top prize of £10,000.

t Follow John's progress, IVT1 tonight 5pm.

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