Ingham chef reveals inspiration behind appearance on TV cooking show

Daniel Smith, chef patron at The Ingham Swan, Ingham. Picture: PJBAYFIELD/TIMESNIPER.COM

Daniel Smith, chef patron at The Ingham Swan, Ingham. Picture: PJBAYFIELD/TIMESNIPER.COM - Credit: PJBAYFIELD

A chef from Norfolk is hoping to make history by serving up a treat fit for a Queen in a national cooking competition.

The Ingham Swan, Ingham. Picture: PJBAYFIELD/TIMESNIPER.COM

The Ingham Swan, Ingham. Picture: PJBAYFIELD/TIMESNIPER.COM - Credit: Archant

Forty-one-year-old Daniel Smith, who runs The Ingham Swan, near Stalham, has been selected to take part in BBC television series The Great British Menu.

He is competing for the chance to cook at a banquet in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II's 'Great Britons' at the Palace of Westminster - the first televised banquet to be held in the historic House of Commons Members' Dining Room.

The former candyfloss seller, who now owns three restaurants and won Norfolk Chef of the Year at the Eastern Daily Press Norfolk Food & Drink Awards in 2014, is representing the Central region in the competition and his menu reflects his passion for the county.

Daniel is competing against Danny Gill, formerly of The Flitch of Bacon in Essex and now at The Bell in Coleby, Lincs and Andrew Scott of Restaurant 56 in Oxfordshire in the programme, which airs on BBC2 on Monday, September 26.

Daniel Smith, chef patron at The Ingham Swan, Ingham.

Daniel Smith, chef patron at The Ingham Swan, Ingham. - Credit: Submitted

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They are challenged to create dishes that are a fitting legacy to our modern Elizabethan Age.

Daniel said: 'I went to London and arrived in Camden, where the

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programme was shot, heavily armed with a lot of Norfolk produce. You're not conscious anyone is watching you.'

Norfolk-born Daniel, whose family run a tea room in Great Yarmouth where he began spinning candyfloss at the Pleasure Beach as a teenager, revealed the inspiration for his cooking came from his late father, Tony - a former Mayor of Great Yarmouth.

'He was a big guy with a big personality and one of the reasons

why I love food,' he added.

The two chefs scored most highly by the Veteran judges in each round of The Great British Menu present their four course menu to award winning restaurant critic, Matthew Fort, doyenne of British cookery, Prue Leith, and acclaimed restaurateur, Oliver Peyton.

Each week they are joined by a guest judge, including award winning food writers and critics as well as esteemed chefs and restaurateurs honoured for their services to the hospitality industry.

Together, with the Great British Menu judges, they

will decide which chef will be the champion of their region.

The eight regional winners will then compete in the National Finals for a chance to cook at the Great Britons Banquet at the Houses of Parliament.

Oliver Peyton said: 'The chance to cook at the Palace of Westminster is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it would be

considered a crowning glory of any career. The competition this year is intense, the chefs sense how well they need to cook. As a result the quality of the dishes produced is outstanding, world class.'

Norfolk-born, Daniel has an impressive track record spanning 20 years. He started out at the two Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche, working for Michel Roux Junior.

He then moved back to Norfolk working under another renowned chef, Galton Blackiston at Morston Hall for five years. Daniel was head Chef and aged 23 when Morston Hall was awarded a Michelin star.

In April 2010 he decided to open his first restaurant, The

Ingham Swan, near the Norfolk coast, which holds a Bib Gourmand and 2 AA Rosettes.

He has since expanded his empire in Norfolk, taking over The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross in 2015 and opening Warwick St Social in Norwich's Golden Triangle in May 2016.

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