Over the last few weeks, the famous TV series in Britain, “MasterChef” and the Great British Menu have been serving up a feast full of tasty television for viewers to tuck into. MasterChef hunts for the best amateur chef and the Great British Menu gives star chefs the chance to compete for the opportunity to cook a banquet at the Royal Albert Hall.
Most of you will be aware from watching MasterChef who celebrity chef John Torode is. As an Australian from Melbourne, he moved over to the UK in the early 1990s to promote his love of good food and Australasian inspired cuisine. John cooked his way to the top and, in 2005, he replaced Gary Rhodes in the re-launch of MasterChef. To experience John’s menu, visit his restaurants, The Luxe or the Smith of Smithfield, in London. For those who’d rather travel a little further afield, explore the origins of his cooking with a once in a lifetime holiday to Australia
As the BBC chefs battle it out weekly to impress the judges with some mouth-watering British classics, we got thinking about famous chefs and signature dishes from around the world that deserve recognition. Here are a few that we came up with:
Famous chef: The Reggae Reggae sauce creator, entrepreneur and multi- millionaire Levi Roots was born in Jamaica in 1958 and sells Jamaican inspired sauce around the world. After making the sauce in his own kitchen with his children for many years, Levi’s real success came after he appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2007. After investment from 2 of the dragons, Levi’s products fast became one of the best investments that the programme has seen. By promoting his love of good food and cool music together, he has made these Caribbean inspired foods very popular. The sauce is so nice, he even named it twice!
Now with a booming business of Reggae Reggae products including drinks, cakes and cook books, Levi has a net worth of about £30 million.
Signature dish: The dining experience in Jamaica offers a mix of authentic Caribbean flavours in the dished that range from beach style food, barbeques, rice and chicken and, of course, jerk meat and vegetables.
Recommended Restaurant: Scotchies in Montego Bay is renowned for being the most authentic jerk chicken experience on the island. Put some music in your food and visit Jamaica to sample the delights.
Things to do: Visit Kingston in Jamaica and take the time to stop past the museum of Bob Marley. With exhibitions including artefacts, instruments and even vehicles that the reggae music maker himself once used, it provides a fantastic day out for all music lovers.
Famous Chef: Everyone’s Italian favourite Gino D’Acampo, is a charismatic and entertaining chef who doesn’t hold back. Best known for being a regular on the daytime TV show, This Morning, Gino is frequently in the public eye. He stays true to his Italian roots and its delicious cuisine, and offers fantastic recipes for all to enjoy. Gino has hosted a number of television shows, as well as releasing numerous books and hosting his own radio cooking show.
Recommended Restaurant: To experience Gino’s menu for yourself, visit the Zinco Italian Eateries in Borehamwood and Watford.
Things to do: In Italy, the Cappella Sansevero is a historic chapel that contains works of art by some of the leading Italian artists of the 18th century. As one of the most popular attractions within Naples, it is definitely worth a trip. With a host of luscious dining and historical architecture to offer, make sure you visit Italy with lowcostholidays.com.
Famous chef: Henrique Sá Pessoa is a Portuguese chef who studied at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in the United States. He later gained experience in London and Sydney before returning to his home town, Lisbon, where he opened his own restaurant called Alma. Not only is his restaurant one of the most popular in Lisbon, he also hosts weekly cooking shows on national Portuguese television. Traditional Portuguese cuisine includes dishes such as salted cod, grilled sardines and peri-peri chicken. Despite Henrique’s contemporary cooking style, there are still aspects of traditional flavours and techniques in his food.
Signature Dish: Enjoy roast fillet of salted cod with chickpea puree, vinaigrette and oven roasted tomatoes, taken from the classic menu at his Alma restaurant – it’s well worth making the trip to Portugal for!
Recommended Restaurant: The top restaurant to sample Henrique’s food is the Alma restaurant in Lisbon. Alma means ‘soul’ in Portuguese and the restaurant definitely lives up to its name. It offers exquisite service, atmosphere and, of course, food.
Things to do: Explore the city, enjoy al fresco dining and drinks or watch traditional bullfighting. To find out more about what Lisbon has to offer, click here.
Famous Chef: Quique Dacosta is a top Spanish chef in the Costa Blanca region. His self-named restaurant sits in the tourist town of Denia. Famous for using locally sourced ingredients in his dishes, Quique Dacosta is a self-taught chef, which sets him apart from his contemporaries. Raised in Denia, Quique Dacosta fell into the food industry by chance, when washing up in a local pizza bar. At seventeen, he began working in the El Poblet restaurant and, to this day, he can still be found showing off his culinary flair in its kitchens, making the restaurant into a three Michelin star masterpiece. After changing its name to the Quique Dacosta restaurant, the reputation of this famous eatery has grown. Paying respect to the region he has lived in all his life, Quique Dacosta combines local ingredients with modern flair and passion. He has published books on his success, with close attention paid to fruit, vegetables and rice which, flourish in the hot Mediterranean climate.
Signature Dish: Cubalibre de foie gras with lemon granité and rocket can be sampled on the menu at the Quique Dacosta restaurant. Although for a real taste of Spain, enjoy some paella or local tapas.
Recommended Restaurant: Experience the creativity, talent and exquisite taste of the food served in the Quique Dacosta restaurant located in Denia, Costa Blanca. With numerous courses of dining excellence, the experience you will encounter is something you will never forget.
Things to do: Enjoy excellent beaches, great weather and authentic Spanish culture. There truly is something for everyone. Click here to find out more about holidays to Costa Blanca.
Famous chef: Michelin star chef Pericles Roussounides is Cyprus’ answer to Gordon Ramsey. Well-known for being grumpy, angry and outspoken, he manages to get away with it because his Mediterranean inspired food is world-class. He arrived in Cyprus in the early 1980s and has opened a string of restaurants, culminating in the impressive Nicosia, Mamasita. Married six times, he is passionate about duck fillet and doesn’t let romance distract from creating other top dishes.
Signature dish: Cypriot cuisine is similar to Greek food and involves lots of fresh salad, grilled meat and seafood. Cyprus potatoes are a treat enjoyed internationally, offering a unique, waxy taste that adds a delightful flavour to meals.
Recommended Restaurant: Latymbou Tavern in Paphos offers a relaxed atmosphere and light musical entertainment. You’ll find fresh food, friendly staff and lots of local wine to enjoy.
Things to do: When you visit Cyprus, try your hand at the Zenobia wreck dive in Larnaca. It’s one of the best dives in the world and will burn off the calories from holiday indulgence!
To experience some more of what the world has to offer, create your own food hunt inspired by some of the world’s most prestigious chefs and sample their famous delights around the globe.
Bio: Aimee Avory-Adams is an avid traveller, writer and destination marketer for lowcostholidays.com. She enjoys travelling and sharing her insight into some of the best destinations that she has visited around the globe.
Photo: Chef by smseafood – Flickr