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In a world of the Great British Bake Off, the Great British
Sewing Bee, the Great Pottery Throw Down and other tediously twee TV shows, it
seemed only a matter of time until every other icon of Britishness is prefixed
with the word Great and sold back to the public.
This writer's idea for an art piece called the Grate British Cheese Off - in which supermarket cheddar is put through a grater until everyone is interminably cheesed off - remains unfulfilled. But fatty food fans need not worry because there's a Great British Fry Off taking place in a few weeks that can clog their arteries and tug their twee receptors until the cows come home. In fact, it's just about the biggest fry up ever cooked by our count.
The brainchild of London chef Gareth Sanderson - owner of Pomona restaurant in Notting Hill - and Tom Shiers, of Fry Up Police fame, the event will be held at Sanderson's gaff and will feature "a choice of a meat or vegetarian fry up consisting of nothing but the very best ingredients the country has to offer."
"As you already know, it's the quality of the ingredients that sets apart the standard of one plate of food to the next, and sourcing these components is almost as exciting as the finished plate itself," says the blurb for the event. They've already recruited Fruit Pig Company in Norfolk and the rest of the vendors are in the post for an event that will include cocktails from a bartender that previously worked for Gordon Ramsay.
Some people might suggest that the essence of the fry up lies in brevity and price. The simple combo of snorkers, bacon, fried eggs and bread, black (or white, Scots...) pudding and perhaps a lonely mushroom and tomato to be left on the side as a nod to decades of anti-heart disease campaigns, all doused in beans and brown sauce.
The Great British Fry Off don't subscribe to this theory. They've got artisanal meats and "some of our favourite independent sauce makers to showcase their products". Last time I checked, the HP sauce bottle proclaims it to be good enough for the Queen herself, but who knows?
There will be four sittings and a price that staggers at over 20 notes. The team behind GBFU acknowledge the inherent GIRFU in the price, stating: "You're not just getting a fry up crafted with the best ingredients in the country by a top chef and team, you're getting exclusive use of a top London restaurant, an incredible bar, banging choons and a great vibe. Where else in London are you going to get all that + food for £20?"
The question might not be where we will get all that and food for less than £20, but rather why we would want all that to go along with our fiver's worth of hangover breakfast. A quiet room, a cup of tea and Football Focus might do the job.
Still, with those ingredients and top chefs, it's sure to be a decent feed. Whether it's the best served since Gary Wilmot's wedding, we don't know, but we're sure that it'll be at least a solid seven out of 10.
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