Hrishikesh Dedicates His Appearance on Great British Menu to Late Cousin, Nayana
Hrishikesh has supported The Chefs’ Forum since he ran the cookery school at the Michelin-starred Lucknam Park in Colerne. It is fantastic to see how his career has progressed and the sheer talent and professionalism displayed during the latest series of Great British Menu 2020.
After beginning his hospitality career in front of house, Desai decided he wanted to become a chef after earning a scholarship to the Institut Paul Bocuse in France.
He then went on to train at both Lucknam Park in Colerne, working under chef Hywel Jones, as well as at Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred The French Laundry in California.
In 2009 he won the prestigious Roux Scholarship and collected the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year award in 2010.
Always mild-mannered and incredibly polite, it was an absolute pleasure to see him return to Great British Menu 2020.
It was great to see Hrishikesh Desai in the final of Great British Menu once again, but this series saw the chef having to put a brave face on whilst he was in inner turmoil.
You may have seen Hrishikesh become rather tearful when asked to present his dish, Mr McGregor’s Garden (pictured below).
Hrishikesh retorted that it was because “he’s worked very hard” on the dish.
In reality, he was struggling with news of his close cousin having been taken off life support in the final stage of cancer.
The pressure further mounted when on the day of filming the final, Hrishikesh learned that she had sadly passed away.
“I am so grateful to all those who supported me and got me through this last series of the Great British menu. It is so difficult to carry on as normal, when in such a fragile emotional state. As soon as filming finished, I was able to travel straight to Heathrow to attend my cousin’s funeral in New York, at least I had the chance to properly say goodbye.”
“I would like to dedicate this series of Great British Menu to my cousin, Nayana, she really was very special to me and this is how I would like to celebrate her life, cruelly cut-short by cancer. I would love to return once more to compete in this fantastic competition and congratulate all the chefs who took part this year. It was fantastic to work with Tom Barnes and I congratulate him on making it to the national final”.
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House can be found on the edge of Windermere in the Lake District.