The exciting news that Mark McCabe would be a contestant on the BBC’s Great British Menu 2023 came whilst Bill was working with him on bespoke tableware for The Ethicurean. Bill was thrilled when Mark asked him to create unique tableware to present two of the dishes he was developing for the show – his starter and fish dish. With very little time to play with Bill worked with Mark to develop ideas.
The theme of the show was animation and illustration and Mark’s first dish was inspired by Dennis the Menace. Mark’s take on prison porridge (a beautiful medley of mushrooms and barley) won him an 8 from judge Tom Aiken and everyone loved the props and presentation.
Mark’s fish dish was inspired by Spindrift a beautiful if “bleak” animated film. His dish was finished off with a smoked yoghurt whey foam which inspired Bill’s unusual approach to decorating the bowls.
These were both really interesting pieces to make, as neither of them were conventionally thrown and Bill had to step outside of his usual creative processes and get inventive! The Dennis The Menace dishes were formed over a hump mould, incorporating folds to represent the paper of the comic. He then added a thrown foot ring while the pots were still on the mould.
The Spindrift bowls were made from Rokk, a grey grogged stoneware clay, and then decorated with porcelain bubbles blown through a drinking straw.
Mark was really pleased with the finished effects and they certainly complemented his beautiful cookery on the show.