A Chat with Five Star Kitchen Contestant Jordan Brady from Leicestershire’s JB Kitchen
If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that life tends to go in unexpected directions. That’s certainly the case for Jordan Brady, owner and head chef at JB Kitchen in Birstall, Leicestershire, and a former Great Food Club Food Hero of the Year.
Just over a decade ago, Jordan was homeless and sleeping rough, having left school aged 13. However, he turned his life around by becoming a chef and eventually launched JB Kitchen. And now Jordan has joined 12 other chefs for a new Channel 4 & Netflix TV show called Five Star Kitchen, which starts on Thursday, June 8, and runs for six episodes under the watchful eye of Michel Roux Jr. The winner will run The Palm Court restaurant at the world-famous hotel The Langham in London.
“They contacted me,” Jordan told GFC, “they’d come across the JB Kitchen story and wanted to know if I’d be interested in applying. The process took about six months to get down to cooking on the show. It wasn’t just a matter of being able to produce five-star food – you also had to prove you could run a kitchen in a demanding environment like The Langham.
“I was nervous but wanted to see what I could do. I didn’t think I’d do as well as I did,” Jordan said, reflecting on the experience. “It was about what you can do with the ingredients, how you make them work. It’s all well and good having excellent ingredients, but can you make them sing?”
The feedback was a mix of kindness and toughness, pushing Jordan to reassess his work and constantly improve.
Michel Roux, a figure Jordan thought would be the “angry chef,” was supportive off-camera. “He was such a nice guy,” Jordan said, “he’d ask us how we were doing. It was long days and a very long process.”
Jordan says the Five Star Kitchen journey has changed his life and approach to food. “It’s completely altered my outlook as a chef and transformed my style of food,” he said.
When asked about the show’s air date, Jordan said: “The first episode goes out tomorrow, and the show runs for six weeks. After it finishes on Channel Four, it launches globally on Netflix.”
A global audience for a local chef from Birstall – that’s certainly a journey worth following. “They flew a chef over from California for the show. So yeah, it’s a global competition,” Jordan explained.
While Jordan couldn’t reveal many details about Five Star Kitchen, he shared a few dishes he’d prepared: ‘Rabbit in the Woods’ – a rabbit ballotine with mushrooms and truffle. Also, pig’s cheek with prawn and lobster foam, plus a celeriac custard-filled egg with lots of caviar.
And for those eager to sample these dishes, Jordan assured: “We are definitely going to try some of these dishes at JB Kitchen once the episodes start rolling out.”
As the conversation drew to a close, Jordan reflected on the journey. “Stay tuned and see what the boy from Birstall does,” he said, hinting at his journey ahead.
We can’t wait and wish Jordan all the best!