Drayton & Taverham

Drayton mum on a mission

Just Regional
Nov 23, 2015 4 mins read

When chef Richard Bainbridge achieved no less than two dishes in the Great British Menu banquet, there was no question who he was going to invite along to the feast. Mum Jill Bainbridge has been one of his biggest supporters – she even joined Drayton WI to get him the inside view on this inspiring organisation.

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It’s a big year for the Women’s Institute!

WI groups across the country have been celebrating the centenary of the organisation – and Drayton WI is no exception!

In fact, they have a celebrity in their midst, as member Jill Bainbridge appeared in BBC2’s Great British Menu, which this year was centred around creating a banquet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WI.

You see, Jill is mum to chef Richard Bainbridge, who was responsible for the starter and dessert in the final banquet.

After three series without success on the show, Richard took inspiration from the strong women in his life for the WI brief and  felt this was going to be his year – and with a little help from mum, it certainly was!

“When he was thinking about going on the show again, Richard joked that I’d have to join the WI and get him the inside info,” said Jill, who moved to Drayton from Hellesdon nine years ago. “I’d thought about joining before, so I did.”

Sworn to secrecy about everything to do with the show, many of her fellow WI members didn’t even know that Richard was involved. Her clandestine mission – should she choose to accept it – was to get a true experience of the WI.

“There was so much secrecy,” said Jill. “I couldn’t really say much because I was so frightened that he would be edited out if I did, but a few members knew that Richard was going to be on the show and I was able to ask their opinions on things.”

Despite all the excitement, Jill had to wait five months before the programme was aired in September and she could finally celebrate properly.

“The first WI meeting after the banquet had been on TV they all greeted me with a round of applause, which was wonderful,” said Jill. “They’re such a lovely group and were so supportive.

“The banquet was an incredible experience. I sat next to judge Prue Leith and we had a laugh. After Michael O’Hare’s fish and chips dish we had squid ink everywhere and Nanny Bush’s Trifle tent ended up on Prue’s head!

“I watched everyone eating Richard’s food and I was so proud.”

Christine Marling, who was Drayton WI president up until November, said: “It was very exciting to see Richard in the various stages, and then watching Jill at the banquet sitting next to Prue Leith and thinking she’s from Drayton WI!

“I don’t know how she kept it a secret for so long!

“Richard was her motivation to come but she’s really enjoying it and it’s great to have her as a member.”

Richard’s starter, entitled All Stand For Jerusalem, is his take on the famous Women’s Institute anthem. However, the dessert is probably what people will remember most about Richard’s time on the show. Nanny Bush’s Trifle with Sister B’s DIY Victoria Sponge Cocktail was the perfect end to a special banquet.

“If it wasn’t for my mum, my nanny, my sister, my beautiful wife Katja and my baby daughter Holly, I would not be standing where I am now. Those guys always believed in me and pushed me to be the person that I am and it was great that I could pay homage to them.”

Growing up in Hellesdon with his mum and sister Gemma, it was Jill’s mum – the infamous Nanny Bush – who really inspired Richard to cook.

“Richard was always willing to help in the kitchen from quite a young age,” said Jill. “Nanny Bush was an excellent pastry cook. It’s so wonderful that we’re keeping Nanny Bush’s Trifle alive in our hearts for her.”

And anyone who wants to try some of Nanny Bush’s Trifle can simply make a booking at Richard’s new restaurant, Benedicts in Norwich.

www.restaurantbenedicts.com

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