Leaders order a No10 special
Reporter: Robbie Gill
Date online: 19 June 2014
DOWNING Street almost became a Hell’s kitchen for twin chefs Lisa and Helen Tse as they cooked for two of the world’s most powerful men.
The Chadderton girls were first of all left off the official invitation list - then found there was no gas in the No 10 kitchens!
Lisa and Helen, who run the Sweet Mandarin in Manchester, got the chance of a lifetime of cooking lunch for Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese premier Li Keqiang at their high-powered meeting in London yesterday.
Lisa said: “It was a very exciting but nerve-wracking experience. When we got there we weren’t on the list and had to get Mr Cameron’s assistant out to let us in. Then the gas wasn’t working and we had to get engineers to come out.”
Eventually Helen and Lisa got down to work and cooked some of their favourite dishes for the leaders including Mabel’s Clay Pot chicken, a dish named after their mother.
The meal also featured their home-made siracha sauce, so popular that when Lisa accompanied the Prime Minister to China last December, she won a £6 million export deal.
The twins are now exporting their best-selling cookbook and a British-brewed beer that follows a Chinese recipe.
The twins, whose restaurant won Best Local Chinese Restaurant in the UK on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s “F Word” TV show, got off to a tough start but finished their work in style.
“It was just as nerve-wracking as cooking for Gordon Ramsay but once we got going it felt natural. The kitchen is a home from home to us,” said Lisa.
The pair later had a private chat with the Prime Minister and Chinese premier.
Lisa said: “Mr Keqiang said he loved our food and all the plates came back empty, which was great to see.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen.”
Have Your Say