The chefs pay tribute to 140 years of Wimbledon and new panellist Andi Oliver takes to the judging chamber.
Great British Menu returns to BBC Two to celebrate 140 incredible years of the Wimbledon Championships, the oldest and most prestigious grand slam tournament in the world.
This year, as the series celebrates its 500th episode, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort are joined in the judging chamber by a new member of the panel, food broadcaster and restaurateur Andi Oliver.
Helping them select the winning dishes are a host of guest judges who understand the skill and dedication required to triumph in SW19 including Gordon Reid MBE, Men’s Wheelchair Champion; Leon Smith, former coach of Andy Murray and Davis Cup Captain; Annabel Croft, previous British No.1 and Wimbledon royalty Sue Barker and Tim Henman.
The competition challenges 24 of the nation’s top chefs to create exceptional dishes fit to serve at this year’s banquet held in the shadow of Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Their creations must celebrate this year’s brief A Taste Of Summer reflecting the tastes, smells and colours of everybody’s favourite time of year and paying tribute to the incredible history and prestige of the Wimbledon Championships.
The competing chefs include previous banquet winners and ambitious first time competitors all cooking at the top of their game. In each weekly regional heat, three chefs first battle it out to impress a formidable veteran judge whose identity isn’t revealed until they walk through the door. Holding eight Michelin stars between them the veterans are some of the biggest names in the UK restaurant scene and include Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Michael O’Hare, Daniel Clifford and Nathan Outlaw.
Only two chefs make it through to the Friday regional final where they need to convince the formidable panel of judges that their dishes deserve a place in the national finals.