BBC Two’s Great British Menu is back and, this year, it makes history as the Palace of Westminster opens its doors for the first televised banquet to be held in the historic House of Commons Members’ Dining Room.
In a bid to cook at this ultimate banquet, the competition reaches new highs in the kitchen as past record scores are equalled then smashed.
The regional heats see one newcomer achieve the highest mark ever given in the competition’s history.
This year, the chefs are competing to cook at the banquet in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘Great Britons’.
At a time when British cuisine is respected and revered around the world, the chefs are challenged to create dishes which could be a fitting legacy to our Modern Elizabethan Age. In the year the country celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday, the chefs have been inspired by the transformation in British food throughout her historic reign, and by the achievements of Her Majesty’s Great Britons.
These are ordinary, everyday people who have been recognised on the Queen’s birthday and New Year’s honours’ list over the years for their extraordinary achievements in different walks of life.
Some of these Great Britons have been given OBEs, CBEs, MBEs or the BEM for going above and beyond for their community, their charity or for their country. Others have won the highest military honour, the VC, or been given medals for gallantry for courage at home and overseas.
In the regional heats, the chefs’ dishes will be judged by eight competition veterans who are now among the most accomplished and successful chefs in the UK. They include Daniel Clifford, Simon Rogan, Phil Howard, Richard Corrigan, Michael O’Hare and Angela Hartnett.
The two chefs who are scored most highly by the veteran judges will then present their four-course menu to award-winning restaurant critic Matthew Fort; doyenne of British cookery, Prue Leith; and acclaimed restaurateur Oliver Peyton.
Each week the panel of three will be joined by a guest judge who has been feted in his or her field. They include award-winning food writers and critics as well as esteemed chefs and restaurateurs honoured for their services to the hospitality industry.
Together, with the Great British Menu judges, they will decide which chef will be the champion of their region, and worthy of potentially becoming an ambassador for contemporary British cuisine.
The eight regional winners will then compete in the National Finals for a chance to cook at the Great Britons Banquet at the Houses of Parliament.
- May 2018
- BBC Two
World-class chefs from across the nation once again sharpen their knives and perfect their menus as they prepare for battle in the UK’s longest running and most loved food competition series, Great British Menu.
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