The Great British Menu is back - here are the chefs and judges for the new series

It is one of the best food programmes on the telly - and this time the Great British Menu goes pop in honour of The Beatles

By Sue Wilkinson
Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 9:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 9:13 am
The Great British Menu judges: Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver and Matthew Fort
The Great British Menu judges: Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver and Matthew Fort

The new series of Great British Menu is back on BBC from Wednesday March 20.

The theme of the series this year is British Pop music and it marks the 50th anniversary of the last time The Beatles played live together.

With a brand new format and slot on peak television, the series will see 24 chefs from across Britain’s regions compete to serve their dish at the final banquet. Here, at the famous Abbey Road Studios, just one exceptional chef will once again be crowned champion of champions.

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The resident judges will be Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver and Matthew Fort. They will be joined by a different judge for the regional rounds.

Produced and filmed in The Midlands, the series recognises the best of British with renowned chefs from every corner of the country, each looking to impress our judges with a unique take on the theme.

With a new format, two mid-week hour-long episodes will see chefs present their dishes to the formidable veteran judges who represent the biggest names in the UK restaurant scene, including Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Paul Ainsworth, and Daniel Clifford.

The week will conclude with a 30-minute regional final each Friday where two chefs will need to convince the judges that their dishes deserve a spot in the national finals and – if they’re impressive enough – to be served up at Abbey Road Studios.

It’s not just up to the three judges, however, as each week a guest judge will be joining to help select the best dishes from each region in the Friday regional final. Representing Britain’s rich music heritage across the generations, guest judges include Mani from the Stone Roses, Andrew Ridgley from Wham!, and hip-hop musician Loyle Carner.

Patrick Holland, BBC Two Controller, says: “Great British Menu is a brilliant celebration of the best talent in the UK food scene, loved by audiences young and old. I am delighted with its new shape and place at the heart of the schedule.”

Andi Oliver said: “It’s all kicking off in the best possible way over here at Great British Menu headquarters. We’ve moved to beautiful Stratford upon Avon in the heart of the glorious Midlands and the brief this year is just sensational.

"We’re celebrating the excellence and worldwide knockout success of British music.The passionate and dynamic new talented chefs in the kitchen this year perfectly mirror the inspiring exciting world of british music and holding the banquet at Abbey Road studios is the spectacular icing on the top of a very big and very delicious cake.”

Chefs, Guest Judges and Veterans

London and South East

Competing chefs:

· Ben Marks, Perilla, London

· Luke Selby, Hide, London

· Paul Walsh, City Social, London

Friday guest judge: Mani (Gary Mounfield) former bass player, Stone Roses & Primal Scream

North East

Competing chefs:

· Michael Carr, formerly Restaurant 92, Harrogate

· Samira Effa, formerly Alimentum, Cambridge, now The Box Tree, Ilkley

· Tom Anglesea, The Laughing Heart, London

Friday guest judge: Pete Waterman, Record Producer


Competing chefs:

· Kray Treadwell, Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds

· Sabrina Gidda, AllBright, London

· Ryan Simpson-Trotman, Orwells, Oxfordshire

Friday guest judge: Ali Campbell UB40

North West

Competing chefs:

· Adam Reid, Adam Reid at The French, Manchester

· Hrishikesh Desai, The Gilpin Hotel, Lake District

· Liam Simpson-Trotman, Orwells, Oxfordshire

Friday guest judge: Amy MacDonald, singer-song writer


Competing chefs:

· Andrew Sheridan, formerly Sosban, Camarthenshire

· Tom Westerland, The Brasserie at Lucknam Park Hotel, Wiltshire

· Cindy Challoner, formerly The Classroom, Cardiff

Friday guest judge: JB Gill, former member of JLS

South West

Competing chefs:

· Emily Scott, St Tudy Inn, Cornwall

· Joe Baker, Number 10, Jersey

· Lee Smith, Samphire, Jersey

Friday guest judge: Rev. Richard Coles, former member of The Communards


Competing chefs:

· Ben Reade, Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh

· Gordon Jones, Menu Gordon Jones, Bath

· Lorna McNee, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles

Friday guest judge: Keisha Buchanan, former member of Sugababes

Northern Ireland

Competing chefs:

· Alex Greene, Deanes EIPIC, Belfast

· Chris McClurg, Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall

· Glen Wheeler, 28 Darling St, Enniskillen

Friday guest judge: Loyle Carner, hip hop musician


Finals Judges

Starter: Martin Kemp, former member of Spandau Ballet

Fish: Kanya King, founder MOBO Awards

Main: Andrew Ridgeley, former member of Wham!

Dessert: Peter Hook, former member Joy Division & New Order

Veteran Judges Across The Series:

Tom Aikens - restaurants include Tom’s Kitchen, various locations

Daniel Clifford - Midsummer House, Cambridge

Angela Hartnett - restaurants include Murano and Merchants Tavern, both London

Michael O’Hare - The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds

Paul Ainsworth - restaurants include No 6 and Rojano’s, both Padstow

Phil Howard - Elystan Street, London

Richard Corrigan - restaurants include Corrigan’s Mayfair and Bentley’s, both London

Tommy Banks – Roots, York and The Black Swan, Oldstead