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.
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
· 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
· 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
· Kray Treadwell, Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds
· Sabrina Gidda, AllBright, London
· Ryan Simpson-Trotman, Orwells, Oxfordshire
Friday guest judge: Ali Campbell UB40
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
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