Great British Menu 2021: Everything you need to know, which chefs are competing, who are the national finalists, when is the banquet and more

The  Staff Canteen

Series 16 of the BBC's Great British Menu has returned to our screens and we're excited as ever for the competition that scouts out the UK's best chefs and challenges them for our entertainment.

After her debut in the series' Christmas Special, Andi Oliver is the show's new host host, and judges Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton OBE are now joined by chef, food writer and TV presenter Rachel Khoo.

All episodes of Great British Menu are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Which chefs are competing? 

The chefs on this year's series, each representing their region of origin, are as follows: 

Central region, airing on Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th and Friday 26th March

- Sabrina Gidda, The AllBright, London

Shannon Johnson, Hicce, London

Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn, Lichfield

- Stuart Collins, Docket no 33, Shropshire

Veteran chef/judge 

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Simon Rogan

Guest Judge 

Helen Sharman OBE, the first British astronaut to go into space.

Scotland, airing on Wednesday 31st March, Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd April

Roberta Hall-McCarron, The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh

Amy Elles, The Harbour Café, Fife

Stuart Ralston, Aizle, Edinburgh

Scott Smith, Fhior, Edinburgh

Veteran chef/judge 

Tom Brown

Guest Judge 

Geologist and adventurer Professor Chris Jackson

London and South East, airing on Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April

Kim Ratcharoen, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London

Oli Marlow, Roganic and Aulis, London and Hong Kong

Tony Parkin, Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room, Surrey

Ben Murphy, Launceston Place, London

Veteran chef / judge

Paul Ainsworth

Guest Judge 

Caroline Criado-Perez OBE, author and womens' rights activist

Wales, Airing on Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th April

Hywel Griffith, Beach House Restaurant, The Gower

Nathan Davies, SY23, Aberystwyth

Ali Borer, The Nutbourne, London

Chris Cleghorn, The Olive Tree, Bath

Veteran chef / judge

Tommy Banks

Guest judge 

Dr Hugh Hunt - reader in Cambridge University's Engineering Department-  known, amongst other things for helped TV speedster Guy Martin ride a wall of death - and recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Award for the public promotion of engineering.

North East, airing on Wednesday 21st April, Thursday 22nd April and Friday 23rd April

Alex Bond, Alchemilla, Nottingham

Ruth Hansom, The Princess of Shoreditch, London

Tom Spenceley, Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, London

Gareth Bartram, Winteringham Fields, North Lincolnshire

Veteran chef / judge

Simon Rogan

Guest Judge

Sophie Conran - celebrated designer, innovator and daughter of much-revered Sir Terence Conran.

Northern Ireland, airing on Wednesday 28th April, Thursday 29th April and Friday 30th April

Paul Cunningham, Brunel’s, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Gemma Austin, Alexander’s, Holywood

Phelim O’Hagan, Brown Bonds Hill, Londonderry

Andy Scollick, The Boat House, Bangor

Veteran chef / judge

Daniel Clifford

North West, airing on Wednesday 5th May, Thursday 6th May and Friday 7th May

Kirk Haworth, Plates, London

Dan McGeorge, Rothay Manor, Lake District

Dave Critchley, Lu Ban, Liverpool

Ashwani Rangta, Gupshup, Altrincham

Veteran chef/judge 

Tom Aikens

South West, airing on Wednesday 12th May, Thursday 13th May and Friday 14th May

Jude Kereama, Kota and Kota Kai, Porthleven, Cornwall

Elly Wentworth, The Angel, Dartmouth

Nick Beardshaw, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, London

Nat Tallents, The Box, Plymouth

Veteran chef/judge 

Angela Hartnett and Richard Corrigan

Guest judge

YouTube inventor Colin Furze

How many heats or regions are there?

The show pits chefs from eight regions against each other, with three competing chefs from each location: Scotland, the South West, the North West, Wales, Central, the London South/East area, the North East and Northern Ireland.

Where can I watch Great British Menu series 16? When is finals week and When is the  Banquet?

Great British Menu will air on BBC Two every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting on March 24th at 8pm. The be all and end all finals week and Banquet will take place on the week beginning May 17th. All episodes will be available to watch week by week on BBC iPlayer.

What is this year's theme? 

This year, the theme celebrates British Innovation, thirty years after Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web and Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut to go into space. This year's competition is likely to showcase technological advances in the kitchen, full of molecular gastronomy, gadgets and futuristic props.

Last year the aspiring chefs were tasked with putting together the best possible dishes to meet the Children's Literature theme - with all of the frills and props one can imagine. 

When does Great British Menu 2021 start?

The 2021 series of Great British Menu starts on Wednesday 24th March on BBC Two at 8pm, with three episodes a week running for eight weeks. The chefs will cook for the Banquet on the week commencing May 10th.

Which chefs made it to the National Finals on Great British Menu 2021?

Who won the central heat?

Stuart Collins, chef and owner of Docket 33 made it through to represent the Central region in the National Finals.

Who won the Scotland heat?

Roberta Hall-McCarron, chef and owner of The Little Chartroom will be representing Scotland in the National Finals. 

Who won the London and South East heat? 

Oli Marlow, head chef at Roganic and Aulis London and Hong Kong not only secured a spot in the national finals but beat the Great British Menu record for the highest score across four courses: he received 38 points from veteran judge Paul Ainsworth and 38 from the sum of points awarded by Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton, Rachel Khoo and guest judge Professor Chris Jackson.

Who won the Wales heat?

Head chef and director Michelin-starred Beach House restaurant Hywel Griffith impressed the judges chamber on the third day of the Wales heat, and will be representing Wales in the national finals.

Who won the Yorkshire and North East heat?

Chef and owner of one Michelin star Nottingham restaurant Alchemilla, Alex Bond, will be representing his region in the national finals in May.

Who won the Northern Ireland heat?

Head chef of the Derry-based Browns Bonds Hill Phelim O’Hagan beat his opponent in the judges chamber and will be taking his four dishes to the national final on the week of May 17th. 

Who won the North West heat? 

Chef Dan McGeorge of the 3 AA Rosette restaurant at Rothay Manor Hotel in Ambleside won over the judges on day 3 of the competition, meaning he will be representing the North West in the Great British Menu national finals. 

Who won the South West heat?

Chef Jude Kereama, owner of Cornish restaurants Kota and Kota Kai in Porthleven made it through to the national finals on his fourth attempt at the competition.

Who are the Great British Menu 2021 winners cooking at the banquet?

Starter

Michelin-starred Alchemilla chef Alex Bond's dish, The Founding Father, will be served to guests at the banquet on Friday 21st May 2021.

Fish Course

With just one point between her and Jude Kereama from the judges, Roberta Hall-McCarron took the lead to serve her fish course at the banquet.

Main Course

Executive chef of the Aulis and Roganic restaurants in London and Hong Kong who beat the show's score record in the London and South West heat, Oli Marlow, will be cooking his main course, 'Special Delivery' at the banquet on Friday 21st May 2021.

'Special Delivery': Guinea fowl, fried chicken wings, chicken sauce, potato nests,
sticky egg yolk, barbecued maitake mushroom, dill pickle, soy glaze
Recipe here
​​​​

Dessert

Chef Dan McGeorge of Rothay Manor will prepare his 'Give a dog a bone' dish, a tribute to the pioneering Guide Dog Association behind the world's first guide dog school consisting of a chocolate mousse with a miso caramel centre and serving it with miso honeycomb, salted caramel ice cream and yuzu gel. 

Amuse-bouche and pre-dessert

Though he narrowly missed out on getting any of his courses through to the banquet, achieving the highest sum of points out of the finalists meant that Jude Kereama, chef and owner of Cornwall restaurants Kota and Kota Kai was selected to cook the amuse-bouche and pre-dessert at the banquet on Friday, 21st May.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st May 2021

Great British Menu 2021: Everything you need to know, which chefs are competing, who are the national finalists, when is the banquet and more