Great British Menu 2022 chefs: Benjamin Orpwood, Central heat

The Staff Canteen

Executive chef at Gordon Ramsay's Lucky Cat Benjamin Orpwood is one of four chefs representing the Central region on Great British Menu 2022

Series 17 of the competition starts on February 1st 2022 on BBC Two at 8pm and will air at the same time every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for eight weeks.

Ben is competing against Sally Abé, Liam Dillon and Harvey Perttola. This will be Ben's first appearance on the show.  Before making it to the judge's chamber, the chefs' food is to be judged by veteran chef Aktar Islam, who appeared on the programme in 2014.

As per the programme's new format which starts each heat with four chefs (as opposed to three, which was the case until series 15), Harvey was eliminated after the fish course. 

Liam was the next to go, leaving Ben and Sally to face judges Tom Kerridge, Nisha Katona and Ed Gamble, as well as guest judge Cat Deeley on Thursday, 2nd February 2022.

Though neck and neck when it came to total scores, Sally consistently impressed the panel, securing a spot in the finals.


Once an unruly child, Ben took up a career in cooking to gain a sense of structure and discipline. He completed an apprenticeship at Queens' College in Cambridge under Hans Schwietzer of Cotto, followed by a series of stages. Ben then joined Zuma as a chef de partie in 2005.

He went on to work on the brand’s launches in Dubai and Istanbul then spent five years working across kitchens in Sydney before returning to London to join Sexy Fish. After a stint back at Zuma, he was then hired to open Issho, a Japanese-style concept in Leeds.

In 2018, Ben was brought on board by Gordon Ramsay to be the executive chef of Maze and stayed on in the same capacity at Asian-inspired Lucky Cat when it replaced Maze in the summer of 2019.

His GBM dishes will continue to push the boundaries of fine dining Asian food, all the while celebrating some of British TV’s best moments, including the many iconic appearances of Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey,the restaurant critic, television chef and writer better known as Fanny Cradock.

Instagram: @benjaminorpwood

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th February 2022

Great British Menu 2022 chefs: Benjamin Orpwood, Central heat