Great British Menu 2022 chefs: Nat Tallents, South West heat

The Staff Canteen

Development chef and hospitality manager at The Lost Gardens of Heligan Nat Tallents is one of four chefs competing for the South West on Great British Menu 2022

Series 17 of the competition starts on February 1st 2022 on BBC Two at 8pm and will air every Tuesday at 8pm, every Wednesday at 9pm (as of the week commencing March 7th) and Thursday at 8pm for eight weeks.

Nat is competing against chefs Elly Wentworth, Olivia Barry and Charlotte Vincent for a chance to represent the South West in the regional finals, and ultimately cook a course at the final banquet. Nat is returning to the BBC Two programme for the second time, having taken part for the first time in 2021.

Nat was the first to leave the competition, sadly not having made it through to cook her whole menu for veteran judge Paul Ainsworth. Second to exit the Great British Menu kitchen was Charlotte, leaving Elly and Olivia to cook for the judge's chamber on Thursday, 17th March at 8pm. 

As 'Liv' scored higher overall for her dishes in the judges chamber, she was selected to represent the South West in the finals, which run from Monday 28th March at 9pm (starter), Tuesday 29th at 8pm (fish), Wednesday 30th March at 9pm (main), and Thursday 31st March at 8pm.

If she makes it to the banquet, she will cook for the guests at a party celebrating 100 years of the BBC on Friday, 1st April 2022 at 7:30pm.


The Oldham-born restaurant manager turned chef was mentored by Tim Bilton at The Butchers Arms in Hepworth, so well that she made it onto MasterChef: The Professionals in 2012.

In 2014, she moved from Yorkshire to Cornwall, where she became head chef of Lusty Glaze Beach - a restaurant, cafe and wedding and events venue - followed by an exec chef role at  The Lewinnick Lodge in Newquay. 

In 2018, the chef launched her private catering company, Food by Nat Tallents, and is now a development chef and the heat of hospitality at Heligan’s 200 acre gardens in Saint Austell.

The chef , who desrcibes her food as ingredient-led and visually exciting, was a semi-finalist in National Chef of the Year in 2019 and 2021. 

Her dishes on Great British Menu this year were inspired by Blue Peter and Hercule Poirot.


Full name

Nat Tallents




35, born 12/5/1986

Place of birth / residence

I’m from Oldham originally but have lived in Newquay for the last 8 years

Relationship status / children



Type of chef (restaurant, hotel, development chef, etc.)

Executive chef & manager so I look after kitchen and do a lot with service & front of house too, I love being part of both sides.

Favourite type of cuisine

I mainly cook British foods but I love eating Mexican food

Path to becoming a chef

I worked front of house from being 14 and worked into being a restaurant manager then just felt chefs had more fun so I quit my job and got a job as a commis chef for Tim Bilton in Yorkshire and 18 months later I was the head chef. Something just clicked!

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

Tim Bilton was my first chef mentor and taught me so much, I owe a lot to him. I also love Marco Pierre white, I have his face tattooed on my arm, which was a funny conversation when I met him. And Massimo bottura as I love the work his does within commutes and working with sustainability and reducing food waste etc.

Guilty pleasure dish

I’m northern, so gravy is always a week spot for me, but also crumpets, it’s literally my goto whenever I don’t know what to eat or can’t be bothered to cook!

Best / worst thing about being a chef

Best thing is feeding people, that utter delight when someone eats something you’ve created, there is nothing like it.

The worst thing is finding balance in your life, it’s really difficult to be a chef and be anything else, a partner, a friend so finding balance is hard.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th March 2022

Great British Menu 2022 chefs: Nat Tallents, South West heat