Great British Menu is a BBC television series in which top British professional chefs compete for the chance to cook their recipe as part of a four course banquet.
The programme was created ten years ago as a celebration of the Queen's birthday but due to it's success the BBC's Great British Menu has become an important competition among chefs and must-watch viewing for avid foodies. Past winners of the cooking competition include Michelin-starred chefs Marcus Wareing, Sat Bains, Jason Atherton and Tom Kerridge - to name a few!
There are eight regions with three competing chefs from each, the regions are; Scotland, South West, North West, Wales, Central, London and South/East, North East and Northern Ireland.
In the regional heats, the chefs’ dishes will be judged by eight competition veterans who are now among the most accomplished and successful chefs in the UK. They include Daniel Clifford, Simon Rogan, Phil Howard, Richard Corrigan, Michael O’Hare and Angela Hartnett.
The two chefs who are scored most highly by the veteran judges will then present their four-course menu to award-winning restaurant critic Matthew Fort; doyenne of British cookery, Prue Leith; and acclaimed restaurateur Oliver Peyton.
Prue Leith, OBE, one of GBM's three judges explained to The Staff Canteen how no one thought the concept would work. "It was so successful the producers thought we could do this annually with different banquets," she explained. "I didn't think it would work. The Queen's banquet's special. But it's been extraordinary - they always think up something brilliant."
Each week the panel of three will be joined by a guest judge who has been feted in his or her field. They include award-winning food writers and critics as well as esteemed chefs and restaurateurs honoured for their services to the hospitality industry.
Together, with the Great British Menu judges, they will decide which chef will be the champion of their region, and worthy of potentially becoming an ambassador for contemporary British cuisine.
The eight regional winners will then compete in the National Finals for a chance to cook at the banquet.
Oliver Peyton told The Staff Canteen: "What's obvious is GBM's been a great incubator for cooking talent and a big influence on producers and young chefs particularly regarding ingredients.
"Food programming's mixed but GBM gives a snapshot of current British food. When I started the only food reference was France because the only people training chefs in this country were from French restaurants. Some of this year's GBM chefs may have never even been to France, nor consider it their culinary cornerstone. Their food reference is currently British, Indian, whatever. Young chefs' inspiration's completely changed in a generation - I really like our indigenous cooking culture embedding itself in new chefs.
"The national focus is great - taking things away from London's very important. Many chefs recognise if they're on GBM, win or lose, their restaurants will become busier. It's important to many restaurants outside London, more if they're good and get through."