Along with Masterchef, Great British Menu is a cooking show that has been running so long it is basically a national institution by now.
However, even after all these years, Great British Menu manages to keep fresh with new ingredients for season 16 – former judge Andi Oliver is now presenter, with cook, writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo taking her place on the judging panel.
It’s a very formidable line-up – so can the chefs impress with a menu based on innovation to celebrate thirty years of the world wide web? Find out more below…
When does Great British Menu start?
Series 16(!) of Great British Menu begins on Wednesday 24th March at 8pm on BBC2 and will be available on BBC iPlayer. Episodes will then continue to air on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm, and Fridays at 8:30pm.
Great British Menu chefs
Series 16 will start with the central region, which includes the following four chefs – including some familiar faces:
Last of the new chefs competing is @chefliamjdillon @thboatinn_ who worked with more #gbmalumni @marcuswareing @tomsstory #greatbritishmenu #finedining #compeititon #innovationandinvention Wednesday 8pm @bbctwo pic.twitter.com/Sz8Lb0Jb0t— Great British Menu (@GBMofficial) March 21, 2021
After falling in love with cooking after spending evenings with his nan, Liam Dillon has gone on to work at some of the best restaurants in the UK including Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and Story by Tom Sellers London, and even a few outside including Quay in Sydney, Noma in Copenhagen, and at Eleven Madison Park in New York.
In 2017 he returned to his hometown of Lichfield as the owner of The Boat Inn, now Michelin recommended but also the only restaurant in Staffordshire to hold 3 AA rosettes. His menu pays homage to local Lichfield legends – including Samuel Johnson, who wrote the early Dictionary of the English language.
It's the first region of the series - we start with #central and our first chef is a returner @missgidda @weareallbright and she's back to win! #greatbritishmenu #finedining #innovationandinvention #Competition Wednesday 8pm @bbctwo pic.twitter.com/Zzj8d6F0zM— Great British Menu (@GBMofficial) March 21, 2021
After finishing runner-up in the 2018 series, Wolverhampton-born Sabrina Gidda is surely looking to do one better this time. After offering to cook at her part-time cafe job, Gidda has since worked in the Dorchester and was a Roux Scholarship finalist twice in 2014 and 2015. Gidda is also Executive Chef at all women’s member’s club the AllBright, which has outposts in Mayfair, Fitzrovia, and even Los Angeles.
Gidda’s menu combines her Punjabi heritage, British upbringing, and French and Italian influences for a truly international menu that celebrates scientists and inventions dear to her.
The second chef to introduce, representing #centralregion is newcomer head chef at @hiccelondon she’s worked for #gbmlumni@angelahartnett & @piplcaey #greatbritishmenu #innovationandinvention #finedining #Competition Wednesday 8pm @bbctwo pic.twitter.com/a7QhuzbJXO— Great British Menu (@GBMofficial) March 21, 2021
Lincolnshire-born Shannon worked for three years at Murano under previous Great British Menu contestant Angela Hartnett, before becoming Head Chef at Hicce in London for Pip Lacey, who was starter course Banquet winner in 2017.
She certainly has the Great British Menu connections – and her own menu will be a modern British menu with a focus on woodfired cooking that will celebrate important women in science such as Rosalind Franklin.
Stuart Collins has worked for some of the biggest names in cooking, including Gary Rhodes, Michael Caines, and Gordon Ramsay. After several years working on restaurants in the US and Qatar, Stuart returned to Shropshire to open his own restaurant Docket No. 33, which has since become Michelin recommended and received a Michelin plate.
His menu will be of modern British style using regional produce and will pay tribute to a broad range of scientists from Stephen Hawking to Edgar Hooley, creator of tarmac.
The full line-up of chefs after the central region has also been announced, along with their restaurants:
London & South East
Kim Ratcharoen – Senior Sous Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
Oli Marlow – Executive Chef at Aulis and Roganic
Tony Parkin – Head Chef at Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room, Surrey
Ben Murphy – Head Chef at Launceston Place, London
Jude Kereama – Chef Patron at Kota, and Kota Kai, Cornwall
Elly Wentworth – Head Chef at The Angel, Dartmouth
Nick Beardshaw – Head Chef at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
Nat Tallents – Executive Chef at The Box Kitchen & Bar, Plymouth
Kirk Haworth – Chef Patron at Plates, London
Dan McGeorge – Head Chef at Rothay Manor, Lake District
Dave Critchley – Executive Chef at Lu Ban, Liverpool
Ashwani Rangta – Executive Chef at GupShup, Altrincham
Alex Bond – Chef Patron at Alchemilla, Nottingham
Ruth Hansom – Head Chef at The Princess of Shoreditch, London
Tom Spencely – Head Chef at Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, London
Gareth Bartram – Head Chef at Winteringham Fields, North Lincolnshire
Roberta Hall-McCarron – Chef Patron at The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh
Amy Elles – Chef Patron at The Harbour Café, Fife
Stuart Ralston – Chef Patron at Aizle and Noto
Scott Smith – Chef Patron at Fhior, Edinburgh
Hywel Griffith – Chef Patron at Beach House Restaurant, The Gower
Nathan Davies – Chef Patron at SY23, Aberystwyth
Ali Borer – Head Chef at Nutbourne, London
Chris Cleghorn – Head Chef at The Olive Tree, Bath
Paul Cunningham – Head Chef and Director at Brunel’s, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Gemma Austin – Co-owner and Executive Chef at Alexander’s, Holywood
Phelim O’Hagan – Head Chef at Browns Bonds Hill, Londonderry
Andy Scollick – Head Chef at The Boat House, Bangor, Northern Ireland
Great British Menu judges
Oliver Peyton is a renowned restauranteur and founder of cafe and restaurant service Peyton and Byrne, and was awarded an honourary OBE in 2012. He has been a judge on Great British Menu since it began all the way back in 2006, and has released two cookbooks: The National Cookbook: Recipes from the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery and British Baking.
Food writer and critic Matthew Fort was the Food and Drink Editor of The Guardian for over ten years, and has also written for Esquire, The Observer, Country Living, Decanter, and Waitrose Food Illustrated. He has also written several books on gastronomy, and been awarded Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year, Glenfiddich Restaurant Writer of the Year, and The Restaurateurs Association Food Writer of the Year.
Fort has also presented TV shows such as UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, and has been a judge on Great British Menu since the show’s beginning.
Rachel Khoo’s breakthrough came through the BBC series The Little Paris Kitchen, which along with the cookbook of the same name brought critical and commercial acclaim. She has since released six bestselling cookbooks and toured the world making cookery shows for the BBC, Food Network UK, and other international broadcasters.
This will be her first year as a judge on Great British Menu, taking over from Andi Oliver who is now host.
Where is the Great British Menu filmed?
The show is filmed in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, in a specially built studio kitchen. The final banquet, however, will take place at a secret prestigious location – past banquets have been held at the Royal Albert Hall and Abbey Road Studios.