Local chefs to star in new series of Great British Menu

The series celebrating the country’s finest chefs is back…

Niall Keating, Whatley Manor
Niall Keating is in the very first group of regional chefs to be aired

If there’s one cookery show chefs tune into on their days off, we reckon it must be Great British Menu. Back for its 15th series as of this Wednesday 18 March, the televised cookery competition sees chefs from across the country go head to head for the chance to win a coveted spot cooking at the very-big-deal, end-of-season banquet.

There will be some familiar faces popping up in the kitchen this series, too. First to appear, in episode one, will be Whatley Manor‘s two-Michelin-starred Niall Keating, while Gordon Jones, from his eponymous Bath restaurant Menu Gordon Jones, will follow later in the series. Also representing the South West is Thomas Carr from the Olive Room in Devon and Harriet Mansell from Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis (who, once upon a time, was head chef at Wapping Wharf’s Wild Beer Co.)

The theme this year is children’s literature, as 2020 marks 150 years since the death of Charles Dickens, who wrote the first book to feature a child in the starring role (Oliver Twist, of course). Every Friday, judges Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver and Matthew Fort will be joined by children’s authors to scrutinize the dishes from each chef and pick a regional champion to go through to the next round.

In a series shake-up, four chefs, rather than the usual three, will compete against each other for a chance to rep their region at the series finale banquet.

Great British Menu begins on BBC2 on Wednesday 18 March, at 8pm.