Category: Daytime TV; Factual & Arts TV; BBC TWO
BBC Television (Daytime) has commissioned Optomen TV to produce a new cookery series which celebrates the nation's food - Great British Menu.
Over a period of eight weeks, 14 of Britain's top chefs will search the country for the very best regional produce to create the perfect four-course menu.
The final dishes will be chosen by a public vote and the meal will be served at the special lunch being held at the Mansion House on 15 June 2006 to mark Her Majesty the Queen's 80th birthday.
Guests of the Lord Mayor, HRH Prince Philip, senior politicians, City figures and others will also be present.
Lord Mayor David Brewer, who will host the lunch, said: "The City of London is proud to honour Her Majesty on behalf of the nation on this very special occasion.
"Food brings us all together - and through this event the whole country can take part."
Jay Hunt, Controller of Daytime, said: "British food has never been so exciting.
"This ambitious new series from BBC Daytime is a definitive, nationwide search for the best ingredients to be transformed into innovative dishes by some of the country's top chefs.
"It's fantastic that the best of the best, as chosen by the audience, will then be tasted by Her Majesty the Queen at the City of London's official lunch to celebrate her 80th birthday."
Chef John Burton-Race said: "The Brits can cook - it's official. I am honoured that this series celebrates that British food has arrived, and very honoured to represent the South West.
"We've been lambasted the world over for having the worst food on the planet but it's not true. The South West has wonderful ingredients - shellfish, sea food, livestock - everything a cook could want.
"Great British Menu will show the range and quality of British food and success of British chefs.
"I am doubly honoured to potentially have the opportunity to cook for the Queen and her guests."
Great British Menu will be 40 x 30 minute episodes starting 10 April 2006. It will be broadcast Mondays to Fridays on BBC TWO.
The BBC will be behind the scenes for the final lunch.