The programme will pay tribute to 70 years of the NHS with a culinary feast to say thank you
Great British Menu is back on BBC Two this summer, and this year - for the first time ever - one outstanding chef will be crowned the champion of champions when banquet diners vote on their favourite dish in the final episode.
This series will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, with chefs cooking celebratory and heartfelt dishes in tribute to the heroic staff of the NHS. Once again in charge of picking the perfect four-course menu are judges Andi Oliver, Oliver Peyton OBE and Matthew Fort.
Helping the judges to select the winning dishes are guest judges who represent the incredible NHS heroes who treat more than a million patients every 24 hours. They include Dan Smith, one of the first paramedics at the MEN bombing; Aneira Thomas, the first baby born on the NHS; Jenny Turner, Britain’s longest-serving nurse and Dr Rangan Chatterjee from BBC One's Doctor In The House.
The competition challenges 24 of the nation’s top chefs to create exceptional dishes to be prescribed at this year’s banquet, held in the beautiful Great Hall of St Bartholomew's Hospital, Britain’s oldest working hospital. Their creations must give the ultimate thank you to NHS heroes from around the country, with tastes unlike anything they’ve experienced before - even in the finest of restaurants.
The competing chefs include returning finalists, a previous banquet chef and ambitious first-time competitors, renowned for their skill and flair in the kitchen. In each weekly regional heat, three chefs must first battle it out to impress a formidable veteran judge whose identity won’t be revealed until they walk through the door. Representing some of the biggest names in the UK restaurant scene they include Michael O’Hare, Angela Hartnett, Daniel Clifford, Tom Aikens, and in his first year as a judge, Paul Ainsworth.
Only two chefs will make it through to the Friday regional final where they’ll need to convince the expert panel of judges that their dishes deserve a coveted place in the national finals - and a potential spot on the final banquet menu.
Andi Oliver says: “I am so absolutely thrilled to be returning to GBM and when I heard that this year we would be celebrating the extraordinary people who work in our beloved NHS I jumped for joy! The combination of culinary excellence from our incredible chefs and the hugely emotional and personal connection that we all have to the NHS means that this will be an exceptional year for the competition.”
Oliver Peyton says: “The joy in everyone’s hearts involved in this competition was amazing. All the chefs wanted to be at the final banquet because like everybody else we owe the people who work in the NHS a huge debt of gratitude.”
Matthew Fort says: “I can’t think of a better group of people to celebrate series 13 with than the heroes of the NHS, and luckily for us judges the standard of the food is higher than ever. Stupendous!”
Pictured: Andi Oliver, Oliver Peyton, Matthew Fort
Chefs and Guest Judges
North East Competing chefs:
Dan Fletcher, Fenchurch at The Sky Garden, London
Danny Parker, House Of Tides, Newcastle
Dave Coulson, Peace & Loaf, Newcastle
Friday guest judge: Dr Anne Weaver (lead clinician with the London Air Ambulance)
London and South East Competing chefs:
James Cochran, James Cochran, formally EC3, London now 1251, London