Chef Tim is put to the TV test creating a meal fit for a prince

TWO Yorkshire chefs will battle it out on television to win the chance to cook for the Prince of Wales.

Tim Bilton, of the Butchers Arms, Hepworth and Lee Bennett, originally from Bridlington and now chef at Le Pont de la Tour in London, have won through to the regional finals of the fifth series of the Great British Menu to be screened from April 5 on BBC2.

The pair will also compete against Kenny Atkinson from County Durham to be able to cook at the Great British Menu finale banquet – a celebration of the very finest local British produce to be held in early summer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This year is all about local food and, as the National Trust has such a strong tradition of local food production, the chefs are tasked with sourcing as many ingredients as they can from farms, estates and the surrounding neighbourhood of an historic property in their region. Instead of using their usual suppliers, the chefs will have to scour the land to unearth the very finest produce, celebrating Britain's home grown food.

The programme will see Tim based at Fountains Abbey while Lee will be at Beningbrough Hall.

"I was also so lucky to get Fountains Abbey; what a superb place. It was a real challenge as we weren't allowed to use any of our normal suppliers," explains Tim. "But I found some amazing new suppliers, some of whom I am now using at the Butchers Arms."

Among his ingredients Tim used venison from Fountains Abbey, and interesting fish course called "A Day at the Seaside", using a medley of fish from the Yorkshire coast as well as wild North Yorkshire rabbit.

As well as being able to see the recipe prepared on the television screens, visitors to the Butchers Arms in April will be able to order it for themselves.

People will have to tune in the see how Tim, who trained under Raymond Blanc and was voted Yorkshire Chef of the Year 2009, got on.

All he would say was that the two chefs he was up against in the regional heat were seasoned professionals.

"It was pretty daunting being in front of the television cameras and also getting your food criticised by other professionals. I got a real pasting from Lancashire chef Nigel Haworth and former regional winner.

"He completely slatted my starter, which I suppose makes good television. I nearly got to breaking point and then I thought I had nothing to lose with my main course and it seemed to go down much better."

This year, the format of the Great British Menu has changed with three chefs rather than two competing in the regional finals.

The eight regional winning chefs will compete in the finals, to create a magnificent British meal that the judges consider fitting for the finale banquet which will be presented by the Prince of Wales.

The Prince, President of the National Trust, will be joined by the Duchess of Cornwall for the banquet, to be screened in June, and the guest list will comprise some of the nation's best food producers, farmers and fishermen, the people who toil to put the finest local British produce on the map.

Liam Keelan, controller of BBC Daytime, says: "We are delighted that the Prince of Wales has agreed to host this year's Great British Menu banquet. As a strong advocate of farming and of local and organic food, his involvement will help make the banquet a very special occasion. We hope the series will continue our aim to bring distinctive factual programming to our daytime audience.

Great British Menu begins on BBC2 at 6pm on April 6 and the special one-hour documentary featuring the banquet will be shown in early June.