A year after impressing as a contestant, Leeds’ Michelin-star winning chef Michael O’Hare is back on the BBC’s Great British Menu - this time as a judge.
The chef patron of The Man Behind The Curtain, which won the city’s first star since 2005 last year, will be among the competition ‘veterans’ judging the work of chefs when the show returns to our screens.
Tommy Banks, chef and co-owner at The Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire, which earlier this year was given a fourth AA Rosette to go with its Michelin star, will be among the contestants.
This year’s series of Great British Menu will make history as the Palace of Westminster opens its doors for the first televised banquet to be held in the historic House of Commons Members’ Dining Room.
And producers have revealed that the regional heats see one newcomer achieve the highest mark ever given in the competition’s history.
In the year the country celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday, the chefs have been inspired by the transformation in British food throughout her historic reign, and by the achievements of Her Majesty’s Great Britons.
These are ordinary, everyday people who have been recognised on the Queen’s birthday and New Year’s honours’ list over the years for their extraordinary achievements in different walks of life.
In the regional heats, the chefs’ dishes will be judged by eight competition veterans described as being “among the most accomplished and successful chefs in the UK”.
As well as Michael O’Hare, they include Daniel Clifford, Simon Rogan, Phil Howard, Richard Corrigan and Angela Hartnett.
In the North East category, Tommy Banks will be going up against Chris Archer, of The Cottage in the Wood, Cumbria, and Mini Patel, of The Pointer, Buckinghamshire.
The competition this year is intense, the chefs sense how well they need to cook. As a result, the quality of the dishes produced is outstanding, world class.Oliver Peyton
The eight regional winners will compete in the national finals for a chance to cook at the Great Britons Banquet at the Houses of Parliament.
Judge Oliver Peyton said: “The chance to cook at the Palace of Westminster is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - it would be considered a crowning glory of any career.
“The competition this year is intense, the chefs sense how well they need to cook. As a result, the quality of the dishes produced is outstanding, world class.”