The chefs who will compete in this year’s Great British Menu for the chance to cook at a culinary feast marking 70 years of the NHS have been revealed.
This year the BBC programme will see a slight change to its format with a champion of champions crowned after banquet diners vote for their favourite dish in the series finale.
Judges Andi Oliver, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort will return as the contestants (listed below) create “celebratory and heartfelt dishes in tribute to the heroic staff of the NHS”.
Veterans of the competition will return each week to whittle three chefs from each region down to two before they enter the judges’ chamber to discover who will go through to the final.
The veterans returning year include Michael O’Hare, Angela Hartnett, Daniel Clifford, Tom Aikens and in his first year as a judge, Paul Ainsworth.
As Oliver, Peyton and Fort judge the chefs’ dishes at the end of each week, they will be joined by heroes of the health service.
Oliver said: “I am so absolutely thrilled to be returning to Great British Menu 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.”
Fort added: “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!”
Chefs and guest judges
Friday guest judge: Dr Anne Weaver (lead clinician with the London Air Ambulance)
London and South East
James Cochran (@cochran_ja), formerly James Cochran EC3, London, now 1251, London
Scott Goss, (@thetwenty_six), the Twenty Six, Tunbridge Wells
Selin Kiazim (@selinkiazim), Oklava, London
Friday guest judge: Jenny Turner (Britain’s longest serving nurse)
Benedict Reade, (@EdFoodStudio), Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh
Lorna McNee, (@Chef_LornaMcNee), Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Perthshire
Ross Bryans, (@Rossbryans), formerly Corrigan’s Mayfair, London
Friday guest judge: Dr Sara Kayat (GP & TV expert)
Friday guest judge: Dan Smith (consultant paramedic and one of the first at the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing)
Friday guest judge: Aneira Thomas (first baby born on the NHS and retired mental health nurse)
Friday guest judge: Barbara Childs (Matron in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital)
Friday guest judge: Dr Jake Dunning MBE (Infectious disease specialist recognised for his work during the West Africa Ebola epidemic)
James Devine, (@jamesdevine2), formerly Noble, Belfast now Ardtara Country House, Londonderry
Shauna Froydenlund, (@scaithne), Marcus at the Berkeley, London
Tommy Heaney, (@heaney16), the Great House, Bridgend
Friday guest judge: Shehan Hettiaratchy (Lead trauma surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital, who helped treat victims of the Grenfell Tower fire)