Great British Menu final sees banquet hosted at Jodrell Bank Observatory

17 May 2021 by
Great British Menu final sees banquet hosted at Jodrell Bank Observatory

This year's Great British Menu final will see contestants cook for 70 guests outdoors in a marquee erected at the Unesco World Heritage site of Jodrell Bank in Cheshire.

The competition on BBC Two, which is now in its 16th year, will air on Friday and feature a six-course banquet celebration in an open-sided marquee next to the historic Lovell Telescope, tying into the scientific theme of the 2021 series.

The team at production company Optomen TV adhered to government guidelines by hosting the banquet outdoors, with blankets for guests on standby. The filming took place over the course of an afternoon in April shortly after restrictions were eased.

A 27m-long, purpose-built marquee was erected in the grounds of the observatory, with 6ft-long socially distanced tables providing enough space for two households per table.

The guest list included vaccine developer Professor Sarah Gilbert from the University of Oxford, British space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, British designer Thomas Heatherwick, as well the presenters of food podcast Off Menu, Ed Gamble and James Acaster.

A professional kitchen, including plumbing, was installed in 24 hours at an indoor exhibition space at Jodrell Bank usually reserved for scientific talks. It was provided by PKL Group and included upright fridges, blast chillers, combination steam ovens, induction hobs, pass lights, hot cupboards, and sinks to ensure the chefs could deliver at the highest level.

The final will air on Friday 21 May at 8pm on BBC Two, with onne of the chefs being named the overall champion of champions on the night. Expect a surprise though as, according to the BBC, one of the chefs is unable to compete.

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