Great British Menu 2020 chef line-up revealed (updated)

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Menu 2020 chef line-up revealed

Related tags: Great british menu, Chef, Restaurant

The chef line-up for the 2020 series of Great British Menu, which will begin airing on BBC Two later this month, has been revealed.

Announced yesterday (4 March) via Great British Chefs​, the series will mark 150 years since the death of the author Charles Dickens, with the theme celebrating ‘Britain’s Success in Children’s Literature’.

A total of 32 chefs will take part in the competition – including Sally Abé, Steve Groves, Niall Keating, and Ruth Hansom – with eight regional heats set to take place. Those who manage to make it through to the final will face off for a chance to cook at the Great British Menu banquet at the end of the series.

Located in Exeter College, Oxford, the city that inspired Phillip Pullman, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Lewis Carroll, the banquet will feature the very best dishes from across the series and see celebrity judges and authors vote on their favourite dish, allowing one chef to be crowned champion of champions.

In a shakeup of the format, four chefs will compete in each of the regional heats this year instead of the usual three, with each chef tasked to create imaginative dishes that evoke some of their favoured youthful stories.

More courses will also be added, with each chef asked to create an amuse bouche and a pre-dessert palate cleanser, in addition to the usual starter, fish course, main, and dessert.

And during each heat, the chef with the lowest score after presenting their starter and fish course to returning judges Andi Oliver, Oliver Peyton CBE and Matthew Fort, will be sent home, without a chance to prepare their main and dessert.

Presented (for the first time) by comedian Susan Calman and beginning on 18 March, series 15 of Great British Menu will run for nine weeks, with hour-long episodes every Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a half-hour regional final every Friday that will also feature a guest judge.

A series of veteran chef judges including Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Paul Ainsworth and Tom Brown, will also appear during the course of the series.

The chefs competing by region in Great British Menu 2020 are:

London and South East

Steve Groves, Roux at Parliament Square, London
Kerth Gumbs, Ormer Mayfair, London
Karl O’Dell, Texture, London
Ivan Tisdall-Downes, Native, London

Friday guest judge: Konnie Huq, Blue Peter Presenter & Children’s Author of ‘Cookie and the Most Annoying Book in the World’ series


Sally Abé, The Harwood Arms, London
Niall Keating, Whatley Manor, Cotswolds
Alex Claridge, The Wilderness, Birmingham
Dom Robinson, The Blackbird, Berkshire

Friday guest judge: Charlie Higson, Children’s Author of ‘Young Bond’ series

North West

Hrishikesh Desai, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Cumbria
Tom Barnes, Rogan and Co, Cumbria; 
George Farrugia, Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden, London 
Sam Buckley, Where The Light Gets In, Stockport

Friday guest judge: Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate 2011-2013 & Author of Picture Books

Northern Ireland

Alex Greene, Deanes EIPIC, Belfast
Shauna Froydenlund, Marcus, London
Paul Cunningham, Brunel's, County Down 
Leigh Ferguson, Clenaghans, Moira

Friday guest judge: Cerrie Burnell, CBeebies Presenter & Children’s Author of Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella series


Georgia Sommerin, Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth
Hywel Griffith, Beach House, Gower
Tom Phillips, Restaurant Story, London
John Chantarasak, AngloThai, London

Friday guest judge: David Bradley, ‘Argus Filch’ in Harry Potter film series

North East

Samira Effa, TRUEfoods, Yorkshire
Alex Bond, Alchemilla, Nottingham
Josh Angus, Hide Ground, London
Ruth Hansom, Pomona's, London

Friday guest judge: Jacqueline Wilson, Children’s Laureate 2005-2007 & Children’s Author of ‘Tracey Beaker’ series

South West

Joe Baker, Number 10, Jersey
Guy Owen, St Enodoc Hotel, Cornwall 
Harriet Mansell, Robin Wylde, Lyme Regis
Thomas Carr, Thomas Carr at The Olive Room, Devon

Friday guest judge: Nina Wadia, Actress  and Children’s Author


Ross Bryans, Les 110 de Taillevent, London
Roberta Hall-McCarron, The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh
Amy Elles, The Harbour Café, Fife
Gordon Jones, Menu Gordon Jones, Bath

Friday guest judge: David Baddiel, Comedian & Children’s Author of ‘The Parent Agency’

Related topics: Chef, People, Restaurant

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