The Great British Menu

6.30pm Monday 31 May on BBC TWO

After eight weeks of fiercely fought competition the final eight chefs battle it out for the honour to cook at a banquet hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Ross Kemp is today announced as the host of the banquet for this year’s finale of Great British Menu.

The special one-hour documentary, on BBC Two on Tuesday 16 June at 8.00pm, follows the remaining four chefs, after eight weeks of intense national and regional rounds, as they cook and serve their winning dishes to the troops returning from Afghanistan.

Ross says: “I’m honoured to be hosting such a prestigious and rewarding event for the BBC’s Great British Menu. It is fantastic that some of the UK’s top chefs are cooking the best British food for our deserving troops heading home from active service.

“I’ve been to Afghanistan myself and seen the unbelievable work that they do out there – they really are worthy of an amazing meal and to see such a collaboration should make us all very proud to be British.”

Ross’s last appearance on BBC One was in his role as Grant Mitchell in EastEnders in 2005, and he has since appeared in the popular BBC Two comedy series Extras as an actor obsessed with the SAS.

The BAFTA award-winning series Ross Kemp On Gangs has seen the actor and TV presenter travel the globe, and last year Ross took part in a special five-part series where he travelled to Afghanistan and shadowed the Royal Anglian Regiment while they were stationed there.

This special homecoming banquet is for men and women who have been in active service in Afghanistan and will be held at the RAF’s historic Halton House in Buckinghamshire.

The theme of the menu is “A Taste of Home” and the chefs worked tirelessly to create and perfect dishes worthy of a place on the menu.

The winning menu revealed last week is:
Starter – Salad of Aberdeen Angus beef, carrots, horseradish and Shetland Black potatoes (Kenny Atkinson for the North East)
Fish Course – Masala-spiced monkfish with red lentils, pickled carrots and coconut (Glynn Purnell for Central)
Main Course – Lonk Lamb Lancashire hotpot, roast loin, pickled red cabbage, carrots and leeks (Nigel Haworth for the North West)
Dessert – Treacle tart with clotted cream and raspberry ripple ice cream (Shaun Rankin for the South West)

The regional and national heats of Great British Menu have been a highlight of BBC Two Daytime’s schedule over the last eight weeks.

The Great British Menu series on BBC Two has revealed the winning four-course menu which will be served at a banquet to be hosted by the British Ambassador to France.

The banquet will be held at the Embassy in Paris, which has a proud reputation for championing the best of British.

The winning menu and its chef creator is:

Starter: Poached egg with air dried ham and pea sorbet – Sat Bains for Central region of England

Fish Course: Wild salmon and duck egg with cucumber salad – Richard Corrigan for Northern Ireland

Main Course: Rabbit and crayfish stargazy pie – Mark Hix for the Southwest of England

Dessert: Perry jelly with summer fruits and elderflower ice cream – Mark Hix for the Southwest of England

For the past seven weeks the series has transmitted daily on BBC Two. In this ultimate cookery competition, 14 of the nation’s top chefs have been battling for the chance to prove to the French that we can match them when it comes to culinary prowess.

At the end of each week’s long heat, judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton had the deciding vote on which menu from each region or nation went through to the public vote in the final week.

In the final week of programmes, the seven heat winners returned to the Great British Menu kitchens to serve up their menus for the judges once more. The judges then whittled down the seven choices for each course down to three in each category to be put to the public vote.

Richard Corrigan says: “I personally feel that there has been an emergence of some great artisan suppliers in recent years and the Great British Menu series has really brought this to light. This is a great opportunity to showcase some great produce and what could be more traditionally British than wild salmon?”

Sat Bains says: “This dish is a typical example of modern British cuisine; I really hope it goes down well in Paris.”

Mark Hix: “It is a great honour to have two dishes on the menu. I had a good feeling about the dessert but the pie was a bit of a risk – but it is a good example of how flexible a good old English pie can be.”

Judge Prue Leith says: “It could not be a better menu. It’s innovative, balanced, and above all delicious.”

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