Great British Menu 2021 episode 29 – Banquet Special: For nine weeks, chefs from across the UK have been competing for the honour of representing their region or nation at the Great British Menu finale – the banquet. The day has finally arrived, and four chefs must cook for some of the finest scientific minds and inventors alive today. One of them will be chosen by the assembled guests as Champion of Champions.
Guided by presenter Andi Oliver, the chefs are introduced to their banquet location, Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, a world heritage site and the home of the Lovell Telescope, which has been monitoring space billions of lightyears away for decades.
Due to the government’s pandemic recommendations, this is also Great British Menu’s first outdoor banquet. The guests will be served the winning starter, fish, main course and dessert in a large marquee with full social distancing.
But there’s a disaster immediately when one of the winning chefs is unable to compete – will the other chefs be able to cook their dish for them? And will this affect the final vote for the Champion of Champions?
Guests include Professor Sarah Gilbert from Oxford’s successful Covid vaccination programme and leading scientists and inventors from around the UK. Designers are represented by Thomas Heatherwick, the brains behind London’s 2012 Olympic Cauldron, and Sophie Conran. They’re joined by comedian and trained engineer Phil Wang, podcast stars and comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble, science communicator Professor Maggie Aderin-Pocock from The Sky at Night, mathematician Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and You Tube phenomenon and madcap inventor Colin Furze, who arrives on a two metre high, socially distanced bike!
Great British Menu 2021 episode 29 – Banquet Special
Along with Masterchef, Great British Menu is a cooking show that has been running so long it is basically a national institution by now. However, even after all these years, Great British Menu manages to keep fresh with new ingredients for season 16 – former judge Andi Oliver is now presenter, with cook, writer and broadcaster Rachel Khoo taking her place on the judging panel.
It’s a very formidable line-up – so can the chefs impress with a menu based on innovation to celebrate thirty years of the world wide web?
Oliver Peyton is a renowned restauranteur and founder of cafe and restaurant service Peyton and Byrne, and was awarded an honourary OBE in 2012. He has been a judge on Great British Menu since it began all the way back in 2006, and has released two cookbooks: The National Cookbook: Recipes from the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery and British Baking.
Matthew Fort – Great British Menu 2021 Banquet Special
Food writer and critic Matthew Fort was the Food and Drink Editor of The Guardian for over ten years, and has also written for Esquire, The Observer, Country Living, Decanter, and Waitrose Food Illustrated. He has also written several books on gastronomy, and been awarded Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year, Glenfiddich Restaurant Writer of the Year, and The Restaurateurs Association Food Writer of the Year.
Fort has also presented TV shows such as UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen, and has been a judge on Great British Menu since the show’s beginning.
Rachel Khoo – Great British Menu 2021 Banquet Special
Rachel Khoo’s breakthrough came through the BBC series The Little Paris Kitchen, which along with the cookbook of the same name brought critical and commercial acclaim. She has since released six bestselling cookbooks and toured the world making cookery shows for the BBC, Food Network UK, and other international broadcasters.
This will be her first year as a judge on Great British Menu, taking over from Andi Oliver who is now host.