Great British Menu moves on to the Scotland heats. Competing for the top spot are four chefs, three of them all known to each other as they all have their own restaurants in Edinburgh. There is a reigning champion from last year for Scotland, Roberta Hall, and she is joined by fellow capital chefs Stuart Ralson and Scott Smith. The fourth competitor is returner Amy Elles, who has a seafood restaurant by the coast in Fife. She lost out to Roberta in last year’s Scotland final.
Presenter Andi Oliver welcomes them to the kitchen, where the theme for this year’s competition is a celebration of British invention and innovation. Given Scotland’s historic success with scientific discovery, the chefs have plenty of inspiration to draw upon, from the invention of television and toasters to penicillin.
One of the four must leave the competition at the end of the episode. Which one that is will be decided by the veteran judge of this week’s competition, a previous winner who remains a surprise to the chefs until the moment they walk into the kitchen to taste their first course: canapes.
Veteran and Michelin-starred Tom Brown, a seafood specialist, tastes their canapes, which range from a cheese tart to a duck liver parfait.
The starter dishes draw upon Scotland’s proud history of medical discovery and innovation, with a crispy shredded beef and Lanark blue cheese dish presented in a dish shaped like a giant petri dish to celebrate Alexander Fleming’s invention of antibiotics, and another a homage to the ‘Edinburgh Seven’, the first women medical students at Edinburgh University. The other two starters both take as their inspiration the invention of ‘family planning’. One, ‘the birds and the bees’, is a quail and honey dish, while the other uses aphrodisiac ingredients. But which will Tom score highest?
Then it is on to the fish course, veteran judge Tom’s specialty. He has a traditional Cullen Skink soup served with turbot to try from Roberta, on a dish celebrating the work of Edinburgh born physicist James Maxwell. The dish is served on a colour wheel as an homage to his invention of the first colour photograph. Another lobster dish pays homage to Scottish scientific pioneer Mary Sommerville, and her work in the field of astronomy. But one chef must be sent home by Tom.
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MasterChef Canada Show Summary
Series one and two were presented by Jennie Bond, the former BBC Royal correspondent, whereby each week, two chefs from a region of the UK create a menu. In series three and four, both narrated by Bond but with no presenter, three chefs from a region of the UK create a menu; only the two with the best scores went through to the Friday judging. In series five and six, the fifth narrated by Bond while the sixth is narrated by Wendy Lloyd, three chefs from a region of the UK create a menu, with in kitchen judging undertaken by a past contestant chef; only the two with the best scores go through to the Friday judging.
In each series, the Friday show is when chefs present all courses of their menu to a judging panel, tasted and judged by Matthew Fort, Prue Leith and Oliver Peyton. One chef each week goes through to the final, where the judges taste the dishes again and award them marks out of ten. The three dishes that have scored the highest for each course are then put to the public vote.
During the first series, it was decided that a chef could only win one course overall, therefore any chef who won the public vote for a particular course was then eliminated from any subsequent courses they had been shortlisted for. As the results for all four courses were announced on the same day, some chefs were eliminated under this rule. During series two, this rule was dropped, as highlighted by Mark Hix winning both the main course and dessert.
On 28 October 2016, it was confirmed that Prue Leith was leaving the show and would be replaced by Andi Oliver for series 12 in 2017.
On 1 October 2019, Susan Calman was announced as the new presenter for series 15. Filming took place in Stratford-upon-Avon and was completed in November 2019. The show was broadcast in spring 2020. For Christmas 2020 special series and thereafter, Andi Oliver stepped down as a judge and has replaced Calman as the presenter.
On 7 February 2021, it was announced that Rachel Khoo would be joining as a new judge when the series returns in spring 2021.