Great British Menu Season 17 Episode 04 Descriprion
North West Starters and Fish
This week sees the heats for north west England.
Competing for the top spot are Liverpudlian returner Dave Critchley, executive chef at fine dining Chinese restaurant Lu Ban, as well as three new chefs. They are Sam Lomas from Macclesfield, a former apprentice at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and head chef at Glebe House in Devon; Lancashire lad Stevie Lamb, head chef at the 4AA rosette hotel The Orangery in Darlington; and Brazilian-born Caroline Martins, who lives in Manchester and runs Brazilian British fusion cookery pop-ups.
Presenter Andi Oliver welcomes them to the kitchen, where the theme for this year’s competition is a celebration of 100 years of British broadcasting. One of the four must leave the competition at the end of the episode, to be decided by this week’s veteran judge – a previous winner who remains a surprise to the chefs until the moment they walk into the kitchen to taste the first course canapes.
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Great British Menu 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.
In the first and second series, the three dishes that have scored the highest for each course of the finals are then shortlisted for public vote via televoting. In the third and fourth series, the shortlisting rule was dropped, so all dishes scored by the judges are then sent to the public vote. Judges’ scores represent one half of the overall score, and public vote represents the other half. The Guardian critic Karina Mantavia in May 2007 criticised the public vote system as incompatible to food that viewers could see onscreen but not taste in-person.
Starting from the fifth series, a fourth judge, usually either a veteran chef or a guest related to a brief, is introduced, replacing public vote. Since the eight series, the fourth judge addition extends to regional heats.
Up until series six, the finalists can replace only one course dish of their own menus with a newer one. They can adjust or tweak other dishes but cannot completely change them.
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.
On 6 September 2021, it was announced that the whole judging panel would be changed with Matthew Fort and Oliver Payton leaving after being on the show since the beginning and Rachel Khoo after one series. The new judging panel will consist of former GBM champion Tom Kerridge, chef and restaurateur Nisha Katona and comedian and food podcaster Ed Gamble.