Great British Menu to celebrate food from children’s literature

Back on BBC Two in Spring 2020 for its 15th series, ‘Great British Menu’ not only has new presenter Susan Calman but also features a new format with more chefs and more dishes.

The broadcaster said; ‘British writers and illustrators have written a wide variety of novels and picture books aimed at children and young people, many of which devote pages to a love of food. From Willy Wonka’s three-course dinner gum to Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter’s tea party, children’s literature is packed full of imaginative foods to inspire the talented professional chefs coming from all corners of the UK to compete in this year’s Great British Menu.

‘But it’s not just up to the three judges to decide who gets through each week, as a guest will be joining to help select the best dishes from each region in the Friday regional final. Representing the breadth of children’s literature, guest judges include comedian and children’s author David Baddiel, teen novelists Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson, and award-winning writer of ‘The Gruffalo’ Julia Donaldson.

‘As well as this new theme, the programme has an additional chef competing for each region. Of the four chefs competing each week, the lowest scoring chef will leave after the starters and fish course in the first episode of the weekly heats and will not get the chance to cook their whole menu for the veteran chef scoring the first stages of the contest.

‘On day two of the competition, the three remaining chefs will battle it out over main course and desserts. The two highest scoring chefs cook for the judges in the final Friday episode with just one getting the chance to represent their country or region in the national finals.

‘There are also two extra mini courses: an amuse-bouche before the starter arrives and a pre-dessert that acts as a palate cleanser. The six courses reflect a more contemporary tasting menu, with lighter fish and main courses.’

BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland commented: “’Great British Menu’ continues to grow and develop at the heart of the BBC Two schedule, showcasing the very best of the nation’s chef talent. With the new challenges, the series just got tougher than ever.”


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