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Great British Menu is back with a new series, hosted by Chef and TV presenter Andi Oliver and Judges, Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge with a total of 3 stars, restaurateur and broadcaster Nisha Katona and comedian and foodie Ed Gamble.

Inspired by Paddington Bear’s 65th Birthday, this year professional chefs will compete to cook at a six-course banquet celebrating the best of British animation and illustration – from cartoon series and comics to computer games. They will be tasked with inventing mouth-watering dishes which tell a story and capture the imagination.

The nine-week series will launch with the North East heat, as top chefs from that region try to impress Veteran Judge, Michelin starred Angela Hartnett OBE.

Competing for the top spot are four chefs with industry accolades to their name.

Gareth Bartram from Grimsby, Head Chef at one Michelin starred Winteringham Fields in Scunthorpe will return determined to light up the competition and get to the Banquet.

There are also three new chefs to the competition: Yorkshire's Will Lockwood, Head Chef at one Michelin starred Roots in York with his modern, ingredient-led cooking; Northumberland’s Cal Byerley, the creative, seasonal chef behind Pine with two stars to his name - a Michelin star and a green star; and last of the newcomers is Newcastle’s Rory Welch, Head Chef at Träkol in the city, with a Michelin plate, who brings his passion for cooking over open fire.

The starter this year is a vegan course and dishes are a brilliant interpretation of the theme with stop motion animation classic, The Clangers involving a watercress velouté to conjure up the nourishing green soup of the Soup Dragons; a mushroom broth served with barbecued lion’s mane mushrooms and fresh tin loaf inspired by North East author and illustrator Kylie Dixon and her magical world of mushrooms adventure series.

A potato and truffle spiral with Jerusalem artichoke puree – a tribute to The Cribs’ animated music video ‘Mirror Kissers’, and a celebration of Hartlepool cartoonist Reg Smythe’s Andy Capp in the form of a rich broth enriched with local stout and grains served with a cap. But who will Angela score the highest?

Great British Menu returns Tuesday 31st January on BBC Two.


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