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Great British Menu contestants 2022: Who are the chefs in series 17?

THE Great British Menu sees thirty-two new chefs representing eight different regions or nations.

The show highlights the outstanding culinary talent across the UK with chefs going head to head in a bid to get a spot at the coveted banquet.

Who are The Great British Menu 2022 contestants?

Central region

Sally Abe, The Pem, London

Sally is from Mansfield in Nottingham and is the chef consultant at The Pem restaurant in the Conrad London Hotel in St James's.

She studied hospitality management and culinary arts at Sheffield and then worked at The Savoy and then Claridge’s before she began five years under Brett Graham at the two Michelin starred The Ledbury.

She resigned in 2017 as head chef of The Harwood Arms in Fulham, where she managed to gain a loyal team and maintain the restaurant's Michelin star rating. 

Sally opened The Pem in July 2021, in which the restaurant was inspired by Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, whose family used to nickname her ‘Pem’.

Sally was also named Square Meal’s Female Chef of the Year in 2021.

Her style of cooking is British, seasonal, with elegance. Her personal menu incorporates local produce from some of the UK’s most devine landmark events. 

Ben Orpwood, Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay, London

Ben was born in Cambridge and started his career off at Queens College.

He is a Asian cuisine enthusiast and spends a large part of his career cooking in places such as Australia and Asia.

He worked at Zuma in London, Istanbul, Dubai, and Toko in Sydney.

Ben found that the UK has more opportunities to offer him so he returned back to head up a new restaurant, Sexy Fish.

The opportunity to work with Gordon Ramsay to develop a restaurant based on Asian cuisine came up for Ben and he has become the Executive Chef at Lucky Cat for the last three years.

His food style is Asain influences, and pushes the boundaries of fine dining.

Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn, Lichfield

Liam is from Lichfield and is very competitive.

His love for food all started when he was younger spending evenings with his nan, making stews and baking.

Liam has worked in some of the UK’s top kitchens such as Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Five Fields in Chelsea and Story by Tom Sellers in Bermondsey, London

He has also travelled the world with appearances in Sydney ,Copenhagen and New York.

He then returned back to the UK in 2017 as chef owner of The Boat Inn.

Since then, the pub has become an award-winning modern British restaurant, and is Michelin recommended.

His menu for the competition is creative and innovative. 

Harvey Perttola, Restaurant Six, Nottingham

Harvey is originally from Nottingham and is the new head chef at Restaurant Six at the Trent Bridge cricket ground.

His career in food started at fourteen when he was an apprentice chef at Opus in Birmingham, before moving to work at Hampton Manor. 

He was Birmingham’s youngest head chef at the age of twenty-four at Maribel Restaurant and was runner up in the 2017 Chef Stagiaire.

He was also a finalist in the 2018 British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year.

Harvey would describe his food as Modern British combined with classical French.

Wales

Nathan Davies, SY23, Aberystwyth

Nathan Davis is back in the GBM kitchen having missed out on the banquet last year despite being the second highest scoring chef EVER in the competition.

He opened Sy23 in Aberystwyth in 2019, where he showcases hi ethos of locally forages or sourced ingredients cooked simply over the fire.

He is a keen woodsman, so makes his own pine oil which is just one unique ingredient this chef brings to the competition.

Larkin Cen, Woky Ko, Bristol

Larkin's interest in food began as a child, as he would watch his parents cook in their Chinese takeaway in Cardiff.

It wasn't until five years ago that he decided to give up his profession as a lawyer to pursue his career as a chef.

He used to work as a chef consultant at The Celtic Manor for three years before he opened his own restaurant Woky Ko.

Now the owner of four restaurants he hopes to bring his traditional chinese flavours to the show and believes his competitive nature will take him all the way to the banquet.

Mark Threadgill, Head Chef at Portmeirion Hotel, Portmeirion

Mark Threadgill was born and brought up in Gwynedd.

At just 14-years-old, he wrote in his school report that he would like to be head chef at Portmeirion Hotel.

12 years later he has managed to make that a reality.

Mark'smeny is clean and he hopes to add emphasis on sustainability and local Welsh produce.

Tom Phillips, Head Chef at Restaurant Story, London

Tom Phillips is returning to the competition for a second time after he has earned his second Michelin star as head chef.

He began his career at the Ritz in London before moving on to various other places across Europe.

His cooking style is elegant, innovative, precise and unpretentious.

North West

Caroline Martins, Sao Paulo Project, Manchester

Caroline Martin lives in Manchester where she runs her own pop-up Sao Paulo Project showcasing fine dining Brazilian/British fusion cuisine.

She studied at London's Le Cordon Bleu and has worked at many Michelin starred restaurants.

Her cuisine brings together Brazilian flavours with the best of local British ingredients to create a unique fusion.

Caroline took part in the Brazilian MasterChef and came runner up in National Chef Of The Year 2020.

Dave Critchley, Lu Ban, Liverpool

Dave Critchley has been in the kitchens since he was 15-years-old.

Even though he trained at university as a graphic designer and childrens book illustrator is was his love for cooking that swayed his career path.

He ran some of Liverpool’s and the North West’s flagship restaurants
including Alma de Cuba, The Noble House with its modern American menu,
Australasia (Manchester).

He also became Executive Head Chef at The London.

In 2019 Dave decided to take a different direction and was selected as the last ever apprentice of a world-famous Chinese Chef, Master Wu.

He went on to explore traditional Chinese cooking and is now the executive chef at Liverpool's Lu Ban.

Sam Lomas, Glebe House, Devon

Sam Lomas is a 26-year-old from Macclesfield and is the head chef at Glebe House in Devon.

When he was 18-years-old he won a competition as a n apprentice at River Cottage with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and this is where his love for sustainable practices, foraging and seasonal cooking developed.

His dishes are creative, seaosnal and locally inspired.

Sam is dedicated to having a close connection with local supplies and hopes to grow his own livestock on site.

Stevie Lamb, The Orangery, Darlington, County Durham

Stevie Lamb is a 26-year-old Preston lad who is head chef at the 3AA rosette The Orangery in Darlington.

He fell in love with cooking at an early age and thanks his nan who was a home baker.

Stevie takes inspiration for her classics in his cooking to this very day and is extremely proud to be representing the North West in the competition.

London and South East

Angelo Sato, Humble Chicken, London

Angelo was born in Japan and moved to London when he was 17-years-old.

He was just 15-years-old when he first stepped foot into his first professional kitchen and has since amassed an impressive array of interstellar restaurants on his CV.
 
He opened Humble Chicken at the start of 2021, taking a truly nose-to-tail approach to cooking.

Angelo describes his food as “European with a Japanese accent”, and concentrates on layering flavours where he takes inspiration from every kitchen he has worked in .

The Chelsea Flower Show and the BBC Natural History Unit are the inspiration for his competitions menu.

Robbie Lorraine, Only Food & Courses, London

After two decades of picking up awards whilst cooking for other people,
Robbie decided to take the plunge and open his own restaurant in Brixton.

His playful cookery skills all come from his own past and plays heavily on nostalgia from his trips to various diners.

Robbie's menu aims to celebrate 100 years of British Broadcasting which includes an homage to Absolutely Fabulous and a tip of the hat to Grange Hill.

Spencer Metzger, The Ritz, London

Essex lad Spencer comes fresh to the competition from a promotion to head chef at The Ritz.

He first entered the kitchen at 15-years-old on a work experience placement.

He then joined the brigade there as an apprentice shortly afterwards, and has climbed up through the ranks.

He is no stranger to competitions and has won the Roux Scholarship in 2019 and was awarded The Caterer’s Acorn Award, celebrating the industry’s brightest talents under thirty.

His background is firmly rooted in classic French cuisine but he has picked up some more contemporary flourishes along the way.

Tony Parkin, Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room, Surrey

Tony comes from Reading and is eager for a second shot at the competition after scoring a ten with a beautiful dessert last time.

He always knew he wanted to be a chef while growing up with his parents already in the industry.

Since the age of 19 he has worked in some of the best kitchens in the world including Copenhagen’s Noma under René Redzepi, Kommandanten, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Northcote Manor in Lancashire.

In 2019 Tony became head chef at The Tudor Room in Surrey.

The opportunity soon came forward for Tony to run this restaurant and put his own stamp onto it turning it into Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room – within five months of reopening he was awarded a Michelin star.

He is classically trained, and has a French style of cooking using modern techniques and Thai influences.

Scotland

Calum Montgomery, Edinbane Lodge, Isle of Skye

Calum was born and bred on the Isle of Skye, and is an ambitious chef that is determined to showcase 'a taste of Skye' for his menu.

He is a chef patron at Edinbane Lodge which is a sixteenth century hunting lodge that he renovated himself into a Michelin-recommended returnated that has been awarded three AA rosettes.

He is thrilled to be representing Scotland this year will be paying homage to the classic Scottish tradition of ‘First Footing’ and ‘Hogmanay Live’.

Fraser Smith, Angels with Bagpipes, Edinburgh

Fraser is confident that his seasonal creative dishes will have what it takes to impress any veteran judge.

He began cooking when he was fourteen and spent eight years on and off working with Ian McNaught at The Roman Camp Hotel, which has held 3 AA rosettes for over twenty years.

He credits Ian for his biggest inspirations when it comes to his love of cooking great food.

Fraser is now proud to be head chef at Angels with Bagpipes on Edinburgh’s most iconic street, The Royal Mile.

Adam Handling, Frog by Adam Handling, London

Competitive chef Adam Handling is back in the GBM kitchen once more and this time with even more drive and determination to hit the brief and showcase his unique style of cooking.

Adam is strong on the idea of sustainability and that is at the heart of his approach when it comes to food.

In 2016, The Adam Handling Restaurant Group was born and Adam went on to open The Loch and the Tyne in the countryside of Old Windsor, before opening up Ugly Butterfly on the beautiful Cornish coast in St Ives.

He holds a number of impressive awards under his belt from Scottish Chef of the Year to being voted Restaurateur of the Year at the British GQ Food and Drink Awards 2020.

Stuart Ralston, Aizle (and Noto), Edinburgh

Stuart returns to the Great British Menu kitchen for his second consecutive year.

He has worked at prestigious restaurants including Gordon Ramsay in NYC and catering for VIPs at the exclusive Sandy Lane in Barbados.

Stuart opened up Aizle, a fine dining restaurant in Edinburgh which serves a carefully crafted tasting menu, and Noto, a wine bar with delectable tasting dishes inspired by his time in NYC.

He describes his style of cooking as natural and organic with Japanese and Asian flavours and techniques.

North East and Yorkshire

Bobby Geetha, Fleur Café

Globetrotter Bobby has been based in Leeds for the last two years, developing his menus for Fleur Cafe, Casa Peri Peri and Fine Indian Dining.

Before living in Yorkshire, he has worked in many prestigious kitchens such as Noma, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

He takes great pleasure to incorporate western techniques with his own style of cooking as his food is "innovative Indian dishes with an international approach."

He is no stranger when it comes to competitions, having won the Hozpitality Excellence award for Best Executive Chef in the Middle East, the LTG Best Indian Restaurant award in Dubai and the Prochef award for Best Indian Speciality Chef in the Middle East when he was working in the UAE.

Elizabeth Cottam, Home

Elizabeth was born and bred in Leeds.

In 2016, she decided to walk away from her successful corporate career to become a full-time chef, starting at The Star Inn the City in York and The Boc Tree in Ilkley.

In 2017, she opened Home and became the recipient a Michelin Plate not long after.

She has since gone on to open two more restaurants; The Owl (also featured in the Michelin Guide) and Cora.

Her food is described as "progressive with traditional foundations, inspired by nature and using the best of Yorkshire produce".

Luke French, Jöro

Luke was born in Cambridge and moved to Sheffield eleven years ago.

He started out as a kitchen porter when he was 14 and has since gone on to cook in the kitchens of Alimentum and The Fat Duck before relocating to Steel City.

In 2016, he and his wife, Stacey, opened Jöro, serving clean, pure flavours with a Nordic/Japanese inflection.

Shortly after opening came a Michelin Plate, 3 AA Rosettes and placing 32nd in the National Restaurant Awards.

More recently, they have expanded their business by serving up a more casual east Asian-inspired food in Sheffield and Liverpool at Konjö and Nama.

Mark Aisthorpe, The Bulls Head

First-timer Mark is ready to prove himself.

While attending the University of Sheffield he was part of the catering team before going on to complete spells at Cliveden House and Pétrus under Marcus Wareing.

In 2016, he managed to gather enough funding to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening his own pub restaurant which uses locally soured produced.

His aim is "to give traditional British food the elegance of a contemporary fine dining experience".

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When is The Great British Menu on BBC2?

The Great British Menu continues on Tuesday, March 1 at 8PM on BBC Two.

You can watch episodes online and catch up on past series via the BBC iPlayer here.

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