Great British Menu 2009


The hit BBC cookery competition returns for a fourth series at the end of March, pitching top chefs from regions around the UK against each other to come up with the best ‘Great British Menu’.

JudgesFans of previous series will be pleased to hear that the format remains unchanged, with the exception of presenter Jenny Bond who is rumoured to have been replaced by Michelin-star chefs Sat Bains and Jason Atherton, which should make the commentary more interesting. This time the chefs will be cooking for soldiers returning from service in Afghanistan.

Here is the list of confirmed chefs competing in the 2009 event:

Central: Glynn Purnell (Purnell’s, Birmingham) vs Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House, Cambridge)

London & South East: Mark Sargeant (Gordon Ramsay at Claridges) vs Tristan Welch (Launceston Place, London)

North East: Ian Matfin (Abode, Manchester) vs Kenny Atkinson (The White Room at Seaham Hall, County Durham)

North West: Nigel Haworth (Northcote Manor, Blackburn) vs Aiden Byrne (The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire)

Northern Ireland: Danny Millar (Balloo House, Killinchy) vs Clare Smyth (Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road)

Scotland: Tom Kitchin (The Kitchin, Edinburgh) vs Alan Murchison (L’Ortolan, Shinfield, Berkshire)

South West: Nathan Outlaw (Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Fowey, Cornwall) vs Shaun Rankin (Bohemia, Jersey)

Wales: Stephen Terry (The Hardwick, Abergavenny) vs James Sommerin (The Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouth)

The BBC have already commissioned Optomen TV to make a fifth series in 2010. Don’t forget to set your video recorders, or make a date with the BBC iPlayer.



  1. mrs ann wimberley on

    I was horrified to see that Aiden Byrne actually chopped his lobsters while they were still alive. As I had recorded the programme, I was able to rerun it several times to make sure that I was not mistaken. I do not think that our soldiers would really appreciate it. I know that there are several humane methods to kill lobsters but chopping them in half is not one if them. He then put the ‘bits ‘ in boiling water, not a pretty sight!! If he does win the main course round, then I think he should rethink his ways, Its quite put me off booking a table for my BIG birthday party.

    Yours faithfully Ann Wimberley

  2. The Arbuturian on

    Dear Ann,

    Thanks for your comment.

    We have viewed the episode in question (we presume that you’re referring to the main course episode) and we do not believe that Aiden has done anything wrong.

    Indeed, the editing does not show him killing the lobster, only chopping it up. However, a lobster will continue to move after it has been killed, which is a natural reaction of the muscles. We would be very surprised if Aiden was not using humane ways to despatch his seafood, as all chefs at his level are taught this from day one. We think this is a case of selective programme editing rather than cruelty and unprofessionalism.

    We hope this will not put you off visiting his restaurant!

    Kind regards,
    The Arbuturian

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