BBC: Meet Great British Menu's 2021 chefs - from Sabrina to Stuart!

The cooking competition is back, as chefs fight for a winning place on Great British Menu. Here’s the 2021 line-up… Meet the contestants!

There are 32 contestants hoping to reach the Great British Menu banquet in May, with four skilful chefs from each UK region taking part.

With the goal to produce a menu served at a prestigious banquet for special events and guests, the competition doesn’t come without pressure.

So, who is taking part in Great British Menu 2021? We have the full list of chefs here, separated into different regional heats.

Programme Name: Great British Menu S16 – TX: n/a – Episode: Great British Menu S16 – Central (No. Central) – Picture Shows: Shannon Johnson, Liam Dillion, Simon Rogan, Lisa Goodwin Allen, Stuart Collins, Sabrina Gidda – (C) Optomen Television Limited – Photographer: Ashleigh Brown

Sabrina Gidda

Sabrina is executive chef at all women’s member’s club, the AllBright, based in London’s Mayfair, Fitzrovia, and in West Hollywood Los Angeles.

Whilst studying for a degree in Fashion PR at the London College of Fashion, Wolverhampton-born Sabrina worked part-time in a café.

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She has worked in the Dorchester and a Roux Scholarship finalist in 2014 and 2015 twice.

Shannon Johnson

Shannon is head chef at Hicce in Coal’s Drop Yard, London, for Pip Lacey, who was starter course Banquet winner four years ago.

The 27-year-old worked for three years at Murano, under Great British Menu veteran Angela Hartnett training up in modern Italian cuisine.

From Lincolnshire, she is a newcomer to the competition who has trained under some of the best women chefs in the UK.

Stuart Collins

Stuart opened Docket No 33 in Whitchurch, Shropshire, in 2017.

The 37-year-old has worked under Gary Rhodes at City Rhodes, with Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park for over 4 years, and for Gordon Ramsay at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

He became Gordon’s head chef at Maze, at The London NYC.

Liam Dillon

Liam is the chef owner of The Boat Inn, Lichfield.

He has worked there since 2017, having worked for Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Five Fields in Chelsea and Story by Tom Sellers in Bermondsey.

He also travelled the world with stints at Quay in Sydney, Noma in Copenhagen, and at Eleven Madison Park and Gilt in New York.

Kim Ratcharoen

Originally from Thailand, Kim is a senior sous chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London, where she has worked for five years.

She grew up in Thailand where she learnt to cook with her grandmother, before moving to the UK in 2006 to live with her mother.

She has previously worked with Michael Bremner at 64 Degrees.

Oli Marlow

Oli is the executive chef for Roganic Hong Kong and Aulis Hong Kong.

From Hampshire, the 30-year-old was an apprentice at Chewton Glen, before working at The Fat Duck, Eleven Madison Park and Maaemo in Oslo.

For over four years, Oli has been working for Banquet winner and veteran Simon Rogan, and is also the executive chef for Aulis London.

Tony Parkin

Tony, from Reading, is the head chef at The Tudor Room in Surrey.

He turned it into his own restaurant, naming it Tony Parkin at the Tudor Room, and was awarded a Michelin star within five months of reopening.

Tony has worked at Noma under Rene Redzepi, Kommendaten, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Northcote Manor in Lancashire.

Ben Murphy

Ben has been head chef at Launceston Place in Kensington since 2017.

He has worked at Épicure at Le Bristol in Paris, Les Prés d’Eugénie, Michel Guérard, Per Se, and Eleven Madison Park.

The 30-year-old from North London also worked for Pierre Koffmann at his restaurant The Berkeley.

Roberta Hall-McCarron

Roberta is the chef owner of The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh, alongside her husband, who runs front of house.

She started her career in kitchens aged 16, and has since worked for Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin at The Kitchin, and Castle Terrace with Dominic Jack.

Roberta made it to the Great British Menu finals last year, so viewers may recognise her already!

Amy Elles

Amy is the chef and owner of The Harbour Café in Fife – alongside her husband Jack – Stocks Events private event catering.

Born in London, she also worked at The Fat Duck and Moro, following her first job at Harrods, where she fell in love with the kitchen.

She was runner-up for Scotland on Great British Menu last year.

Stuart Ralston

Seven years ago, Stuart opened modern Scottish restaurant Aizle.

He has worked at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in New York, and for VIP clientele at Sandy Lane luxury resort in Barbados.

Coming from a family of chefs, Stuart set up sister restaurant Not To Edinburgh in 2019.

Scott Smith

Scott is a 33-year-old chef owner of Ffior in Edinburgh, Scotland.

From Aberdeen, he started out as pot wash at a young age, before taking a job with Eddie McDonald who had run the Marcliffe Hotel there.

In 2018, Scott opened Fhior as Chef Patron with his wife, Laura.

Fhior won Restaurant of the Year at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards in 2019, during the same year Scott was voted The Scotsman’s Chef of the Year.

Paul Cunningham

Paul is head chef and director at award-winning restaurant Brunels in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

His love for cooking started from a very early age, as his grandfather regularly took him foraging.

He taught himself to cook, and sources about 80 percent of his produce within 30 miles of his restaurant.

Gemma Austin

Gemma, 28, is the co-owner and executive chef at Alexander’s, Hollywood.

From Carryduff, she first worked at Slims Kitchen on Lisburn Road, Belfast.

She has also worked at the Fitzwilliam hotel in Belfast where she became a head pastry chef, before moving to The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn.

Phelim O’Hagan

From Londonderry, Phelim has worked at Browns Bonds Hill in Londonderry as the head chef for the last six years.

His career started when he was a pot wash at the age of 14.

He has previously worked at House, at the Cliff House Hotel in Ireland, and then at Restaurant Andrew Fairley in Gleneagles.

Andy Scollick

Andy is a head chef at The Boat House, Bangor, having moved up in 2019 from his former role as sous chef.

The 27-year-old is also the youngest competitor from Northern Ireland.

He previously was commis chef at The Salty Dog in Bangor, where he was promoted to a chef de partie.

Kirk Haworth

Kirk, from Blackburn, followed in his father Nigel Haworth’s footsteps, who was chef patron of Northcote Manor in Lancashire.

The plant-based chef won North West Young Chef of the Year at 17 and worked with his dad at Northcote as an apprentice.

He has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants such as The French Laundry, Restaurant Sat Bains, Sydney’s The Quay and The Square under Phil Howard.

Dan McGeorge

Dan has been semi-finalist twice in National Chef of the Year.

For more than three years, Dan has been head chef at Rothay Manor in Ambleside, and has earned the restaurant 3 AA Rosettes.

He previously worked at The Bath Priory under executive chef Sam Moody, and under Ben Mounsey at The Lawns at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa.

Dave Critchley

Dave, from Liverpool, is executive chef at Chinese restaurant Lu Ban.

He has worked in kitchens since he was fifteen, but he trained at university as a graphic designer and children’s book illustrator.

Dave has run restaurants Alma de Cuba, The Noble House and Australasia, and was previously executive head chef at The London Carriage Works.

Ashwani Rangta

Ashwani, from Shimla in northern India, is executive chef at Gupshup Restaurant in Altrincham.

He formerly worked at Kebabs and Kurries Restaurant in Hotel ITC Gardenia, Bangaluru, under chef Imtiaz Qureshi.

He was then headhunted to run Asha’s restaurant in Manchester. 

Jude Kereama

Jude runs two restaurants, Kota and Kota Kai, in Porthleven, Cornwall.

Having trained under acclaimed chef Simon Gault, he previously worked for Antony Worrall Thompson. This is where he met his late wife Jane, who he decided to move to Cornwall with.

The patron chef Jude has been awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ in the 2019 Trencherman’s Guide Awards.

Elly Wentworth

Elly, 28, from the South West, has been cooking since she was 13.

She currently works as a head chef at The Angel in Dartmouth.

Elly has achieved a Michelin plate in the guide, 2 AA rosettes and Taste of the West’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant 2021.

Nick Beardshaw

Nick, 37, currently works at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, London.

From Somerset, he has worked with mentor Tom Kerridge for ten years.

He is the head chef that launched The Coach in Marlow, which won a Michelin star in 2017.

Nat Tallents

Nat, from Oldham, is an executive chef of The Box Kitchen & Bar, Plymouth.

She was previously executive chef for The Lewinnick Lodge and The Plume of Feathers in Mitchell, Newquay.

The BBC star was a semi-finalist in National Chef of the Year in 2019 and 2021.

Hywel Griffith

Hywell is the owner of the Beach House Restaurant, The Gower.

Having grown up in North Wales, he has been a chef since he was 17.

He previously worked at Coleg Menai in Bangor before graduating to the Lanesborough Hotel in London and The Chester Grosvenor.

He then returned to Wales as sous chef at Ynyshir, and later decided to open up his own Michelin-star restaurant in 2016.

Nathan Davies

Nathan, who has lived in Wales since he was six, opened SY23 in Aberystwyth in 2019.

The chef has worked with Steven Terry at The Hardwick in Abergavenny, and as head chef at Ynyshir under Gareth Ward for four years.

He tries to source local ingredients, including meat, flour and wood he uses on the fire for cooking.

Ali Borer

Ali, from Wales, works as a head chef at The Nutbourne, London.

He has worked at Le Pont de la Tour, Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry, Jinjuu, and as head chef and co-owner of Smoking Goat in Shoreditch.

Ali’s food inspiration has mainly come from his travels across Australia, South East Asia, and Malaysia.

Chris Cleghorn

Chris works as head chef at Olive Tree in Bath, where he has worked for the last eight years.

The 36-year-old from Cardiff has worked at The Crown with James Sommerin, at Gidleigh Park under Michael Caines, The Fat Duck, and with Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House.

He has had a Michelin star since 2018.

Alex Bond

Alex is the owner and chef at Alchemilla, Nottingham.

Having been a chef for over twenty years, he has worked at several Michelin star restaurants, including: 42 The Calls, Anthony’s, Restaurant Sat Bains, Auberge du Lac, Turners and The Wild Rabbit.

In 2019, Alex was awarded a Michelin star for Alchemilla, and four AA Rosettes in February 2020.

Ruth Hansom

Ruth is the head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch, London.

The 25-year-old from Darlington is first woman to win the Young Chef of the Year Award in 2017.

She worked at the Boundary Restaurant for a year, before working at The Ritz for five years and becoming a chef de partie there.

Tom Spenceley

Tom works for Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, London.

He previously worked at Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham, and was head chef at Typing Room under Lee Westcott.

From North Yorkshire, it will be Tom’s first time competing as a a chef.

Gareth Bartram

Competing for the North East, Gareth works for Colin McGurran at Winteringham Fields, North Lincolnshire.

Over the last six years, he has been working his way up to head chef.

His passion for cooking started when he worked in a local butcher’s with his mother aged 16.

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