HE was the apple of the judges’ eye in the 2016 Great British Menu. Now Adam Reid, whose Golden Empire won through to be dessert course in the final banquet of 2016, is back to represent the North West in this year’s BBC2 cook-off series
In the regional heat the chef with his name over the door at The French in the Midland Hotel, will be up against Liverpudlian Liam Simpson-Trotman of Orwells in Oxfordshire and Hrishikesh Desai from the Michelin-starred Gilpin Hotel in The Lakes.
The profile of the long-running series is higher than ever as it moves to a prime time slot.The programme, now its own 14th year, will mark 50 years since the last time The Beatles played live as a group, and will see chefs from across the UK compete to cook at the final banquet – this year at Abbey Road Studios.
So we can expect a plethora of pop-themed dishes from contestants. Which is right up Adam’s street. When he took over from Simon Rogan an essential part of the The French’s new laid back regime was a pop soundtrack chosen by the East Manchester-born chef.
As usual 24 chefs will represent eight British regions. Each weekly regional heat will see three representatives compete to impress industry luminaries such as Richard Corrigan, Daniel Clifford, Angela Hartnett and Michael O’Hare. Only two of the competing chefs will make it through to the regional final to be judged by the regular panel of Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton and Andi Oliver plus a guest from the pop world.
For the North West heat this will be Scottish singer-songwriter Amy MacDonald, but Manchester does have representatives in these slots. Stone Roses legend Mani is a London and South East judge, while Peter Hook is dessert judge in the national final alongside stellar Eighties contemporaries Martin Kemp and Andrew Ridgeley.
Each heat will be shown on two mid-week hour-long programmes followed by a 30-minute final, where two chefs will compete to reach the finals of the competition.
Judge Matthew Fort said: “If music be the food of love, eat up. Series 14 of the Great British Menu celebrates the brilliance of British restaurant cooking and flair of British music. Both just keep getting better and better.”