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Great British Menu 2018: the finalists

Great British Menu 2018: the finalists

by Great British Chefs 08 October 2018

The heats are over and we’re left with nine chefs vying for one of four spots at the winners’ banquet. See who made it to the final.

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This year’s Great British Menu is drawing to a close, but the most important week of the competition is yet to come. The final sees one chef from each region (apart from the North West, where two got through) cook their menu once more for the judges, in a bid to get a dish through to the banquet which celebrates seventy years of the NHS. Take a look at the finalists below and start placing your bets on who will become a Great British Menu 2018 winner.

North East: Daniel Fletcher

Daniel Fletcher cooks at London's Fenchurch Sky Garden at the moment, but he was born and raised in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. He's worked for some seriously talented chefs, including Phil Howard, Tommy Banks and Tom Kitchin, but it's at Fenchurch that he's finally had the chance to express his own style of cooking, focusing on incredible ingredients and getting the very best flavour out of them.

South West: Tom Brown

Tom hails from Cornwall, home to some of the UK’s most celebrated chefs including Nathan Outlaw, Tom’s mentor. Nathan showed him the tricks of the trade, especially the art of cooking exceptional quality fish and seafood. After working as head chef at Outlaw’s at The Capital in London, Tom set out to open his own restaurant Cornerstone, in Hackney, where he maintains a close relationship with his suppliers in Cornwall. As a finalist on last year’s Great British Menu, he’s hoping to go the extra mile and become a winner this year.

Scotland: Lorna McNee

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Lorna has already established herself as one of Scotland’s most talented chefs, becoming the first female chef to win the Game Chef of the Year competition in 2016 before being crowned Scottish Chef of the Year in 2017. She currently works as a junior sous chef at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Scotland's only two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Lorna joined the restaurant immediately after finishing college and has not looked back since. Her extensive experience in a fine dining establishment has served her well in this year’s competition.

North West: Ellis Barrie

Originally from Liverpool, Ellis Barrie now runs The Marram Grass in Anglesey, a converted greasy spoon cafe (complete with corrugated iron roofing) which serves up some of the best food in the country. With an on-site farm, Ellis and his brother Liam put produce above all else, and as a previous Great British Menu contestant, he's got plenty of experience to fall back on.

North West: Craig Sherrington

Working under chefs such as David Everitt-Matthias and Eric Chavot turned Craig Sherrington into a formidable chef, and he now owns his own restaurant in Cumbria. At Virginia House, he serves relaxed bistro-style food, but has previously crafted tasting menus that play with unusual flavour combinations and the very best local ingredients. As a newcomer and a relatively unknown chef, he proved himself to be a formidable contestant.

Northern Ireland: Tommy Heaney

Crumlin-born Tommy’s first taste of cooking was a summer job in his uncle’s restaurant in America at the age of fourteen, which kick-started his love of being in the kitchen. After a stint of travelling in Australia, he returned to the UK and cooked for a number of Michelin-starred chefs including Richard Davies, David Everitt-Matthias and Ollie Dabbous. Until very recently he was head chef at The Great House in Brigend, which in 2016 won Hotel Restaurant of the Year at The Food Awards Wales. He’s now about to open his own restaurant in Cardiff called Heaneys, and with a previous appearance on Great British Menu, he’s hoping to go one step further and make it to the banquet.

London and South East: James Cochran

Half Scottish, half Vincentian and brought up in Kent, James Cochran certainly has no shortage of cultural influences to draw upon in his passionately personal cooking style. His culinary journey, which has taken him from Michelin-starred establishments like The Ledbury to the London pop-up restaurant scene, has taught him all about what’s it’s like to cater for a diverse range of tastes and appetites. He’s hoping to utilise his extensive experience at his brand new restaurant 1251, which opened this August in Islington and serves modern British food with plenty of international twists.

Central: Marianne Lumb

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Marianne is a butcher’s daughter from Leicestershire. After dropping out of an architecture degree, she began training in restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Gravetye Manor. She then worked as a private chef in the UK, Europe, America and Australia, where she acquired a diverse knowledge of local, seasonal food. Marianne reached the 2009 finals of MasterChef: The Professionals, and also published her first book Kitchen Knife Skills. In September 2013, Marianne decided to open a fourteen-cover restaurant in Notting Hill with a team of three, arguably one of London’s smallest fine dining restaurants. She left in July 2018 to begin the next chapter of her career, travelling the world to work at various restaurants.

Wales: Chris Harrod

Chris always knew he wanted to be a chef, and after realising his dream working for his childhood hero Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir, he now owns the famous Whitebrook in rural Monmouthshire. With a focus on foraging all sorts of weird and wonderful herbs and wild vegetables in the surrounding countryside, his dishes offer a true taste of the area.

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