Over eight weeks twenty four of the finest chefs in the country including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu for the D Day special banquet.
Representing Northern Ireland we’ll see returning contender Raymond McArdle, Head Chef at Restaurant 23. Last year he won the heat for his region with his dishes, but didn't make it to the banquet.
Raymond started his career as a trainee chef with Paul Rankin and Robbie Millar at Roscoff Restaurant in Belfast. Prior to the competition he visited Normandy with his son to immerse himself into the culinary brief. We're looking forward to seeing the wartime nostalgia his dishes will evoke.
He'll be battling it out against two new contestants to the show. Will Brown (pictured above) is the experimental head chef at his family business The Old Schoolhouse Inn, Newtownards, Belfast. At 17 years old, he started his cooking career in London with Marco Pierre White at the Mirabelle in Mayfair. His Great British Menu dishes will represent a timeline of the war, starting with his take on a World War Two ration pack.
The trio of Northern Ireland chefs is completed by Chris McGowan. Chris trained under Pierre Koffmann and Gary Rhodes before working with Great British Menu veteran Richard Corrigan.
Chris’ menu will celebrate the wartime government campaigns that ensured the country remained self-sufficient in the difficult times of hardship.
As with previous years, the show follows the familiar format with the chefs cooking a starter on Monday, a fish course on Tuesday, the main course on Wednesday and dessert on Thursday. A veteran judge will select two chefs to cook their menu again on Friday’s show for the judges Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton & Prue Leith. On Friday the three judges will be joined by Celia Sandys, the grand daughter of Winston Churchill, to see which dishes best evoke the war time spirit.