Top chefs to represent North East and Yorkshire in opening week of The Great British Menu

Four chefs from the North East and Yorkshire will go head-to-head in the opening week of The Great British Menu on BBC2.

The 18th series of the show – which begins with the North East and Yorkshire regional heat January 31-February 2 (8pm) – will see 32 chefs from across the country compete to have their dishes selected for the final banquet.

The four chefs competing in the North East and Yorkshire heat are: Northumberland-born Cal Byerley, chef patron at Pine; Rory Welch, head chef at Träkol, which sits beneath the Tyne Bridge in Gateshead; Will Lockwood, head chef at Roots in York; and Winteringham Fields’ Gareth Bartram.

This year’s theme is celebrating Britain’s success in animation and illustration. Each chef’s menu pay homage to an element of British illustration and animation, with their interpretation of the theme a cornerstone of the judging.

Rory’s menu draws inspiration from northern comic strip Andy Capp, which was created by cartoonist Reg Smythe, while Cal’s menu is inspired by Northumberland-based writer and illustrator Charles Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse.

The programme will once again be presented by Andi Oliver, with the judging line-up including chef Tom Kerridge, restaurateur Nisha Katona, and comedian and food podcast presenter Ed Gamble.

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