Josh Eggleton, chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, Somerset (currently fifth in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs), will compete in the south-west heat.
Danny Gill, chef-patron of top chef Daniel Clifford’s newly opened Essex pub the Flitch of Bacon, Little Dunmow, and Daniel Smith of the Ingham Swan, in Ingham, Norfolk, will face off in the central heat.
Mini Patel of the Pointer, Brill, Buckinghamshire, and Tommy Banks of the Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire, will compete in the north-east heat.
Regional heat winners will go on to cook at a banquet held in the House of Commons members' dining room. The BBC hinted that this edition of the show would see one contestant achieve the highest mark ever given in the competition's history.
Scores to settle
Josh Eggleton won last year’s south-west heat, knocking out Dom Chapman of the Beehive, White Waltham, Berkshire, and Jude Kareama of restaurant Kota, at Porthleven, Cornwall, but did not achieve victory in the final.
They were judged by fellow Top 50 Gastropubs alumni Emily Watkins of the Kingham Plough, near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, who was one of 2014’s winners.
Watkins recently announced she had taken on a consultant chef role for upcoming Cornish gastropub the Carew Arms, which is set to open later this year at Antony.
The brainchild of A Hedonist’s Guide founder Tremayne Carew Pole, the kitchen at the Carew Arms will be led by head chef Jack Clayton, who previously worked at popular Cornish gastropub the Gurnard’s Head at Zennor.
Watkins previously said the location would offer her and Clayton access to the freshest local ingredients, many of which would be grown on the nearby Antony Estate.