Half-a-dozen of the chefs who appeared on the show have worked at pubs that made it onto this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list.
Emily Watkins, the Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
Emily Watkins, whose Oxfordshire gastropub the Kingham Plough came in at number 32 on this year’s Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs, won the Great British Menu in 2014 with her fish course. She also came runner-up, representing the south-west in the heats in 2013.
Dominic Chapman, the Beehive, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Dominic Chapman entered in 2014 and faced John Eggleton and Emily Watkins in the south-west region. He also entered in 2016 for the south-west region and 2017. Chapman’s pub, the Beehive came in at number seven at this year’s Top 50 Gastropubs.
Tom Kerridge, the Hand & Flowers and the Coach, both in Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge won in 2010 alongside three other chefs who cooked at a banquet for HRH the Prince of Wales after winning the main meal round of BBC Two’s Great British Menu. He represented London and the south-east in 2010 and won with his main course (slow-cooked Aylesbury duck with duck fat chips and gravy).
Kerridge won London and south-east region in 2011 and went on to win the main course for his hog roast. This result made Kerridge the first chef on the Great British Menu to cook the main course twice as well as being the first chef to cook a pork dish for the main course on the final menu.
Kerridge took the top spot on the Top 50 list three times before he was retired to the hall of fame and presented the awards in 2015 and 2016.
Josh Eggleton, the Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Bristol
Josh Eggleton has entered three times but lost out to Emily Watkins in 2014. However, he made it through to the national final to represent the south-west for the celebration of 100 years of the Women’s Institute in 2015. He also appeared in 2016 in the south-west category. Eggleton runs the Pony & Trap with his sister Holly, which has held a Michelin start since 2011. The pub was number three on this year’s Top 50 Gastropubs list.
Aiden Byrne, the Collingwood, West Kirby, Liverpool
Aiden Byrne has been no stranger to the Great British Menu as he was a finalist in 2008 for the north-west region and a runner-up, again for the north-west region in 2012 and 2013 heats.
Byrne also won the fish dish section in the final and served his prawn cocktail dish in 2013.
Stephen Terry, the Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales
The Hardwick’s Stephen Terry tasted success when he won for the Wales region in 2012 series and in the 2008 series. The pub reached number 30 of this year’s Top 50 Gastropubs list.
Andrew Pern, the Star Inn at Harome, North Yorkshire
The Star took the top spot at this the Top 50 Gastropubs this year and chef-patron Andrew Pern won the north-east heat on the Great British Menu in 2011
John Hooker, the Cornish Arms, Tavistock, Devon
The Cornish Arms’ John Hooker was a contestant, representing the south-west region in both 2010 and 2011.
Antony Worrall Thompson, the Greyhound, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson represented the Midlands and East of England category when the competition started in 2006.
Matt Tebbutt, formerly ran the Foxhunter, Abergavenny, Wales
This year’s host of Top 50 Gastropubs – Matt Tebbutt – previously ran the Foxhunter and represented Wales in the 2007 series.
Danny Millar, director of Balloo Inns, Newtownards, Northern Ireland
Danny Millar joined pub company Balloo Inns as a director in 2006 and then participated as a Northern Ireland contestant in 2008.
David Kelman, the Swan, Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire
The Swan’s executive head chef Kelman represented Wales in the 2014 series of the TV show.
Mini Patel, former head chef at the Pointer Brill, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
Mini Patel left the Pointer Brill in April this year but prior to this, he entered the 2015 competition for the north-east region.
Eve Townson, the Eagle & Child, Ramsbottom, Lancashire
Eagle & Child chef Eve Townson entered the competition in 2015, representing the north-west region.
Andy Clatworthy, former head chef at the Rummer Hotel, Bristol
The Rummer Hotel took home Best Spirits Pub honours at The Morning Advertiser’s Great British Pub Awards in 2013 and former head chef Andy Clatworthy represented the south-west on this year’s series of the Great British Menu.
This year’s Great British Menu began broadcasting on 2 May and is due to run until 30 June, bringing the total amount of episodes in this year’s series to 45.