Representing the North West this week is former champion of the North, Nigel Haworth (Northcote Manor, Blackburn), who defends his title against Aiden Byrne (The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire), as the culinary challenge continues.
Nigel reached the final in last year’s competition but did not make it through the public vote. This year, however, he’s determined to make it all the way to the banquet and his menu includes: Goosnargh duck pie, ham and scratchings; Muncaster crab, tossed salad with eggs and English mustard mayonnaise; Lonk lamb Lancashire hot pot, pickled red cabbage, tangled garden carrots and leeks; and, for dessert, summer fruit pudding with a cornet of Kirkham’s cheese ice-cream.
For his cheese ice-cream, Nigel has only one cheese in mind – Lancashire, a traditional cheese which has been made in the region since the 13th century. The Kirkham family has been hand-crafting award-winning Lancashire cheeses for over a quarter of a century and Nigel goes to see the cheese being made.
Aiden, meanwhile, who won a Michelin star at the tender age of 22, would love the honour of representing his region at the home-coming banquet. His menu includes: chilled broad bean soup with black olive oil and goats’ cheese; poached rainbow trout with asparagus mayonnaise and morels; Cumbrian veal with lobster and Cox’s orange pippin apple; and, for dessert, lemon sponge with poached rhubarb, raspberries and lemon yoghurt.
For his fish course, Aiden decides to visit a fishery in Cumbria. He usually uses wild rainbow trout, but wants to see if there is any difference in taste. Before Aiden can sample the trout, he first has to catch one. Luckily, for this challenge, he has the expertise and advice of an angler and fishing instructor, who has been fishing for over 40 years. He gives Aiden a lesson in fishing and fish farming.
Former Great British Menu champion Marcus Wareing is in the kitchen throughout the week to offer advice and support, before the chefs have to face the judges on Friday.
Monday 11 to Friday 15 May
6.30-7.00pm BBC TWO