As Prue Leith told us at the Annual Meeting last year:~
Prue Leith says: “Chefs in this country, and in fact the whole British restaurant scene, owe a great debt to the WI. They were the original home economists, teaching us how to grow fantastic produce and get the most from our ingredients. For a century, the women of the WI have been a pioneering force for change and for good in this country. Who would have thought 100 years on that most ladies at Seven Hills WI in Sheffield are in their late 20s, with over 100 names on the waiting list! Any organisation which has done what the WI has done over the last century of campaigning and cooking should be celebrated.”
Oliver Peyton says: “I learnt my love of food and life from a very early age from my mother growing up in Ireland. I remember when I was away at school, I’d wait eagerly for my mum’s visits so I could get home and taste her apple pie which I used to help make. Today I still make my mum’s apple pie and my kids love it too. That’s one of the abiding values of the Women’s Institute – families passing on recipes from generation to generation so, for me, a Great British Menu for the WI feels like British cooking is coming home.”
Judges from the WI:
Angela Baker – WI Calendar Girl
Felicity Cloake – Award-winning food writer
Mary Gwynn – Author of the WI Centenary cookbook
Food writer and institute member Mary Gwynn is the oracle of WI recipes. She has compiled the official WI Centenary Cookbook: 100 recipes for 100 years.
Radhika Bynon – member of modern urban WI
A passionate member of the Forest Gate WI, Radhika calls her group the UN of the Women’s Institute because its members span nations. She cooks as her way of showing love, and specialises in her native Sri Lankan food.
Helen Carey OBE – Former chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes – Cheshire WI member and Adviser
Helen sat the helm of the NFWI as chair from 1999 to 2003 and has been a member for 40 years.
Sabrina Ghayour – Award-winning food writer and self-taught chef
Award-winning home cook, Sabrina passionately believes in high standards in the kitchen, and helped judge the North West regional heats.
Kirsty Bowen – President of Seven Hills WI
At 27, Kirsty is one of the youngest WI presidents in the country, and represents a modern new-wave WI.
Rosemary Bishton MBE – Former home economics teacher and long-serving WI member
Rosemary comes from three generations of WI members and has been a member for 42 years. She was awarded an MBE for services to her community, and believes in impeccable standards in the kitchen.
Week 1 Scotland Begins Monday 3rd August
The competing chefs are: • Graham Campbell, Glenesk Country House Hotel • Jak O’Donnell, The Sisters • Jimmy lee, Lychee Oriental
Week 2 South West Begins Monday 10th August
The competing chefs are: • Josh Eggleton, Pony and Trap • Dominic Chapman, The Beehive • Jude Kereama, Kota
Week 3 Wales Begins Monday 17th August
The competing chefs are: • Stephen Gomes, Moksh • Adam Bannister, Slice • Phil Carmichael, Berners Tavern
Week 4 Northern Ireland Begins Monday 31st August
The competing chefs are: • Chris McGowan, consultant chef • Danni Barry, Eipic • Ben Arnold, Home
Week 5 North East Begins Monday 7th September
The competing chefs are: • Michael O’Hare, The Man Behind the Curtain • Tim Allen, Launceston Place • Mini Patel, The Pointer
Week 6 North West Begins Monday 14th September
The competing chefs are: • Eve Townson, Eagle and Child • Matt Worswick, The Lawns Restaurant, Thornton Hall • Mark Ellis, 1851 Restaurant at Peckforton Castle
Week 7 London and South East Begins Monday 21st September
The competing chefs are: • Matt Gillan at The Pass, South Lodge Hotel • Lee Westcott, Typing Room • Mark Froydenlund, Marcus
Week 8 Central Begins Monday 28th September
The competing chefs are: • Pip Lacey, Murano • Richard Bainbridge, Benedict’s • Jason Hodnett, Raven Hotel
Guest Judge – Helen Carey
Week 9 Finals week Begins Monday 5th October
The Great British Menu Veterans who’ll be judging the chefs:
- Sat Bains – Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham • Daniel Clifford – Midsummer House, Cambridge • Richard Corrigan – Corrigan’s Mayfair and Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, London • Phil Howard – The Square, London • Tom Kerridge – The Hand & Flowers, Marlow • Marcus Wareing – Marcus Wareing, Marcus, London • Michael Smith – The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye