Great British Menu 2012: full line up of Olympic hopefuls

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GBM-logo.jpgIn case you hadn't noticed, 2012 is the year that the world's greatest sports folk are welcomed to the UK for to see who's the best at doing some stuff. 

To celebrate it (or cash in, if you're feeling somewhat cynical) almost everything you come across until September will have a bit of 2012 flavour and the new series of Great British Menu is no exception - back with bang on BBC2 from 9 April.

A full complement of top chefs are this year tasked with creating a spectacular menu of dishes fit for sporting heroes at a dinner to be hosted by Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
Once again there'll be eight regional heats to determine which of the 24 chefs vying for a chance to cook an Olympic Feast for the likes of (aqua-dynamic gold-medal-winning swimmer) Duncan Goodhew and Dai Greene ((Commonwealth and World Champion hurdler).

On the judging panel, oce again we have Oliver Peyton doing his best Simon Cowell, without the infuriating smugness and high-waisted kecks; the wonderful and warm legend that is Prue Leith; and of course little Matthew Fort on the end there.

Is he little? Not sure - but I always imagine he's propped up on a comfy cushion for some reason.

Great British Menu veterans Tom Kerridge, Nigel Haworth, Jeremy Lee, Marcus Wareing, Glyn Purnell, Richard Corrigan, Angela Harnett and Jason Atherton also return as the regional judges that stand between the chefs and judges Peyton, Leith and Fort.

But who's going for gold in the kitchen? The full confirmed final line-up of regional heats and judges is:

South West 
Judged by Tom Kerridge (Hand & Flowers, Marlow)

Paul Ainsworth (Paul Ainsworth at Number Six, Padstow)
Nathan Outlaw (St Enodoc Hotel, Cornwall)
Simon Hulstone (The Elephant, Torquay)

North East 
Judged by Nigel Haworth (Northcote, Langho)

Stephanie Moon (Rudding Park, Harrogate)
Colin McGurran (Winteringham Fields, Scunthorpe)
Charlie Larkin (The Marquis, Kent)

Judged by Jeremy Lee (Quo Vadis, London)

Alan Murchison (L'Ortolan, Shinfield)
Mark Greenaway (No12 Picardy Place, Edinburgh)
Colin Buchan (York and Albany, London)

North West 
Judged by Marcus Wareing (The Berkeley, London)

Johnnie Mountain (The Atrium, Westminster)
Aiden Byrne (The Church Green, Cheshire)
Simon Rogan (L'Enclume, Cumbria)

Judged by Glynn Purnell (Purnell's, Birmingham)

Aktar Islam (Lasan, Birmingham)
Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House, Cambridge)
Paul Foster (Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk)

Northern Ireland 
Judged by Richard Corrigan (Corrigans's, Mayfair)

Chris Bell (Galgorm resort, Ballymena)
Chris Fearon (Deanes at Queens, Belfast)
Niall McKenna (James Street South, Belfast)

Judged by Angela Hartnett (Murano, London)

Richard Davies (The Manor House, Castle Combe)
James Sommerin (The Crown at Whitebrook,Monmouth)
Stephen Terry (The Hardwick, Abergavenny)

London / South-East 
Judged by Jason Atherton (Pollen Street Social, London)

Graham Garrett (The West House, Kent)
Marcus McGuiness (Hibiscus, London)
Phil Howard (The Square, London)

This series promises some seriously good cooking, not to mention a good measure of drama too. I've already rumblings of a few fireworks in one particular region.

Oh and in case you're also wondering which sporting champs are that will be at the dinner, they include: 

  • four-times gold medal-winning rower Sir Matthew Pinsent
  • gold medal-winning cyclist Geraint Thomas
  • triathlon hopefuls Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee
  • world-record holding Paralympic discus thrower Daniel Greaves
  • silver medallist boxer Amir Khan
  • diver Nick Robinson-Baker
  • former world-record holding javelin thrower Steve Backley
  • Locog chairman Lord Seb Coe.

Judging by this list, are we to understand that we have no female sport heroes? It's reading a bit like a list of Well of course we do (Dame Kelly Holmes, Fatima Whitbread, Tessa Sanderson, Sally Gunnell, to name a handful).

It would appear that it's not just the Sports Personality of the Year that snubs female athletes. Let's just hope it's not the complete list.

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