It is the penultimate regional heat as the nation's top professional chefs compete to cook at a banquet celebrating the heroes of the NHS. This week three chefs take to the kitchen in a bid to represent the north west in the national final. They are last year's regional champion Ellis Barrie, from the award-winning Marram Grass in Anglesey, who as a new dad is desperate to win a place at this year's banquet to celebrate the staff of the NHS, newcomer Liam Simpson-Trotman, an accomplished pastry chef and co-owner of the 4 AA rosette Orwell's in Oxfordshire and whose husband Ryan was a fellow competitor in the central region, and first timer Craig Sherrington, who sharpened his skills working under top names including Eric Chavot and is now chef patron of Virginia House in Cumbria, which boasts 2 AA rosettes.
After the surprise of meeting their veteran judge, it is time to cook their starters. Ellis is paying tribute to the founder of the NHS with his re-imagining of a traditional Welsh breakfast. Newcomer Liam is hoping to prove himself with his creative take on a time-honoured supposedly healing dish: chicken soup. And Craig is creating a uniquely flavoured chicken curry ready meal, dedicated to his wife who worked nightshifts at an NHS pathology unit for 12 years.