It is finals week on Great British Menu as the competition reaches its thrilling climax. The winning chefs from all eight regions now battle it out for the honour of a spot on this year's 'Feast To Say Thank You' banquet menu, celebrating 70 years of the NHS, one of Britain's most prized institutions. Each day the regional champions cook one of their courses again for the discerning panel of judges - food writer Matthew Fort, restaurateur Oliver Peyton and broadcaster and cook Andi Oliver. They are joined by a host of guest judges - torchbearers from the NHS, who have changed the lives of thousands through their tireless dedication to the job. The chefs need to convince the judges that their dish is worthy of a place on the final menu and that they have listened to any feedback given to them in the regional heats. At the end of each course, after all the dishes have been tasted, the judges' points are added together and the highest-scoring chef will win the honour of cooking their dish for the heroes of the NHS at the banquet held at the magnificent St Bartholomew's Great Hall, part of the oldest working hospital in the UK.
Today, it is the starter course and as the chefs arrive in the kitchen and size up their rivals for the first time, they discover the competition is stiffer than any of them had imagined. Whether they have made it this far before or are first-time finalists, each is gunning to make it on to the final menu. As the cooking of their starters gets underway, nerves are tangible and several of the chefs struggle with some of their more complex elements. The judges are joined by guest judge GP, author and presenter Dr Rangan Chatterjee, whose work with the public, including on TV series Doctor in the House, provides life-changing care for families across the country. Who will win the first coveted spot on the final banquet menu?