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Peckforton Castle competes in the Great British Menu

Peckforton Castle’s Head Chef Mark Ellis has been chosen as one of the 3 finalists to compete in the North West heat of hit BBC TWO show Great British Menu which airs this April. Mark Ellis, Head Chef at Peckforton Castle’s award-winning 3 AA Rosette 1851 Restaurant set in the heart of Tarporley, Cheshire, joins 24 of the nation’s top chefs to produce 21st century dishes worthy of our war heroes.

Now in its ninth series, Great British Menu is back and the chefs are hoping it will be their finest hour as they fight it out for the chance to cook at a glorious banquet marking the 70th anniversary of D Day at a bastion of British wartime resilience, London's magnificent St Paul's Cathedral, for guests including those who fought on 6th June 1944 itself as well as others who served on both the frontline and the home front.

Their creations must evoke the wartime spirit of the generation which fought for our freedom as well as honour, the bravery shown throughout the Second World War and, of course, taste delicious too!

To create their dishes, the chefs have taken inspiration from their families’ and communities’ contributions to the war effort, even travelling to Normandy to the scene of the allied invasion. Mark is enjoying every minute of the experience.

“I’m honoured to be classed amongst some of the best chefs in the country and it’s great to be able to have the opportunity to showcase the Castle’s food to a national audience.

He adds: “I became interested in cooking whilst still at school and after studying food at College I worked myself up from Commis Chef to Sous Chef. I haven’t left the kitchen since!”

Managing Director of Peckforton Castle, Chris Naylor says: “We are so proud of Mark and see his passion and skill with food on a daily basis. He has led our 1851 Restaurant to gain 3 AA Rosettes and continues to impress us with his innovation and love of local produce.

Chris continues: “Peckforton Castle will be supporting him all the way and have our fingers crossed for his success.”

As ever, to reach the banquet each week three chefs must first impress a veteran chef of the competition, who will put through the top two to the Friday regional final. The chefs must then prepare their menus again for not only the regular judges Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton but also a special guest judge with a unique perspective on this period of British history.

Starting at 7.30pm on Monday 7th April on BBC TWO, Great British Menu: The D Day Banquet will run every weekday for nine weeks with the final ‘banquet’ programme to be broadcast on 6th June, the 70th anniversary of D Day itself.

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