Watch Yorkshire chef Tommy Banks on The Great British Menu

It's peak planting season for Tommy Banks and the team at Black Swan, Oldstead - farms don't stop fo

It's peak planting season for Tommy Banks and the team at Black Swan, Oldstead - farms don't stop for anything ... - Credit: Archant

Owner of The Black Swan in Oldstead set to appear on screen this week

The Black Swan Oldstead

The Black Swan Oldstead - Credit: Archant

Yorkshire chef Tommy Banks is back on this year’s festive Great British Menu challenge which is serving up a feast for 2020 pandemic heroes.

No stranger to Great British Menu, Tommy Banks has starred as a ‘veteran’ judge, but this year he will be sweating it out alongside an incredible roll call of chefs, all former Great British Menu winners, competing to prepare canapes and starters for an extra special festive feast for the heroes of this year’s pandemic.

The year has been trying for hospitality businesses in particular having cope with lockdown and the closure of restaurants as well as restrictions on opening times, numbers - and long-term uncertainty.

As well as hitting our TV screens, this week Tommy will be able to open up at the Black Swan in Oldstead and Roots in York. In addition, he has diversified with a hugely successful online delivery business this year, called Made in Oldstead, offering signature meals delivered across the UK.

For Tommy it was a way of ensuring the use of produce from the Oldstead farm as well as supporting producers, his grower community, staff and the wider supply chain in Yorkshire. The teams also worked solidly providing meals to NHS and community support workers.

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In 2016, Tommy won the fish course in GBM with a dish entitled ‘Preserving The Future’. He also appeared in the programme in 2017 and again won with his fish course of turbot with strawberries and cream.

This year The Black Swan was named the UK’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant in TripAdvisor’s prestigious travel awards.

Much of the Black Swan’s food is from the Banks’ family farm and there is also a two-acre kitchen garden complete with polytunnels, where smaller ingredients such as herbs, fennel and tomatoes are grown. Seasonal foods are preserved for use throughout the year.

See how Tommy Banks is supporting the farming community

As an 18-19-year-old Tommy suffered from ulcerative colitis and had three bouts of major surgery when and was bedridden. By 24 he had become the youngest Michelin-starred chef.

A hit dish is ‘meatroot’ – beetroot cooked in beef fat for five hours. It starts off as a big chunk then cooks down with a smoky, sweet flavour.

In November Tommy announced he will be heading up the restaurant of the brand-new Compton and Edrich stands at Lords Cricket Ground on major international match days from 2021. He told his Instagram followers: ‘As a huge cricket fan, this is a dream come true, and I cannot wait to combine my two passions!’

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