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Great British Menu: How the Judges Got the Gig

Published on: 23 Nov 2015

great british menu

You don’t just need to know a thing or two about food to get the role as a Great British Menu judge; you have to live, eat (well, literally!) and breathe it. It’s something the trio of judges on the hit TV show know only too well, with each of them beginning their careers some years ago before working their way up the culinary ladder to get to where they are today.

And if you’ve ever watched the programme and thought the judges were a little too particular about each and every morsel of food that pass their lips, there’s a reason for that, too. When you’re judging the very best food from the very best chefs you expect…well…nothing but the best – and we don’t blame them for being perfectionists.

Of course, the opportunity to become a judge on The Great British Menu doesn’t just fall into your lap. Instead, it takes years of hard work in a career that may span decades. For now, let’s meet some of the judges who started lower down the leisure jobs pecking order to get to where they are now:

Prue Leith – A restaurateur, professional cook and caterer, Prue’s career has played out over many years. Starting her catering company Leith’s Good Food, she later opened the Michelin-starred restaurant Leith’s, in the midst of the swinging 60s. She also added Leith’s School of Food and Wine to her CV in the 70s, before selling it in 1995. Today, she’s doing exactly what she does best: critiquing the food of top British cooks on one of the most-watched cookery shows on TV.

Oliver Peyton – Another renowned restaurateur, Oliver Peyton is also the founder and chairman of Peyton and Byrne. Like many people in the catering industry, he started out small, before eventually owning a string of restaurants including those at the Royal Academy of Arts. Of course, it wasn’t without skill, time, patience and dedication that Oliver landed his job as a critic on the Great British Menu. If you fancy following in his footsteps, the very first thing to do is look into relevant cookery courses; take a look online to discover which is the best one for you, in terms of location and the skills on offer.

Matthew Fort – Last but not least, we’re talking about Matthew Fort - who makes up the trio of judges on the Great British Menu. A highly regarded food writer, critic and author, Matthew was Glenfiddich ‘Food Writer of the Year’ back in 1993, followed by an accolade for ‘Restaurant Writer of the Year’ not long after. His extensive experience as a food critic and writer makes him the perfect choice for the gig of one of the three judges on this hit show.

Want to enter the world of food, too? Why not discover more about how Prue, Oliver and Matthew made it into the industry by dong a simple Internet search? It may just help you find all the details you need to set out on the same path.