A Blackburn chef will represent the region in the national finals of the Great British Menu, after winning the North West heat.

Kirk Haworth will be the first chef to bring a fully plant-based menu through to the finals of the BBC show.

On Wednesday’s episode (February 29) Kirk cooked a six-course meal for Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, chef and top restaurateur Nisha Katona, comedian and food podcaster Ed Gamble and Paralympian Stuart Robinson.

Lancashire Telegraph: Kirk HaworthKirk Haworth (Image: BBC)

The judges praised his food as “utterly delicious”, “phenomenal” and “nothing like [they had] ever seen before”.

Speaking about the dessert Tom said: I have had one spoonful of this and I never want it to end.”

“Everything has its place and point. This is a beautiful bit of cookery.”

Tom gave his starter and dessert a perfect 10 out of 10 score.

Ed said: “This has turned the competition on its head because it is the first ever fully plant-based menu through to finals week of the Great British Menu, so congratulations.”

Speaking about winning the heat, Kirk said: “It has been such a long journey. It means everything for me to represent the North West.

“To get two tens, from a two Michelin star chef, cooking the [vegan] food I am cooking [shows me that] the road I am on is the right road.”

After the episode aired Great British Menu fans took to social media to praise Kirk – with some even saying it has made them view vegan food differently.

One person said: “Watching Kirk absolutely smash it on the Great British Menu has been the highlight of the week.

“So happy to see him go through to the finals. Absolutely stunning dishes, well deserved.”

Another said: “Incredible food, amazing reactions from everyone! It was a joy to watch tonight. You’re showing that plant-based food is all we need.”

“Kirk on the Great British Menu made me cry! Congratulations.”

Another said: “I have such a new appreciation for vegan and plant-based innovative recipes. This chef is phenomenal.”

Kirk, who is preparing to open his own plant-based fine dining restaurant, Plates, in London this spring, wasn’t always a vegan chef.

In 2016, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease, he decided to start exploring and learning about the impact of fruits and vegetables on the body. This is how the concept of Plates was born. 

Kirk, who was an apprentice at the one Michelin-star restaurant in Northcote Manor alongside his dad Nigel Haworth, said: “Who I am now as a chef is determined by my health challenges. It has completely changed the way I create, cook, work. 

“At Plates what I am trying to do is create a new genre of cookery to showcase fruits and vegetables in a new way, with lots of creativity, innovation and deliciousness.

“To get a dish to the banquet would mean the world to me. It will showcase the last seven years of my health journey and how I have changed the way I cook. To really get that recognised and understood on such a huge stage would mean everything to me.”