A Blackburn chef has made it to the ‘banquet’ of the Great British Menu, after impressing chefs and celebrities with his dessert.

Kirk Haworth’s dessert ‘A Taste of Unity’, an entirely plant-based dish, received a perfect score and he will now be cooking it in tonight’s (March 22) grand final, where the ultimate winner will be voted for by Olympians and Paralympians past and present and esteemed sporting guests at the British ambassador’s residence in Paris.

Speaking about Kirk’s dish, Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge said: “I thought that dish was tremendous, it was a real trip around five continents. The Olympic spirit was truly shown in that dish.

Lancashire Telegraph: Kirk Haworth on Great British MenuKirk Haworth on Great British Menu (Image: BBC)

“Not for a single minute there are we looking at a vegan dessert, we are looking at one of the best desserts we have ever eaten. You don’t question it for a minute, it’s the most fantastic and beautiful piece of cookery.”

After the announcement, Kirk said he is happy to be following in the footsteps of his dad, Nigel Haworth, who also made it to the banquet of the show in 2009.

Nigel, owner of The Three Fishes in Mitton, also appeared as a judge in later series' of the show and has also appeared on TV cooking shows Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen.

Kirk, who first appeared on the show in 2021 but did not make it to this stage of the competition, said: “This is a dream for me. My dad can’t say anything because we both [made it to the banquet] the second time around. He was texting me last night saying ‘you have to win a course’.

“I can’t wait to serve that dessert at the banquet, in Paris. I am cooking for people that I idolise. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Kirk has made history in the show as he is the first plant-based chef to cook at the Great British Menu banquet.

Kirk, 36, said: We did it! The first ever plant-based dish to win a non-plant-based course on The Great British Menu.  

“The first ever plant-based chef to cook at a Great British Menu banquet.

“This is meaningful for so many reasons. Thank you for all the support and to everyone who’s played a role in the journey to getting here.”

The former Ribblesdale High School pupil has not always been plant-based, training for several years in meat and fish cookery.

His plant-based ethos began when he was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2016.

He discovered a diet without meat, gluten, refined sugar or dairy reduced the intensity of his symptoms.

Kirk, who was an apprentice at the one Michelin-star restaurant in Northcote Manor alongside his dad Nigel, said: “I never would have thought I’d be doing this show as a plant-based chef.

"In my early 20s, I was cooking everything including meat. I have spent most of my career cooking all food items.

“I don’t think people understand the risks that I have taken to put my reputation on the line, dropping 15 years of training in meat and fish cookery, to just focus on one new way of cooking.”