A Blackburn chef won Great British Menu last night (Friday, March 22) after impressing chefs and celebrities with his plant-based dessert at a banquet.

Kirk Haworth’s dessert for the grand final resulted in him being crowned the 'champion of champions', an award voted for by Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, and esteemed sporting guests at banquet, held at the British ambassador’s residence in Paris.

The dessert consisted of sour cherries from Europe 'sitting in the middle of a sponge ring, plus a cacao gateau with cherry gel, vanilla caramel sauce and Australian toasted macadamias. 

‘A Taste of Unity’, an entirely plant-based dish, received a perfect score during regional heats and finals week, and was dusted with cacao, Asian coconut blossom ice cream and presented under cloches made by Kirk's sister.

The flavours in the dessert were chosen to represent each of the five continents which take part in the Olympics, as this year's banquet was Olympics/Paralympics-themed ahead of this summer's Games in Paris.

Olympians made comments such as "I am loving this already" and "it melts in my mouth" when tasting the dish.

Heptathlon legend Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill said: "I cannot tell you how amazing it is."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds said: "To think it is all vegan is just incredible."

Kirk followed 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.

Kirk, 36, first appeared on the show in 2021 but did not make it to this stage of the competition.

After going all the way this time, he said: "So much work went into the dessert and getting it out on time.

"I tried my best and did it the to best of my ability."

Lancashire Telegraph:

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

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 feel incredible.

"I think the banquet is about all of us and to work with such incredible chefs is a huge honour."