A CHEF is aiming to cook up a storm in the ‘Great British Menu’ TV contest.

Lisa Allen, head chef at the Northcote restaurant, Langho, battles it out to represent the North West in the latest series of the BBC Two show all this week.

She goes head to head with Preston-born Johnnie Mountain, who runs Mosaica@The Factory in London, and gastropub boss Aiden Byrne, the youngest person to land a Michelin star.

Ms Allen, from Clitheroe, is the only female chef on the show and is competing to cook at a glittering banquet hosted by Prince Charles.

The 28-year-old, who has headed the team at the Michelin-starred Northcote for five years, said: “It is such an honour to be in the show – I am so excited!

“Obviously Northcote has a fantastic record in the Great British Menu, with Nigel Haworth having won the competition previously, and I look forward to representing the restaurant to the best of my ability.

“Being the only woman competing is a real thrill too – it’s very satisfying to represent women chefs in the UK, in such a male dominated industry.”

Ms Allen, studied catering at Lancaster and Morecambe College to study catering and went on to join Michelin-starred Holbeck Ghyll in the Lake District as a commis chef in 2000. Over the next two years she moved onto the two-Michelin- starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham.

Winner of the Best Chef Of The Year at the 2008 Northern Hospitality Awards, she then became the demi chef de partie at Northcote Manor.

After only four years at the age of 23, she was promoted to head chef joining a very small club of female chefs at the helm of a Michelin starred restaurant.

Her mentor and chef patron at Northcote, Nigel Haworth, will also be appearing on the series.

Nigel said: “Lisa represents the spirit of Northcote moving forward, I am extremely proud of her as a chef and of her achievements.

"I cannot think of anyone better that represents the strength of young British Cooks today.”


>> The fifth series of Great British Menu will see Lisa Allen competing against 23 of Britain’s top chefs for the opportunity to cook a glorious banquet for high-profile guests.

>> She cooked wild rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli in the starters show last night, and tonight she will cook a fish course, followed by a main tomorrow, and the dessert on Thursday.

>> The two winning chefs from the week will cook their menus for the judges on Friday.

>> Nigel Haworth will also be appearing on the series. He is now judging the culinary feats of the new generation, picking his favourite dishes from the North East region