Great British Menu 2024: London chef Kate Austen wins with main dish for Olympic banquet

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London chef Kate Austen says her “dreams have come true” after bagging the main dish on the Great British Menu’s Olympic banquet menu.

Wednesday’s Great British Menu finals episode (March 20) saw Londoner Kate Austen come out on top for her Greek inspired main dish.

As part of the finals week, Kate and her fellow regional champions have been trying to impress Great British Menu judges in a bid to get a dish on its prestigious Olympic banquet menu for Team GB ahead of the upcoming Paris games.

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After wowing with her main on Wednesday’s show, Kate became the third chef to have a dish on the Olympic menu alongside Cornwall’s Ben Palmer and Birmingham chef Adam Smith.

Representing the capital, Kate made the final week of the competition after she won the London and South East heat last month. 

It was during the regional heat that Kate first introduced her now winning main, named Symposium, a term used in ancient Greece to describe a party that typically took place after a meal.

Featuring stuffed quail, truffle french toast and a scotch egg, the dish scored a near-perfect 39 the second time around, giving her a one-point lead over Cornwall’s Ben Palmer.

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While Kate’s win allowed her to write her name on the banquet menu chalkboard for mains, it also marked the first time a woman had won the final main course in the Great British Menu’s 19 year history.

Judge Tom Kerridge said: “It was magical. It was refined. It was not only just great Greek cuisine but actually a nod to your skill set and your testament as a chef. It was fully deserved and it was a beautiful, beautiful dish.”

Kate said: “I’m thrilled I can’t believe it, I didn't think I’d got it. I came into this competition on the first day and the [other chefs] had restaurants and Michelin stars and I don't have anything like that so I’m so happy.” 

Following the airing of the episode, Kate gushed over her win in an Instagram post. 

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She said: “And just like that, my world turned upside down. The first female to ever win the Great British Menu main course, in 19 years of the show's history. Is little old me. I have no words. They’ll come. But right now I can’t get there.

“Just thank you, the most heartfelt thank you that I could ever say. Thank you thank you thank you. My dreams have come true.”

Great British Menu is on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on iPlayer.

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