BBC, it’s appalling that the Great British Menu has ignored Birmingham

It’s not the succession clichéd starter dishes featuring tomatoes and soft cheeses that’s causing me to grind my teeth as I watch the latest series of Great British Menu.

It’s not even the use of wooden boards, artificial grass and even sodding tennis rackets as plates that’s annoying me.
It’s the fact that the London-centric BBC has decided to be looser than the financial constraints on its senior executives’ expenses accounts in its definition of the Central Region.
There’s again no sign of a Birmingham chef in the line-up despite the fact that this is the second city and has more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere outside London.

Glynn Purnell Picture by Sam Bagnall / Edwin Ellis Creative Media
And despite the fact that previous winners Aktar Islam and Glynn Purnell created some culinary masterpieces in previous series.
Instead there’s Nick Deverell-Smith, who studied at UCB in Birmingham but now cooks at the Churchill Arms in distant Paxford in leafy Gloucestershire.
There’s Ryan Simpson, who left his home town of Nuneaton at the age of 18 and now cooks at Orwells in Henley-on-Thames, near Reading, its customer target revealed by its website pointing out that it’s just 30-minutes from London’s Paddington Station.
And there’s Pip Lacey, who, though born near Nottingham, now cooks at fashionable Murano in London.
I wish not to criticise Nick, Ryan or Pip, who I’m convinced are all great chefs.
But authentic representatives of the Central Region?
Only if you’ll accept that I’d be a suitable representative for the International Association of Very Tall, Handsome and Floppy-Fringed Men.
Almost without thinking, I could name half-a-dozen personable and incredibly talented chefs in Birmingham and its immediate vicinity who would grace and improve a show that’s looking increasingly tired.
BBC, it’s disgraceful that you seem so ignorant of the great inventive food that Birmingham has to offer that no-one from this city is rattling pans on Great British Menu this week.
But I suppose if you seldom venture beyond London or the honey-stoned villages of the Cotswolds, it’s hard to imagine civilisation exists so far north.