A CHEF is set to test his talent against the nation’s best when he appears on a top TV cooking competition.

Tom Parker, 27, from the White Swan at Fence, is set to appear on BBC Two’s Great British Menu competition alongside 23 professional chefs from around the country.

Mr Parker, who spent seven years working at Northcote after writing to boss Nigel Haworth aged 16 before moving to Fence in 2013, said he is both nervous and excited about pitting his culinary skills against the best in Britain.

He said: “It’s very good. It’s a big achievement. I am going up against the big boys so I am nervous but excited at the same time.

“For the pub and the business it’s great It is going to bring so many people in. “Hopefully we’ll expand our customer base further afield than Burnley.

“Some of the dishes I cook on the show will be available at the pub.

“We’re going to have special theme nights where we’ll have the starter, fish course and dessert.”

The show this year will celebrate 140 years of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

The chefs’ creations must fit the theme of ‘a Taste of Summer’ which encourages them to reflect the taste, smells and colours of the season.

This year, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort will be joined in the judging chamber by Andi Oliver, following Prue Leith’s departure from the show.

Mr Peyton said: “The standard of food cooked in this series is insanely high, these are the best chefs in the country cooking the most amazing food you’ll see on television.

“Sometimes I think the competition will never get any better but the chef’s passion just drives the show on to new heights.”

The veteran judges confirmed for the show include Tom Aikens, Daniel Clifford, Angela Hartnett, Nathan Outlaw, Michael O’Hare, Richard Bainbridge, Jeremy Lee, and Michael Smith.

During the final Mr Peyton, Mr Fort and Mr Oliver will be joined by sports presenter Sue Barker, former British tennis number one Tim Henman, Paralympic gold medalist Gordon Reid, former British women top seed Annabel Croft.

Mr Parker’s competitors include previous banquet winner Tommy Banks of the Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire; last year’s finalist Michael Bremner of 64 Degrees in Brighton; 2016 Welsh regional winner Phil Carmichael of Berners Tavern, London; and first timers Tom Brown of Outlaw’s at the Capital, London and Ellis Barrie of the Marram Grass on Anglesey.

Great British Menu 2017 starts on Monday, May 1, at 7pm.