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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 04:21 GMT
Public to pick meal fit for Queen
The Queen and guests at a banquet at Windsor Castle
When the Queen eats in, it can be a lavish affair
Members of the public are to be asked to choose what the Queen will eat at a special lunch for her 80th birthday.

A new BBC television series is being launched to find a four-course menu which will be presented to the Queen at a City of London lunch in her honour.

Some 14 of the country's top chefs will be involved in the Great British Menu series, says the BBC.

A public poll will decide on the final menu to be served to the Queen and her guests, marking her birthday in June.

The BBC would not name any of the other cooks involved but it is thought that celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes and Antony Worrall Thompson were among the 14 taking part.

Each will be given one of seven regions of the UK and asked to make four "innovative" dishes from the best local ingredients.

Judges will then whittle down the final choices before the public are asked to choose the best starter, fish dish, main course and dessert.

The seven featured regions will be the South West; South East; Midlands and East; North; Scotland; Wales and Northern Ireland.

'Range and quality'

One of the chefs involved, John Burton-Race, said: "I am honoured that this series celebrates that British food has arrived, and very honoured to represent the South West.

"We've been lambasted the world over for having the worst food on the planet but it's not true.

"The South West has wonderful ingredients - shellfish, sea food, livestock - everything a cook could want.

"Great British Menu will show the range and quality of British food and success of British chefs."

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Lord Mayor and other senior politicians will be among those joining Her Majesty at the lunch on 15 June.

BBC Daytime have commissioned Optomen TV to produce the programme, which will run every Monday to Friday evening for eight weeks from April on BBC Two.

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