A CHEF from Porthleven will be hoping third time's the charm when he takes part in a national TV cookery series next week.

Jude Kereama, of the 2 AA rosette and Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning Kota, together with its sister restaurant Kota Kai just down the road, is returning to the Great British Menu for a third year.

Series 13 celebrates 70 years of the NHS, with the chefs given a chance to cook at a banquet in the Great Hall of St Bartholomew's Hospital, Britain’s oldest working hospital.

Jude told the Packet that this year's theme was particularly personal to him, with family supported by the National Health Service.

He said: "It's finding [dishes] that will be applicable to what's happened to my family and myself in the past; the NHS has looked after us and it's how we can really celebrate them.

"It's an amazing institution. I think here in Britain we don't quite realise what we have here in the free health service. It's a personal theme."

As part of his episodes, Jude goes to speak with one of his former restaurant waitresses who lives in Helston and now works as a GP in Penzance.

Jude is no stranger to the competition now - but that doesn't make it any easier.

"You know the ropes, but you just don't know how the pressure is going to get to you. You're up against some phenomenal chefs," he explained.

His south west competition this year comes in the form of Olivia Barry, who worked under Angela Hartnett at the Michelin-starred Murano in Mayfair before opening her own fine-dining restaurant in Bristol, and Tom Brown, a protégé of Nathan Outlaw now in charge of his own restaurant in Hackney Wick, who won last year's regional heat of the programme.

Jude has plenty of his own pedigree however. Born and raised in New Zealand, Jude moved to the UK in 1996 having trained under acclaimed chef Simon Gault. He spent many years working in London at a variety of top restaurants before making the move to Cornwall.

"It's great fun cooking against your peers. You can get a couple of frayed nerves waiting for things to set or bake - there's so many things that can go wrong, and often do! Being in a different kitchen and with competition cameras on you, it's always tough.

"It's about holding your nerve and making sure you get the dish as perfectly as you like it," he said.

For Jude this could be the last year he competes in the competition - piling on the pressure to do well even further.

"I said I would do it one more time and that was it - but you never say never.

"I've loved the experience, absolutely loved it. There's some sick part of me that enjoys the competition.

"It's always tough when you're in the competition, but there's a sense of achievement after you've done it," he added.

Being on the show has not only meant people travelling further to his restaurants but also that he is now asked to be involved in charity events, such as a fundraiser for Hospitality Action in October and another for the Fishermen's Mission - something he is delighted about.

"For me it's about trying to give something back to Cornwall and to my trade," he said.

The south west heats of the series, featuring Jude, begin this Monday at 7.30pm on BBC Two.