An Oldham restaurant competed for the top prize in Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me: The Professionals this evening (Friday, July 1) and wowed contestants with their speciality barbeque food.

The Old School BBQ Bus, situated on Alford Street, Hollinwood, follows an American Wild West theme with slow-cooked barbecue meats on offer.

After a successful application to Channel 4's Come With With Me: The Professionals, the restaurant featured on the Friday evening slot of the new show to present their Texas-themed dishes.

The show takes on a similar format to the classic Come Dine With Me, with each episode seeing three independent restaurants competing to win.

Each restaurant taking part in the show was represented by a team of two members of staff to impress their counterparts.

Director Mark Fairley and head chef Dawn Draper represented The Old School BBQ Bus and went up against BrewChimp Indian Social Club and One Plus Chinese Restaurant for a shot at a £1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to be crowned one of Greater Manchester's best.

In the showdown, Mark and Dawn presented the other two teams with buffalo-fried shrimp tacos to start and barbecue pork belly with fries, corn and purple slaw as the main.

They served their famous homemade key lime pie for dessert which Mark said is a popular choice amongst customers as it continues to sell out every week.

Rival contestants were wowed by the duo's smoked pork which was massaged and left to slow cook for six hours.

Both Alan and Michelle from One Plus Chinese Restaurant said it was clear a lot of love had gone into the “tender” barbecue pork.

Michelle said the meat “melts in the mouth” while Alan reiterated that he was a “big fan”.

Alan added: “You don’t spend hours smoking a piece of meat like that just because you’ve got to - you do it because you really love it.”

Pleased with the comments, Dawn said the team have nailed down “six hours of technique”.

The venue, which invites its customers to dance and often hosts live music and comedy events, was also a hit with the contestants who were seen doing the hoedown and 'yee-hawing' in cowboy hats during the evening.

At the end of each meal, the competing pairs cast their votes out of a potential 20 points, judging the quality of food as well as the entertainment.

The dinners took place during normal service so that visitors could observe the overall atmosphere, food and service.

Mark said: “We are bringing a taste of Texas to Oldham.

“We did bring the wild west to the North West, and at this moment in time I think we’re the best”.

Unfortunately, the Oldham pair didn’t win but were only slightly beaten by One Plus Chinese Restaurant which gained 30 points.

The Old School BBQ Bus accumulated a total of 28 points out of 40, positioning them in second place.

Meanwhile, BrewChimp Indian Social Club scored 25 points.

Reflecting on the competition, Mark said: “We’re a bit disappointed but the best team won."

In a promotion video in the run-up to the Friday night show, Mark had said it was “an amazing experience to be a part of” but added it was “gruelling” due to the long days of filming.

Still, he added that it had been “surreal” to take part in the competition.

The Old School BBQ Bus opened in 2016 when a Bluebird International American school bus was specially imported from Arizona to become their mobile kitchen. 

The episode was broadcast on Channel 4 but can be caught online at any time on All 4.