Eyck Zimmer (left), executive chef of the Lowry Hotel in Manchester, has been crowned Knorr National Chef of the Year 2006.
Zimmer took the title after a three-hour cook-off between 10 finalists at this week's Restaurant Show at London's Olympia.
Runners-up were Adam Bennett, head chef of Simpson's Restaurant in Birmingham, and Simon Hulstone, head chef of the Elephant restaurant in Torquay.
Zimmer also won best main course, with the best starter accorded to Craig Sandle, sous chef of the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.
Best dessert went to Robert Szewczyk, head chef of Cumberland Lodge in Windsor, Berkshire.
The finalists were tasked with creating a three-course meal from a mystery box of ingredients provided by Food From Britain.
Zimmer's winning menu consisted of ravioli of oyster with ceviche scallops, étuvée of leeks and smoked bacon écume followed by roast Barbary duck with spiced oatmeal crust, cherry-scented jus, parsnip mousse and potato pirogge. He finished with apple financier with butterscotch cider, russet apple jelly and cinnamon clotted cream as dessert.
The biennial competition is organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Knorr. Previous winners include Gordon Ramsay, Mark Sargeant and Steve Love.
By Diane Lane