David Littlewood has taken the title of Scotland's Chef of the Year, in his third year as a finalist in the competition.
The executive chef at the two-AA rosette Raemoir Country House hotel in Banchory on Royal Deeside, won the title at ScotHot in Glasgow, Scotland's largest hospitality, tourism and catering show.
Littlewood, who had been a finalist in 2009 and 2011, commented: "Winning this event is phenomenal. It really was a tight competition and I had no idea I would win. When the results were called it seemed like a lifetime until my name was called out."
The eight finalists had to prepare and cook a four-course meal in front of judges including iconic chef Albert Roux.
A Masterchef of Great Britain, Littlewood has a number of accolades already including Grampian Young Chef of the Year in 2002 and Grampian Chef of the Year in 2007.
His winning menu comprised:
• Venison tartare with caper marmalade, mustard emulsion and coal oil, served with chestnut bread.
• Sole mousse with scampi, buttered kale and saffron sauce
• Pork fillet and braised pig's cheek, cabbage and Jerusalem artichokes done three ways
• Salted peanut and chocolate cake with passion fruit and banana sorbet, and set yoghurt
David paid tribute to Raemoir sous-chef Alex Hay, who assisted him during the competition, the hotel's Head Chef John Chomba and junior sous-chef Sam Ritchie.
"Alex kept me calm and focussed during the event and she was instrumental in this success," he commented. "In the weeks leading up to the competition John and Sam tasted the dishes as I practised and gave invaluable feedback. This win was very much a team effort."