Rositsa Nikolova, who works under executive chef Mark Hill at the House of Commons, has been named British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year 2010.
In second place was Chris Emery of the Wheatsheaf, Bath, and third was Gurpreet Singh Chana of University College Birmingham.
Nikolova, one of two female finalists, was presented with her award at a dinner and ceremony attended by 100 industry guests at University College Birmingham.
Her win follows a cook-off between 14 finalists aged 23 or under who took part in a cook-off at University College Birmingham's Molteni kitchens on 1 November.
The other finalists included: Steven Allery, the Dorchester hotel, London; Tom Brown, Intercontinental Park Lane, London; Jack Bull, Ye Olde Dog & Partridge, Burton-on-Trent; Darren Cole, the Manor hotel, Meriden; Tom Edmonds, Hyatt Regency hotel, Birmingham; Luke Haddow, Nuthurst Grange hotel, Hockley Heath, Solihull; Sam Holden, Stratford-upon-Avon College; Luke Hubbert, Fairlawns hotel, Aldridge; Sam Reader, Adelie Foods Product Innovation Centre; Isabel Simmonds, One Aldwych hotel, London, and Phil Steggall, Royal Garden hotel, London.
Competitors had to create a three-course meal for two people, incorporating a starter using gurnard, main course using corn-fed chicken and a dessert of their choice, excluding chocolate.
Nikolova's winning menu was: pan-fried fillet of gurnard, aubergine risotto, red pepper sauce; seared, stuffed corn-fed chicken breast, potato and girolle mushroom terrine, crispy offal bonbon, buttered kale, baby carrots, natural jus; roast pear and financier tart, salted caramel ice-cream.
Competition organiser Lee Corke said: "It's incredibly hard to cook for a scrupulous judging panel when you are so young. Over the years, we have seen some extraordinary young chefs go through this competition and it's very encouraging to see the standard getting better and better."
Judges were Eric Bruce, chef-patron, Restaurant Severn in Ironbridge, Shropshire; Jerry Toth, operations director, Sundial Group; Luke Tipping, executive chef, Michelin-starred restaurant Simpsons in Birmingham; and Jason Eaves, head chef at Glynn Purnell's new restaurant, the Asquith, in Birmingham.
As well as receiving the David Bache Trophy, Nikolova was presented with a cheque for £150, a trip to Luxembourg, a visit to the Electrolux Innovation Centre in Italy, apersonalised chef's jacket, a framed certificate, a commemorative plate from Villeroy & Boch and a set of chef's knives from Electrolux.
By Neil Gerrard
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