The line-up for the regional finals for this year's Roux Scholarship has been announced.
There will be a total of 18 young chefs competing for a place in the finals, three of whom have been national finalists before.
The two regional finals will take place on 4 March at Birmingham College of Food and Thames Valley University in Ealing, west London.
The challenge for the first stage of the competition, now in its 27th year, was for chefs to submit a recipe for a rice-based dish using five different types of shellfish. In the regional finals each of the contestants will have two-and-a-half hours to cook their dish along with a dessert from a bag of secret ingredients.
A total of six chefs will then go through to the national final, held in London on 29 March, and will receive £1,000 each in cash thanks to the Savoy Education Trust. The winner of the 2010 Roux Scholarship will win a three-month stage at a three-Michelin starred restaurant and a £5,000 cash prize.
Judges include TV chef James Martin; Andrew Fairlie; David Nicholls; Gary Rhodes and Brian Turner, who will be joined by the Roux brothers and their sons Michel Jnr and Alain.
The 18 regional finalists are:
Competing in Birmingham:
Matthew Thomson, De Vere Slaley Hall, Hexham
Arbinder Dugal, The Bedford Hotel, Sidmouth
Oliver Pierrepont, Heckfield Place, Hook in Hampshire.
Stephen Stevens, Cleifiog Uchaf, Anglesey
Mark Birchall, L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria.
Anton Scoones, General Tarleton, N Yorks
Competing in London:
Kevin Sutherland, Baxter Storey, Barclays, London
Alastair Dale, Ince & Co, London
Kevin Tew, Corrigan's, Mayfair
Gemma Almond, General Tarleton, N Yorks
Kenneth Culhane, Baxter Storey, Barclays, London
Guy Fenton, The Dorchester Grill, London
Quinton Bennett, The Westbury Hotel, London
Christopher Hill, Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
Adam Peirson, Claridge's, London
Carl Long, Drakes Restaurant, Ripley
Nick Whatmough, Restaurant Associates, Barclays Wealth, London
Tom Sellers, Trinity Restaurant, London
By Kerstin Kühn
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