Continental Chef Supplies (CCS) and the North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA) have launched the search for the NECTA Future Chef of the Year 2016.
For the first time, the North East student chef contest is also open to students from colleges in neighbouring regions including Yorkshire and the North West.
The competition will take place at Newcastle Racecourse on 28 April 2016. Students taking part will be paired with a professional mentor for a week to assist them with their final competition preparation.
The winner will receive a one-week residential trip to Raymond Blanc's Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, with a chance to work alongside chefs at the two-Michelin-starred site.
David Coulson, head chef at Peace & Loaf restaurant in Jesmond and Newcastle, and MasterChef: The Professionals finalist, has already been confirmed as one of the mentors.
NECTA and CCS are supporting the contest, including providing all tableware, equipment and judging assistance.
Douglas Jordan, chairman of NECTA, commented: "NECTA Future Chef is the only competition of its kind in our regions. As well as the opportunity to win a host of career-changing prizes, it gives all aspiring young chefs who take part the opportunity to develop their careers within the industry."
"With the standard and quality of the entrants being so high, it's clear to see why chefs are keen to get involved in this event."
Antony Ward, marketing manager at Continental Chef Supplies, added: "This contest is an invaluable experience for young chefs across our region and we're proud to be working with NECTA, supporting their core values of nurturing young talent and paving a solid career path within the catering and hospitality industry."
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