Eyck Zimmer, the former executive chef of Rocco Forte's Lowry hotel in Manchester who moved to Portugal earlier this year, has been named Portuguese Chef of the Year.
Zimmer, the 2006 Knorr National Chef of the Year winner, became executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon in June this year.
After winning the regional final of the competition in the Portuguese capital, he beat eight chefs in the national final to be crowned Portuguese Chef of the Year.
Zimmer's winning menu comprised a starter of ravioli of lobster with shellfish essence and ceviche of Dover sole; followed by a main course of flaked confit of hare leg and loin with chestnut, pumpkin and chanterelles; and a dessert of apple financier with apple compote, cinnamon-scented crème brûlée and apple jelly.
He won prize money worth €6,000 (£5,000) as well as a Pacojet, a set of Icel knives and a Nespresso coffee machine.
Zimmer told Caterersearch he was thrilled to have won the competition just five months after moving to Portugal.
He said: "I keep saying this is my last competition, but as this year's Knorr National Chef of the Year Simon Hulstone said: "it's like a packet of Pringles and once you pop you can't stop". As long as I feel I can get better, who knows what might happen]."
As executive head chef at the 282-bedroomed Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, Zimmer oversees a brigade of 40 chefs.
His remit at the hotel, which stands on one of Lisbon's seven hills, includes a 70-seat restaurant, banqueting for up to 500 people, bar food and room service.
By Kerstin Kühn
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