Michelin-starred chef Hrishikesh Desai will serve as ambassador for this year's Young National Chef of the Year award, taking over the role from Mark Sargeant.
The annual competition from the Craft Guild of Chefs sees some of the nation's top emerging talent compete, including the winners of young chef competitions from the British Culinary Federation, the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence, World Skills UK and the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards.
Desai, executive chef at the Gilpin Hotel & Lake house in the Lake District, oversees the one-Michelin-starred HRiSHi and the more casual two-AA-rosette Gilpin Spice, which received a rave review from TheObserver‘s Jay Rayner earlier this month.
The Caterer he wanted to bring a particular focus to skills and classic techniques in the contest.
He said: "Because of the number of hours every chef is spending in the kitchen, we tend to buy products that are already prepared for us - for example, filleted fish or boned chicken - so when I was asked ‘what will you bring?', I think for me it's the skills."
Desai also hopes his own experience and growth through competition will be able to spur on young competitors.
He added: "It's about telling a story to the youngsters - that when you dream, and you dream big, the dreams can come true. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).