Rajkumar Holuss, first sous chef at the Waterside Inn in Bray, has been named as the winner of the UK final of the 49th Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire International competition.
Holuss's win follows a closely fought final at Roux at Parliament Square, judged by UK presidential judge Michel Roux Jnr, and Champagne Taittinger's marketing director Vitalie Taittinger.
Holuss competed in the final against James Sleep, junior sous chef at White's Club in London, and Adam Thomason, head chef, Restaurant Associates at Deloitte.
The three finalists each had to prepare their classic dish on a theme chosen by the organising committee. This year the theme was poularde (large chicken).
They were also tasked with preparing their interpretation of a Bakewell tart, a theme provided by Michel Roux Jnr a week before the final.
All three UK finalists received a Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger and Holuss also won €2,400 (£1746) and a trophy.
Holuss will now go on to compete in the international final in Paris on 23 November, where he will be joined by the winners from France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan.
Vitalie Taittinger said: "Congratulations to Rajkumar on winning this national final. The standard of all the entries in the UK final was incredibly high. He fought off some exceptional competition to take the title and this will hopefully stand him in good stead as he goes forward to represent the UK in the international final in November."
The competition, which was set up 49 years ago, is open to chefs between the ages of 24 and 39, with over five years' experience.
This year's UK judging panel was made up of Simon Hulstone from the Elephant restaurant, Torquay; John Williams from the Ritz London; Roux at Parliament Square's Steve Groves; Rachel Humphrey from Le Gavroche; Romuald Feger from the Connaught; André Garrett from Cliveden; the Royal Chef Mark Flannagan; Emily Roux; Arnaud Bignon from the Greenhouse and the Rosewood's Amandine Chaignot.
UK Presidential Judge, Michel Roux Jnr, will join the International Judging panel in Paris where the International winner will be revealed on 23 November.
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