Garret Keown from the Bell Inn in Horndon on Hill, Essex, has been named the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef of the Year 2011.
Now in its 35th year, the competition, which is sponsored by Gaggenau, is open to contestants aged under 27 and aims to recognise and promote young talent within the industry.
The eight finalists were asked to create a three-course meal for four from a basket of mystery ingredients. Keown's winning menu comprised a starter of pan-fried mackerel, cockles, shallot purée and beetroot; followed by a main course of marinated duck breast, pomme purée, wild mushroom ravioli, butternut squash and chorizo sauce; and a dessert of aromatic poached pear, dark chocolate rice pudding and hazelnut brittle.
Keown will go on to represent the UK at the Young Chef international finals in Istanbul in September.
Iain More of Swinton Park Hotel, Ripon, and Thomas Bally of Hunstrete House, Bath, came in second and third places respectively.
The judging panel included Philipp Mosimann, managing director of Mosimmann's in London; Bob Walton, vice-president of the Restaurant Association; and Paul Gayler, executive chef at the Lanesborough hotel, who commented: "The standard and competitiveness of the finalists was truly exceptional and I would like to pay them all tribute for what they have achieved.
"The sheer tenacity of our finalists continues to amaze and impress year after year, particularly when one considers the age and experience of those taking part."
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs