Ritz London head chef Spencer Metzger, representing London and the south-east, is the second chef this week through to the Great British Menu banquet, having won the fish course.
The winners from the regional heats of the competition are competing this week to earn a place on the menu of a banquet celebrating 100 years of British broadcasting.
28-year-old Metzger, from Chigwell in Essex, entered the kitchen at the Ritz aged just 15 on a work experience placement. He joined the brigade there as an apprentice shortly afterwards, and has climbed up the ranks, taking in stints at L'Enclume in Cumbria and Frantzén in Stockholm.
His fish dish, ‘Be careful what you fish for', paid tribute to Sherlock Holmes and comprised of brill, smoked beurre blanc, dulse, finger lime, chives, marinated grapes and sea vegetables.
Metzger also won the 2019 Roux Scholarship and is a winner of The Caterer's Acorn Award.
He said: "I used to love watching Sherlock Holmes and I still do. I wanted to create something smoky, and it was important to me to use the region. I live not far from Baker Street anyway so it's quite fitting. I wanted to showcase real fish cookery on the bone and not muck about with the food."
Welsh chef Nathan Davies, chef-patron of the newly Michelin-starred SY23 in Aberystwyth, was the first chef through to the Great British Menu banquet earlier this week with his starter course.