A young West Midlands chef is through to the London Finals of the prestigious Roux Scholarship Competition.
Ryan Simpson, 25, of Nuneaton, was one of eight top chefs from across the country who fought out a culinary contest extraordinaire at University College Birmingham in a bid to become the UKs next Roux Scholar.
The hopefuls had just two-and-a-half-hours to cook-up a tasty lemon sole followed by their own creation of dessert made out of a mystery box of ingredients.
Brian Turner and Alain Roux, chefs at the UKs leading French restaurant The Waterside Inn in London, teamed up with restaurant critic Tracey MacLeod in judging the event.
Mr Roux said: "The standard this year was excellent. We saw some talented and very technically able Chefs. The competition was difficult to judge. But we know we have made the right choice."
Ryan, who trained at North Warwickshire and Hinckley college in Nuneaton, who was one of just two hopefuls to stay in the running.
Mr Simpson said: "I am delighted to have made it through. I competed in the Roux last year, so I guess I was in a good position. I didn’t let myself get too overwhelmed. But it was still a challenge to keep calm when the pressure intensified."
But with his exceptional portfolio of experience that ranges from working with TV chef Gordon Ramsay to four-and-a-half years at a French restaurant awarded three Michelin stars, his success perhaps came as little surprise.
Mr Simpson said: "I know that my experience has put me in good stead, but the standard of competition was high all round. You can’t afford to get complacent. I know the final will be in another league."