An Aldershot chef has made it into the national final of a competition judged by some of the great names of the culinary world.
Scott Dineen, 25, took part in the regional finals of the Roux Scholarship 2014 yesterday at the University of West London alongside 17 other chefs, and was one of only six picked to advance to the final round.
Senior sous chef at fine dining caterers Baxterstorey in London, Scott will now compete for the prize of £5,000 plus training at a three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world, among other prizes, at Westminster College in London on April 14.
The chefs were challenged to cook a saddle of venison, accompanied by two garnishes - on containing Jerusalem artichoke and another of their choice.
A mystery dessert box was also presented to the contestants, who had to create a dessert from the contents. After an anxious wait, the chefs were presented with the challenging ingredients of limes, pears and coffee.
The competitors in London were judged by Michel Roux Jr, Angela Hartnett, James Martin and Gary Rhodes.
They said some of the competitors let themselves down by not accurately tasting their dishes before serving.
Michel Roux Jr said: "We had another brilliant cook-off, the chefs all cooked pretty much what we were expecting from the written recipes, but some worked better than others.
"Overall, the finalists showed great imagination and demonstrated all the skills that we’re looking for in a Roux Scholar."
Scott, who trained at the Ritz in London, lives in Frederick Street with his partner Katie Yates and three-year-old son Jack.
He has described the prospect of becoming the 2014 Roux Scholar and one day opening his own pub as 'a dream'.
For more on Scott's journey to the Roux Scholarship national finals, see next week's News & Mail, out March 27.