TOP chef Luke Anderson is back in the kitchen after clinching a prestigious award.

The 29-year-old from Hawarden recently bagged the Flintshire top chef title in a live cook-off at this year’s Mold Food and Drink Festival.

Former Hawarden High School student Luke, prepared two mouth-watering courses which impressed the judges enough to name him Flintshire’s Chef of the Year.

Luke, who works as a sous chef at The Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold, said: “I was pretty ecstatic to win. I’ve been building up my career for this. Hopefully it is the start of more competition wins.”

He was tested on knife skills, hygiene, presentation and taste and had just 60 minutes to prepare homemade saffron infused ravioli, filled with Welsh goats’ cheese followed by pot roasted Welsh lamb rump served with a celeriac and puy lentil rosti.

“At first my mind went blank,” said Luke.

“Then I remembered that this is what I do and focused and got everything cooked. After I saw the other dishes I did not think I had a chance. It was a shock to win, but a nice shock.“

After relocating from London where he came second in a Masterchef competition run by the Pitcher and Piano restaurant chain, Luke now has his sights set on opening his own restaurant.

He said “Eventually I would like to open a bistro doing something unpretentious. That is something I am going to be working up to, that would be in the local area.

“Cooking is something I have always had a passion for. My family are into barbecues and eating out. We are all excited about food. Being a chef is in my blood. My grandfather was a chef in the Navy for many years.”

Sue Warnock business manager at the Beaufort Park Hotel said: “We are immensely proud of Luke’s achievement and his dedication in using local produce.
“Luke and our head chef Ian Hughes are closely working together in creating some brilliant new dishes to put on our restaurant and bar menus.”

Luke, who started his career straight out of high school, added: “I’d like to thank the hotel for their support and for giving me the time off to do it.”