FORMER Victoria Point State High School student Hamish Pearce has won the M Restaurants’ Young Chef of the Year Award in London.
The 22-year-old beat 11 chefs to win.
In the finals, Mr Pearce fed 70 people having compiled a four-dish menu.
Mr Pearce said the food he served up reflected his laid-back Aussie personality and his disciplined attitude to his work.
He described his cooking style as cutting edge with a preference for local, fresh ingredients and sustainability.
The winning menu consisted of monkfish ceviche with kiwi and pickled elderflower, followed by endive with babaganoush, liver, nettles and coal. A main course of venison with fermented gazpacho came before sheep’s milk ricotta plated with nectarine and orange ice cream.
“It was utterly nerve-wracking but a terrific opportunity and such a great honour to win,” Mr Pearce said.
“The first thing I did was call my mum (Stephanie Morris) – my family back home are over the moon,” he said.
Following the announcement, Mr Pearce took over a restaurant for five nights.
He has also won a trip with Pommery to Champagne in France.
The competition is in its second year and aims to nurture the next generation of chefs under the age of 29 while encouraging young talent working in the United Kingdom restaurant industry.
Entrants are required to submit menus that reflect their skill, personality and personal style of cooking, with the opportunity to host their own pop-up restaurant.
A judging panel and Michael Reid award half of each finalist’s score, and the remaining 50 per cent is awarded by paying diners.
The judges panel consisted of top chefs Adam Handing, Jose Pizarro and Sophie Michel, as well as M executive chef Michael Reid and the group’s founder, Martin Williams.