A CHEF from Wokingham will be taking part in the semi-finals of a competition judged by celebrities including Michel Roux Jr this week, in a bid to find Britain's best young chef.

Oliver Marlow, Wokingham resident, works at the internationally-acclaimed Aulis restaurant in London, and is one of the cooks on the BBC TV series 'Great British Menu'.

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He will be looking to impress celebrity chefs such as Michel Roux Jr, James Martin, and other Michelin-starred chefs with his culinary skills in the semi-final of the Roux Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Westminster Kingsway College, London, which is set to take place on Thursday, September 9.

Mr Marlow, aged 31, said: "I was a semifinalist a few years ago, and I think back then I was more nervous about it - now I'm a bit older I'm going to take it with a pinch of salt and I'm not going to work myself up about so much.

"I'm just going to treat it like a little bit of fun and a nice day out."

Mr Marlow detailed that all contestants will have to cook a dish with hake and clams, as well as a leek garnish, however all preparation and food style is up to the chef themselves.

Bracknell News: Oli MarlowOli Marlow

He said: "I'm going to do mine with gnocchi and I'm going to poach the fish, but then on the day there is a mystery bag [of ingredients] for dessert, which throws a spanner in the works, because no one knows what it is.

"You have to produce four desserts in the time period with what ingredients are given to you, so that's always the thing that most people struggle with.

"The funny thing is obviously it's been almost two years now since I submitted my original recipe, and I have to cook that recipe that I'd submitted for the next round.

"And, like a lot of people, I imagine they looked at that recipe that they made two years ago, and thought 'what the hell was that?'

"I've matured so much as a chef since then, so I don't think it's as good as it could be, but I've made a few changes to my recipe and other than that I'm very much looking forward to it."

When asked for recommendations on food places our readers should try: "In Wokingham, 100 per cent is the pizza from Don Beni in Crowthorne. I order it every Friday. it's amazing. I think that's the best takeaway in Wokingham for sure."

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The competition resumed after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, as well as the death of Michel Roux Snr in March 2020, meant the 2020 competition has been on hold until now.

Co-chairman, Michel Roux Jr said: “We are counting down the days. It seems like an eternity since we last came together to do battle in the kitchens and, like us, our 2020/2021 scholar has been patiently waiting.

"Now the moment has come along with some new and exciting changes for this year’s awards ceremony but most importantly everyone will be able to join us through the livestream.”

For more information, visit rouxscholarship.co.uk/meet-our-regional-finalists/.