Young chef from Newcastle’s Restaurant Pine reaches finals of prestigious chef competition

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Liam Smith is currently preparing for the finals of the Roux Scholarship.

A North East chef has been shortlisted as one of six finalists in a prestigious competition for young chefs. 

Catton-born Liam Smith, who currently works at Newcastle-based Restaurant Pine has secured a place in the finals of the annual Roux Scholarship.

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After leaving secondary school in Hexham, Liam began his culinary career as kitchen porter before becoming a chef for the first time in Catton’s Crown Inn. 

Since then, Smith has established himself as a talented chef across Scotland and Yorkshire, before returning to the North East to work at Michelin-starred restaurant, Restaurant Pine.

Now, Smith is competing in the prestigious Roux Scholarship, preparing for the final, following a successful regional heat in which he impressed the judges.

In the regional heat, Smith had two and a half hours to cook a recipe he had previously submitted with his application, as well as producing a dessert from an ingredient mystery box. 

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Now, Smith is preparing for the final, which will be held on Monday, April 8 at Westminster Kingsway College in London. 

On the day, the competing chef’s will be given another mystery box of ingredients, and they must plan, prepare and cook a main dish in three hours. 

Speaking about the final, Smith said: “I guess it’s hard to prep for the final, but I’ll be doing lots of reading of classical cookbooks. And then on the day, I guess it’s a case of keeping your head.”

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Liam SmithLiam Smith
Liam Smith | Matt Madden Photography https://

If he wins the prestigious chef competition, Smith will be given the opportunity to choose from one of two prizes. 

The first prize is a fully expensed opportunity to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a three-star Michel restaurant, and the second is a programme of training opportunities worth up to £12k.

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