BEN Arnold has won the 2008 Robbie Millar Scholarship, and was presented Young Chef of the Year by the late Millar’s wife Shirley.
Arnold, from Westminster Kingsway College, beat eight other young chefs from the UK and Ireland in the final at the South West Regional College in Dungannon.
The prizes include a Scholarship Sculpture, a magnum of Champagne, knives and stages in The River CafT, Valrhona Chocolate in Tain L’Hermitage and at Illy Coffee in Triesle, Italy.
The judging panel for the competition included Paul Rankin and Noel McMeel, and they saw finalists creating a three-course menu from a basket of mystery ingredients.
Shirley Millar said: “I’m delighted to see Robbie’s name honoured with such a fine performance from all the finalists, and obviously my congratulations go first and foremost to Ben.
“He has created dishes which Robbie would have been proud of and which illustrate the quality and ambition of this competition.
“Robbie was dedicated to seeing young talent develop and felt it was only fair that they should be given the chance to demonstrate their ability and realise their potential. The finalists in this competition are among the very best in the UK and Ireland. I hope they carry the experience and ethos of this scholarship throughout their promising careers.”
2007’s winner, Chris McClurg, is set to star in a four part BBC television series documenting his experiences from winning the competition, due to air in 2008.