Belfast chef James Devine has scooped a top award in London - National Chef of the Year 2017 - an award previously held by Gordon Ramsay.
The Sous Chef at Deanes EIPIC in Belfast - which this week retained its Michelin star - won the prestigious title last night at The Restaurant Show in London in a tense final.
The brief focused on core culinary skills which were judged by a forty strong panel, chaired by renowned London Chef Clare Smyth.
His winning menu featured Tees Valley Rib of Beef and a soft centred chocolate and coffee tart.
After winning 30-year-old James said: “I’m honoured, I never expected to win or to come this far. Each dish was something I’d happily eat or serve up. Right now I feel humbled and very excited at the same time.”
Meanwhile Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, who organised the competition, commented “Congratulations to James, he thoroughly deserved to take this title and this will be a career defining and life changing moment for him.”