AN up and coming Wirral chef has secured a place in the final of the acclaimed North West Young Chef of the Year competition.

Ben Costello impressed the judges at the Cheshire heat with his menu based on seasonal and local produce and beat off competition from some of the best restaurants in the county.

The 21-year-old, who lives in Greasby and works at the Chester Grosvenor, earned his place in the final with a starter of Menai oysters followed by Cheshire Wood Pigeon and a dessert featuring goats yoghurt mousse, rhubarb and gingerbread.

Ben, who joined the Chester restaurant through the acclaimed Simon Radley Kitchen Academy as an apprentice, said: “I loved every moment of the Cheshire heat. It’s the first time for me in a competitive environment but everything I have been taught over the last year stayed with me and I kept calm under the pressure.

“I didn’t expect to win as some of these guys have been cheffing for years but I’ve only been doing it for just over a year.

“Now I really have my eye on the prize. I can’t stop thinking of ideas for my next menu for the final.”

Simon Radley, chef at the Grosvenor, said: “Ben has impressed us from day one with his can do attitude and creativity. We are very proud of his achievement – and his menu, which from a young chef shows a great natural palate and a lot of skill.”

Ben will now attend a master class with an acclaimed chef to hone his skills with the industry’s best.

He will then go head-to-head against the other regional winners in the final of North West Young Chef Competition which will be held at Manchester College on June 18.