A Chorley chef who already owns his own restaurant has been named the North West’s young chef of the year.

Chris Rawlinson, who grew up in Chorley and now owns the Red Cat in Whittle-Le-Woods, beat four other chefs to become the hottest culinary talent in the area, in a cook-off at Manchester College.

As well as the coveted trophy, the 23-year-old won a two-week bursary abroad at an internationally renowned restaurant with mentoring from an accomplished chef, a year’s free membership with the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs, a luxury holiday for two and a set of top chefs’ knives.

Chris, who has also worked in London and Sydney, said: “It’s so fantastic, such a feeling, such a buzz.

“I may run my own restaurant and have been on a few stages at other restaurants, but to win North West young Chef of the Year is something else.

“It gives young chefs who might work under the radar the chance to stand up and say, ‘I’m a chef in my own right’, giving you the confidence to make your mark.

“There’s a 14-year-old I’d like to take on who’s got a certain something, and hopefully I can inspire him to make his mark too.”

To win the title, Chris was tasked with cooking up a winning three-course meal for two alongside four other 18 to 25-year-old finalists, using local North West produce costing up to £25.

He impressed judges with a starter of West Coast scallops, new season beetroot, Formby asparagus, watercress and parmesan tuille, main of rack of Lonk lamb, spring cabbage, peas and carrots, rosemary puree and fondant potato, followed by ‘coffee and toast’ milk chocolate and pistachio mousse, coffee pannacotta, sugar tuille, nutmeg butter and marmalade for dessert.