A CHESHIRE chef has reached the semi-finals of a national culinary competiton.

Dion Wyn-Jones, Executive Head Chef at Rookery Hall Hotel, impressed the National Chef of the Year panel with a stunning three course menu to book his place among the 40 remaining hopefuls vying for the sought after award.

National Chef of the Year celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with previous winners such as Gordon Ramsay, Simon Hulston and Alyn Williams. Dion will be looking to add his name to the list of recent winners with the likes of Thomas Swaby, Nick Smith and Steve Groves all having been recipients.

To take on of the top ten spots, the 34-year-old from Nantwich must create a short video, to present an amuse bouche style signature dish that reflects his own favourite style of cooking or cuisine. The videos should explain what the dish is, why it is important to the chef and how it links to the theme.

Chefs will also answer some questions posed by chair of judges, Michelin-starred chef Kenny Atkinson, who wants to know more about their original entry and what winning would mean to them. Once all the entries have been received a new panel of judges will whittle them down to ten finalists to compete in the cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu in September.

Dion Wyn-Jones commented: "I am so happy to get to the semi-final stage. This is a really competitive group with some outstanding chefs from around the country, so to be in their company is an achievement in itself. Hopefully I’ll get to the final, it would be a real career highlight."

The winner will not only receive the most sought-after chef title in the UK, but they will take home a host of impressive prizes including culinary experiences, equipment and trips of a lifetime.