The 40 semi-finalists for the National Chef of The Year 2006 competition have been announced.
The biennial competition, which includes Roux and Ramsay Scholars, is run by the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Knorr.
This year's hopefuls include Roux Diners Club Scholar Trevor Blyth, who heads up the White Fox restaurant in Tokyo, and Tristan Welch the Ramsay Scholar and senior sous chef at London's Petrus restaurant.
Nick Evans, head chef of Owens Restaurant in South Wales and current Welsh Chef of the Year makes the finals, as does Barry Tonks, executive chef at London's Bonds restaurant, who won a Michelin star during his tenure at McClements in Twickenham, Middlesex.
The winner of each of the four live semi-finals, along with the top-scoring runners up, will go through to a grand final on 20 September.
Chefs will have to produce a three-course menu from a mystery box of ingredients in a live cook-off.
Steve Love, chef-patron of Love's Restaurant in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was the last winner of the title.
Previous winners include Gordon Ramsay, Roger Narbett and Mark Sargeant.
By Chris Druce