Ritz London head chef Spencer Metzger, representing London and the south-east, has scored a double win on Great British Menu this week, winning the main course as well as the fish course.
His main dish was inspired by the 1995 BBC series of Pride and Prejudice. Named 'first impressions' and inspired by a Regency banquet, it featured partridge, pommes de terre sarladaises and poached pear.
Metzger said: "I nearly cried when I won the main course, I worked so hard on that dish. There was a lot in that dish. It really was everything I've learned in my whole career in one dish, almost. It really showcased every skill, every bit of my knowledge on classical cookery."
The winners from the regional heats of the competition are competing this week to earn a place on the menu of a banquet celebrating 100 years of British broadcasting.
Metzger, 28, from Chigwell in Essex, entered the kitchen at the Ritz London aged just 15 on a work experience placement. He joined the brigade as an apprentice shortly afterwards,and has climbed the ranks, taking in stints at L'Enclume in Cumbria and Frantzén in Stockholm.
His fish dish, ‘Be careful what you fish for', paid tribute to Sherlock Holmes and comprised brill, smoked beurre blanc, dulse, finger lime, chives, marinated grapes and sea vegetables.
Metzger also won the 2019 Roux Scholarship and is a winner of The Caterer's Acorn Award.
Welsh chef Nathan Davies, chef-patron of the newly Michelin-starred SY23 in Aberystwyth, was the first chef through to the Great British Menu banquet earlier this week with his starter course.