Young Sunderland chef prepares to cook for Raymond Blanc

HOT OPPORTUNITY: Tim Evans, who will work in Raymond Blanc's restaurant in Oxfordshire.
HOT OPPORTUNITY: Tim Evans, who will work in Raymond Blanc's restaurant in Oxfordshire.
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THE heat is on for a rising chef as he prepares to cook up a storm in Raymond Blanc’s multi-award-winning restaurant.

Tim Evans has been preparing for the challenge for the past nine months, after he scooped a prize in the North East Junior Chef of the Year competition.

The 20-year-old, from High Barnes, has been invited to work in the kitchen of the Oxfordshire restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, which has two Michelin stars, for four days.

Tim, who works at Cafe 21, in Newcastle, said: “It’s a great opportunity for me at this point in my career and I intend to sponge it all up – to take in as much as I can.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see how things work at the very top end of the business

“I’ve been told there are 48 chefs working at the restaurant at any one time, including one person whose job it is just to make sure the plates look right.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to get involved, even if it’s just a case of doing some preparation work.

“If I get to meet Raymond Blanc himself, it will be a bonus, but even if I don’t, his head chef Gary Jones will be there, and he is also hugely respected.”

Tim scooped the junior chef of the year title at the annual Salon Culinaire event at Newcastle Civic Centre, organised by the North East Culinary Trade Association (Necta) in May.

His success means he will now compete for the national Young Masterchef of the Year title in May.

He added: “It’s a real privilege to be taking part. Am I confident? Absolutely – you have to be or there’s no point in competing.”

Meanwhile, Necta is gearing up for this year’s Salon Culinaire event and Tim has some advice for young chefs seeking to follow in his footsteps.

He said: “The best thing anyone taking part can do is put in as much preparation as possible and to work really hard to perfect your dish.”

Necta chairman Douglas Jordan said: “Winning last year’s regional event will have been a great confidence booster for Tim and he now he has the national young masterchef competition at London’s Westminster College in May to look forward to.

“Visiting Raymond Blanc’s restaurant is going to be excellent preparation for that challenge. He will be treated as part of the team.

“He certainly won’t be a spectator.

“The standard of competition at last year’s event was very high but Tim really impressed the judges.

“Our mission at Necta is to promote excellence in food service and culinary skills and to offer encouragement to the region’s talented chefs.

“Since we started salon culinaire seven years ago it has gone from strength to strength and this coming May we’re determined to make it bigger and better than ever.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham