A BORDERS chef is through to the semi-final stage of the prestigious Roux Scholarship competition.

Michael Cruikshank, 29, is one of 18 regional finalists who will cook their recipes for hake, palourde clams and leeks in the regional cook-offs at the University of West London on September 9.

The Roux Scholarship is considered to be the industry’s most acclaimed chef competition in the world with many scholars having gone on to win Michelin stars themselves.

The winner will be chosen from the six chefs competing in the national final on October 25.

“I’ve been entering this competition since I was 22 and this is the fifth time I’ve reached the semi-finals.

"I’ve also been in the final twice and I am now described as the ‘most experienced’ which means the oldest but it’s good because I know all the procedures. There will be 18 of us competing for six places in the final.

“It would mean a lot to me to win this as I have invested a great deal of my career in trying to do so.

"It’s been very close for the last two years, but the competition is also a great place for networking, and I would advise any young chefs to enter and expose themselves to the pressure.

"This is definitely the competition to be in and it’s a great to blend classical cooking with your own take on things.

“I enjoy the challenge and think it’s good to be passionate about something. This could be a great stepping-stone when you look back at what previous winners have done.”

The winner receives up to £12,000, to support their career development and an invitation to cook and train under the supervision of a leading chef at a prestigious three-star Michelin restaurant anywhere in the world for up to three months.

Michael was brought up in the Borders near St Boswells and attended Melrose Primary School and Earlston High School before winning a cooking scholarship at Bournemouth College aged 18.

Before leaving he worked for six months under acclaimed chef Mark Greenaway at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel.

After graduating he worked at the Sienna Restaurant in Dorchester, the smallest in the UK with a Michelin Star. He currently works at the Bohemia Restaurant in Jersey.

Michael’s parents Colin and Susanne still stay in the Borders near Newtown St Boswells.