Ballater chef in quarter-finals

One of Royal Deeside’s leading chefs has reached the quarter finals of a national television competition.

Chris O’Halloran, head chef of The Green Inn, Ballater, battled it out against 16 talented chefs from Scotland and Northern Ireland to reach the regional heat finals of Britain’s Best Dish.

Beating off stiff competition from Chef Kyle Greer, of Belfast-based restaurant No 27 Talbot Street, Chris clinched the regional heat title with his hot chocolate cake with cinnamon ice-cream, rich chocolate sauce and cookies. He will now compete against some of the finest chefs from across the UK, in the quarter-final stage held at Wembley Stadium, which will be aired on ITV on Tuesday, December 20.

In recognition of his achievement, Chris received a personal letter from The Prince of Wales, congratulating him on his win and wishing him well for the next stage.

Garry Marsden, chairman of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms DMO, which is driving forward the development of the area as a foodie destination said: “Chris is one of a number of highly-talented chefs in Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, who hold several AA rosettes in recognition of their excellent quality food. We wish Chris well with the next stage of the competition and hope he can bring the trophy back to Ballater and encourage more gastronomes to visit our area.”

Over 100 chefs entered the national competition, judged by Michelin starred chef John Burton-Race, food critic Jilly Goolden and top restaurateur Ed Baines and each chef has specially created a recipe for the show.

Chrissaid: “It is a wonderful feeling to win the regional heat and represent Scotland in the quarter finals of the competition. The standard is exceptionally high and many of the chefs competing are of Michelin Star standard and hold several AA rosettes, so it really is the best of the best taking part.

“As someone who is so passionate about food, I focused on creating a dish which would stand out, combining a blend of different flavours which would instantly leave an impression on the judges.”