A WARMINSTER chef has been recognised for his exquisite cooking at an annual cooking contest.

Phil Clark, a second chef for Sodexo won gold and best in class in the Innovative Street Food Challenge at Sodexo’s Salon Culinaire on September 27.

Mr Clark's Asian fish dumplings with braised rice and pak choi didn't fail to impress the judges, especially after it went so wrong last year.

Mr Clark, 27, said: "I knew the dish was a good one but I didn’t do it justice last year and it took me a while to get over that.

"This year I was really motivated and a lot more confident. I tweaked and changed the dish and practised it four times.

"I was happy with the dish, my plates were identical and I tasted it as I went along. But I was still shocked, going from nothing to gold was amazing, and I did feel really emotional.

"Then when they called me back to the stage as Best in Show I couldn’t believe it. I actually had my coat on ready to go home. I’m still trying to get my head around it.”

This year’s Salon Culinaire saw 700 Sodexo chefs from across the UK & Ireland compete in a range of live and static competitions at Ascot Racecourse.

Mr Clark is one of a team of five chefs who provide a cook to order breakfast, lunch and dinner service for up to 100 covers every day in the Infantry Officers Mess.

In total the team took home two gold, two silver, eight bronze and eight merit awards from this year’s competition.

Mick Wilson, Sodexo services manager at Warminster Garrison, and Phil’s manager, said: “What Phil has achieved is off the scale. He was very composed on the day and used all the allocated time, plating his dish with three seconds to spare.

"Although he was competing against a strong team of experienced chefs, I think his attitude and technique really stood out to the judges on the day. Everything he did was on point. We’re all blown away by his success.”