A COMPETITION held by a local restaurant collective aimed at inspiring and developing a new chef has found a winner.

The 'Chef Factor' was launched to celebrate the 100 years' restaurant experience held by Jonathan Hall, Marcus Bennett, Adrian Rummel and Peter Huggins, partners in The Bay Horse in Hurworth and Muse and Cena in Yarm.

After receiving entries from across the Tees Valley and a live cooking challenge the head chefs from the three restaurants selected Vicky Cartwright as winner.

The 20-year-old from Darlington said: "Cooking has always been a passion. I've been at home in the kitchen, creating dishes and trying new things for as long as I can remember!"

Along with a meal for four at Muse, her winning dish – osso buco with Milanese risotto – will feature on the menu at Muse during September to celebrate it's fifth birthday.

Marcus Bennett also offered her an opportunity to be a part of the Muse team for a day. He said: "We were impressed with Vicky's calm attitude in the kitchen and the dish she produced. We have offered Vicky the chance to spend a day in our kitchen, cooking the dish for customers."

The competition was hosted in the newly refurbished facilities at Darlington College where Vicky studied for an NVQ in Food Preparation and Professional Cookery.

James Butterfield, college head of facilities, said: "Vicky was a wonderful student and keen to put her training to good use, helping at private functions held at the college.

"Seeing former students developing their skills further in the industry is great to see, especially with the vast array of opportunities it offers for travel, experiences and development from such a young age."