TALENTED Wicklow chef Keelan Higgs will carry the hopes of the Garden County with him when he competes in the final of the 2012 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year.
Keelan is one of five finalists that will battle it out in Ireland's most distinguished culinary competition.
26-year-old Keelan from Delgany is the only representative for the Garden County and currently works as a sous chef in the newly awarded Michelin starred LocksBrasserie.
Keelan was previously a finalist in the Young Chef of the Year competition in 2012.
In association with Failte Ireland, the competition aims to search for Ireland's Young Food Heroes that can contribute to developing Irish cooking and promoting it at home and abroad.
The final of the Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year will take place on November 25 and the winner will be revealed at an exclusive mystery event that evening.
Members of the public will have the chance to win tickets to both events by keeping up with the competition online at www.youngchef.ie or via Facebook and Twitter.
Judges for the final will include Dublin born guest chef Trevor Moran, Sous Chef at Restaurant Noma, Copenhagen, that holds two Michelin stars and was voted best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine for 3 years running (2010, 2011, 2012).
The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year will win an all expenses paid stage in a top international restaurant, amongst other exciting opportunities.
Keelan said he hopes to prove his talent in the final.
'My main objective when it comes to Irish cooking is to create food that is consistent, tasty, interesting and above all pleases the customer.
'Even getting this far in Young Chef of the Year 2012 has been a real honour for me and I hope that I can continue to prove myself worthy of this title over the next few weeks until the final.'
Commenting about the competition Gearoid Lynch, President Euro-Toques Ireland and Young Chef 2000 said:
'Keelan has proved he has strong attributes and passion in all these areas and we are expecting a tough few weeks ahead for the panel of judges as we select the overall winner of Young Chef of the Year 2012.'