A YOUNG Edinburgh chef has roasted competition from some of the best in the business to become Hotel Chef of the Year 2017 at the Scottish Hotel Awards.

Alan Dickson is head chef at No 10 Restaurant, in the Ten Hill Place Hotel – run by the commercial wing of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) – and scooped the title despite being up against the likes of award-winning Darin Campbell, from Andy Murray’s Cromlix House.

Dickson was judged on a number of occasions by secret diners, before being shortlisted for the regional rounds and advancing into the national finals. The 28-year-old, from Portobello, said: “It was enough of an achievement to have won the regional award for Edinburgh and The Lothians – but to win for the whole of Scotland is absolutely phenomenal – particularly given the level of competition on the shortlist.

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“I’m delighted that the team’s hard work has been recognised alongside some of the best hotel chefs in the country, if not the world.”

Dickson began working in hotels as a waiter, at the age of 15, but found himself drawn to the kitchen by the adrenaline and excitement of a busy restaurant environment.

He joined Ten Hill Place three years ago and now heads a 14-strong team across the hotel and the RCSEd campus, best known for its magnificent Playfair Building, dating back to 1832. The chef prides himself on sourcing local produce and places great importance on seasonality, which No 10’s modern menu reflects throughout the year.

He hopes to gain a second AA rosette this year and a third in 2018 when a new kitchen and restaurant will be part of the hotel’s planned expansion. Dickson said he takes inspiration from those around him, including his favourite city restaurateur and Michelin chef Martin Wishart. He added: “Martin is flying the flag for all Edinburgh chefs. His food is always innovative; to have held a Michelin star for so long is a reflection of his attitude and his style.”