A RISING chef will cook for culinary star Michel Roux Jnr this week after reaching the semi-final of a competition for the second year running.

Every year, the Roux Scholarship allows 50 young chefs to compete for the prize of three months’ experience in a three-Michelin-starred restaurant of their choice.

After reaching the semi-final last year, David Scarpato, 26, from Beechwood, is aiming for the top spot and will represent Wales this Thursday in London.

The former Celtic Manor sous chef has worked at the Newbridge on Usk restaurant and the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel since becoming a chef in 2007 and currently runs his own catering business, Scarpatos Catering.

He is also the only chef representing Wales at the competition and has applied over the last five years, with several unsuccessful attempts.

His semi-final competition dish will use one whole rainbow trout, 800g of fresh mussels and jasmine rice.

Few details are able to be released about the dish, which is cooked for four people and priced at £15 a head.

The young chef is also looking for sponsorship and said he would consider “opening a restaurant in Gwent” in the future.

He said: “After the amazing experience last year cooking for all the judges and Michael Roux Jnr I’m over the moon to get another chance to go back and try and get to the final. There are a lot of guys from London and two or three star Michelin restaurants so the competition is very fierce.”

Mr Scarpato added a Roux competition win could boost his career with “only a few getting the honour of winning such a prestigious award with lifetime guidance from the Roux Scholarship Family.”

“It’s not an easy industry, as most people know but it does have its rewards but i enjoy what I do,” he added.