A LICKEY Hills chef has been celebrating after winning a prestigious national award.

Matthew Hodges, an apprentice at the Old Rose and Crown Hotel, on Rose Hill, entered the culinary championships, organised by University College Birmingham and Hinkley College.

Matthew designed a unusual sandwich made up of roast pigeon with celeriac, waldorf and rocket, served on a walnut and golden raisin loaf.

And the NVQ student was thrilled to learn his sandwich was picked as the winner, beating strong competition from chefs across the country.

He said: “I had loads of ideas, and kept practicing them on my family and colleagues at the hotel.”

The talented 18-year-old currently operates a pig roast company, and is planning a catering career.

Old Rose and Crown’s head chef, Mandi Howell, said: “We are really proud of Matthew and delighted with his award.”