A YOUNG chef from East Renfrewshire is to represent the UK at Europe’s most prestigious skills contest.

Nicolle Finnie, of Clarkston, will be part of the UK team heading to EuroSkills Budapest next month, when they will be up against rivals from across the continent.

The 20-year-old chef, who trains at City of Glasgow College and works for independent restaurant chain DRG, is one of 22 elite apprentices and learners named in Team UK.

Nicolle said: “The selection process was exhaustive but I am so passionate about cooking that I was determined to secure my place.

“I know the competition will be tough in Budapest but I’m determined to give it my all and make everyone back home proud of me.”

Nicolle has had a passion for cooking since her time at Williamwood High School and has gone on to work with prestigious chef Andrew Fairlie and for members of the Royal family at exclusive Glasgow restaurant One Devonshire Gardens.

Dr Neil Bentley, who helped to select members of Team UK, said: “I offer my congratulations to Nicolle. This will be a life-enhancing opportunity for her.

“After Brexit, our economic success as a nation will be dependent on our ability to close major trade deals and attract inward investment – and this will always hinge on demonstrating we have the people with the right skills, which is shown by our participation in the EuroSkills competition.”

The event is used to benchmark skills in the UK with those in other European countries.

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton is among those to congratulate Nicolle on her Team UK selection.

He said: “It is great to see another young ambassador for East Renfrewshire flying the flag for the area on a national stage.

“It was a pleasure to meet Nicolle and I wish her every success as she heads to the EuroSkills competition.”