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Top chef Leo has got bigger fish to fry...

Byline: Tina Junday

A BIRMINGHAM chef who started out at his mum and dad's chip shop has been named one of the best young cooks in the country.

It's been a meteoric rise for Leonidas Kattou, who has gone from the fryer to fine dining at Michelinstarred restaurant Simpsons in Edgbaston.

Twenty-year-old Leo missed out on first place by half a point at the British Culinary Awards this week. He beat chefs from The Ritz Hotel and House of Commons after impressing judges with a three-course meal, including smoked salmon wrapped in burnt cabbage and caviar cream sauce and for dessert, caramelised pear with salted almonds and vanilla ice-cream.

It's a far cry from the popular chippy in Coventry, where Leo first got the bug for cooking.

He began working as a teenager with his parents at the city's Marina Fish Bar.

He then passed his professional culinary diploma and NVQ in food and drinks services.

His big break came when he was given a taste of life in the fast lane during a work experience placement at Simpsons.

"Since the age of ten I've been going to the fish and chip shop and wanted to help out," he said.

"As I got older I was allowed to prepare the food and peel the potatoes. "I spent six years learning andwatching them cook at the shop and at home with the family. I love cooking traditional Greek food."

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Meteoric rise: Leonidas Kattou outside the Marina Fish Bar, Willenhall, Coventry.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 17, 2012
Words:251
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