A FLOCKTON chef has been described as the next big star of British cooking after scooping a hatful of awards.

Tony Flinn's Anthony's restaurant in Leeds has been named as the Observer Food Monthly's best restaurant in 2005.

Tony, 24, who trained at Huddersfield Technical College, was also handed the best new restaurant award in last year's Remy awards, and picked up the Prize of Excellence award.

The young chef, who studied on catering and culinary courses at Huddersfield Tech from 1996 until 1999, said: "I first got into cooking at school and decided from an early age that I wanted to be a chef.

"At 14 I started with Saturday jobs on low pay in hotel kitchens.

"The college was a fantastic starting point for my career. The courses taught me a lot and the skills I learnt gave me a solid grounding to base my dream on.

"I loved the buzz you got from working in the college's kitchens.

"I was able to develop my skills and learnt to work under pressure without losing my creativity."

After college Tony worked at a string of top quality restaurants before moving to Barcelona's El Bulli for two years.

The Spanish restaurant is seen as one of the best restaurants in the world.

Tony is now pioneering an unusual style of cooking called molecular gastronomy which combines science and traditional kitchen skills to create new dishes.

These have included roast suckling pig with a chocolate pudding fondant and black sesame seed ice cream.

Robin Kierek-Bell, head of school of business and leisure industries, said: "Right from the moment Tony arrived we knew he had the talent to go far in the restaurant industry.

"He always had a lot of flair in the kitchen and never ceased to amaze us with his abilities.

"He was always very committed to the programme and was only ever happy with excellence, a fine quality in a chef."