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Beccles chef up against best in TV show

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:43 01 August 2010

BECCLES-based celebrity chef Franck Pontais is used to the pressure and limelight that come with his job.

Now he is to challenge himself one step further on a new television programme that pits him against fellow experts.

BECCLES-based celebrity chef Franck Pontais is used to the pressure and limelight that come with his job.

Now he is to challenge himself one step further on a new television programme that pits him against fellow experts.

Iron Chef UK is a Japanese import that has seen huge success in America, where Jamie Oliver appeared as a contestant.

The show, presented by wine expert and TV presenter Olly Smith, is a culinary battle presided over by The Chairman, an enigmatic Japanese ring master.

Culinary challengers compete with four resident Iron Chefs Tom Aikens, Martin Blunos, Judy Joo and Sanjay Dwivedi. The chefs are challenged to create gastronomic masterpieces incorporating a special ingredient, before their dishes are judged by food critics.

Iron Chef UK is expected to be aired at prime time on Channel Four and although the slot has not been confirmed, it is expected to start next month, with Mr Pontais appearing in five episodes.

Mr Pontais,38, and wife Jude set up catering business Food Creation in Halesworth after moving to the area from London.

Mr Pontais, who is French, came to England after being headhunted for Harrods, before working at Selfridges and then at top London caterers Rhubarb Food Design, where he cooked for the stars at major film premieres.

He is now a consultant chef whose hugely varied work takes him across the country and has seen him appear on Ready Steady Cook, and write the book Terrines and Verrines.

Mr Pontais said he prided himself on pushing the culinary boundaries at dinner parties and banquets, adding: “I have no fear of failure and so am always learning, always discovering new ways with food.”

He will make appearances at both the Norfolk Show and the Suffolk Show this year.

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