A TEST Valley chef has said he is honoured to be nominated for a prestigious national prize.

Ryan Lamb of the Tally Ho, in Broughton, has had his name put forward for the 2017/18 Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year award by Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes.

Chef Ryan will be judged by an expert panel to decide whether he goes through to the final stages. The award, sponsored by Nestlé Professional and run by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, will be presented in February at the House of Commons.

“It is an honour to be nominated and testament not just to me but also the hard work of the team, ensuring that we don’t just survive, but thrive in a small rural community,” said Ryan, who previously ran La Chanterelle in Shaftesbury, where he gained two rosettes and a Michelin recommendation before returning to his Hampshire roots at the Tally Ho with wife Kerry in December 2011.

Ryan’s celebrated dishes are inspired by local produce and with everything kept in house from butchery to ice-cream making, the couple have launched a food production venture within the business meaning off-the-shelf restaurant quality food can also be enjoyed at home. Ryan’s signature twice-baked cheese soufflé, a classic usually too daunting to attempt at home, is now ideal for dinner parties with just a second bake to do at home. ‘Red Fox Fine Foods’ already supplies Leckford Farm Shop (Waitrose), in the hope they can eventually take the exciting venture national. The pub has also appeared in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide for three consecutive years.

Ryan will next join a host of chefs up and down the country to compete for the accolade of Pub Chef of the Year from the two categories, Pub Chef and Young Pub Chef of the Year. Entrants will be judged by an expert panel before a cook-off judged by the and acclaimed TV guest chef presenter and former Michelin star holder, Paul Merrett.

Ms Nokes added: “I am delighted to nominate Ryan and his team at The Tally Ho in my constituency for this award. The attention to detail in each dish that leaves his kitchen is outstanding and his willingness to amend dishes for those with special dietary requirements is unparalleled.

“I particularly enjoy his gourmet adaptations of traditional pub favourites which, coupled with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, make the The Tally Ho a favourite country pub for me and my team.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA said: “With pubs serving around a billion meals each year it is important to recognise the contribution pub chefs make to the eating out experience in this country. The outstanding range of culinary options that span from breakfast to evening meals demonstrates the huge wealth of creativity in pub kitchens, big and small.

“Many leading, well-known celebrity chefs have ventured into the pub arena helping to further boost the quality of food in pubs, whilst still making it an affordable treat. Our aim is to highlight the talented chefs around the country and to help spot future stars.”