TOP TABLE: Vincent Wood has proved he has the best possible food to get any meal off to a flying start.

The demi chef at Wyboston Lakes conference centre near St Neots won the 'Best Starter' award in the Conference Centres of Excellence/IACC Chefs Challenge 2011 – a fiercely competitive event for chefs from specialist conference venues across the UK.

Finalists were selected after submitting written menus before being invited to a cook-off at Stratford-upon-Avon College in Wariwckshire.

A team of judges, including Graham Crump, secretary general of the Education Committee of the World Association of Chefs, and Jim Eaves, chairman of the British Culinary Federation, selected Vincent's dish – a trio of classic crab – as one of the winners.

The dish included dressed crab with Scotch egg and olive tapenade, crab bisque and crab and avocado salad.

Vincent was joined at the competition by Andrew Wale, Wyboston Lake's food and beverage manager, who played the role of waiter.

nVincent Wood is pictured receiving his award from Gary Martin, MD of Table Art Ltd, one of the sponsors of the Chefs Challenge.