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Businessman cooks up a tough challenge

PUBLISHED: 09:51 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:25 14 July 2010

A challenge-hungry Wymondham businessman is swapping funerals and fuse wire for the world of competitive cooking next week.

Electrician Simon Beckett-Allen, who is also a director of Rosedale Funeral Home, is one of ten chefs taking part in a live cooking competition at the prestigious Hotelympia next week - the world's leading foodservice and

hospitality show, held at London's Excel.

A challenge-hungry Wymondham businessman is swapping funerals and fuse wire for the world of competitive cooking next week.

Electrician Simon Beckett-Allen, who is also a director of Rosedale Funeral Home, is one of ten chefs taking part in a live cooking competition at the prestigious Hotelympia next week - the world's leading foodservice and

hospitality show, held at London's Excel.

The 45-year-old dad of three has been trained by award winning Diss chef Frederick Jones of Fredericks Fine Foods and next week's event is Simon's debut in the competitive cooking arena.

"I've no doubt it's going to be pretty nerve wracking but I really want to win, to prove that you don't have to work in a top London restaurant to be able to cook fantastic food. Freddie has been incredibly supportive and I'm determined to do him proud," said Simon, who lives in Scole.

Simon's stint in 'Hell's Kitchen' is next Tuesday, when he will sharpen his knives for the Steelite International 'A Passion to Inspire' Creative Challenge.

With just an hour to prepare and cook two dishes competitors will not only be judged on their food - but also on how well it showcases the sponsor's tableware.

Simon said his interest in food started as a child when he used to cook with his sister Sarah Beckett-Reid - who went on to set up Beckett-Reid Catering in Great Ellingham.

"Then back in the 80s when I was living in Wymondham and working on gas rigs I found myself thrown in at the deep end when the chef was ill and no-one else knew how to cook."

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