Winning chef dies before awards

ONE of Scotland's leading chefs died in a motorbike crash just hours before he was named winner of a top award.

Ryan Young, who was nominated in three categories for the Scottish Hotel Awards, was killed at the weekend when his motorbike was involved in a collision with another vehicle.

The 38-year-old chef had already been honoured with several awards in his role as head chef at Opus One in Perth.

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He died 36 hours before Opus One was named the City Restaurant of the Year for 2010 at the awards ceremony he had been due to attend in Edinburgh.

Warm tributes were paid to Mr Young at the gala dinner, where the prizes were presented by enterprise and tourism minister Jim Mather.

Awards spokesman Scott Thornton said: "The news certainly cast a shadow over the event.

"It is usually a rip-roaring party, but it was a much more sombre event this year.

"Opus One actually won the Scottish City Restaurant of the Year, which is one of the main awards.

"That is very much down to the head chef. I suppose it will be his memorial now.

I am sure he would have gone on to something incredibly big. He was a very, very talented chef."

Mr Young, of Bankfoot, Perthshire, was riding his motorcycle on Saturday morning on the A9 Perth to Inverness road, at its junction with the unclassified road leading to the B9099 Luncarty road, when he was involved in the accident.

The married chef had quickly helped establish the Opus One restaurant at the New County Hotel in Perth as one of the country's top fine dining venues.