Lamb leads lady chef to title

Arabelle Meirlaen has hit the heights by winning Belgium's Lady Chef of the Year competition sponsored by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).

Belgium is the second largest export market for lamb from the UK, taking 8,800t in 2006, and Meirlaen will use her title of Lady Chef of the Year to help promote English lamb throughout 2008.

The competition has been established for 18 years, and is run in conjunction with Food From Britain and the magazine Ambiance, the renowned magazine for gastronomie, wine and tourism in Belgium.

Meirlaen owns the restaurant Li Cwerneu in the historic town of Huy in the province of Liege and she prepared the main dish of medallions of English lamb served at the high profile awards luncheon earlier this month.

Commenting on her award Arabelle Meirlaen said: "This is a tremendous honour, I'm delighted to have won. Cooking with English lamb is always a joy."