THREE students from Borders College have won prestigious scholarships after competing in the Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) Bicentenary celebration cooking competition.

Paulo Neves, from Melrose, won first prize in the cook-off, after originally competing against fifteen fellow catering students to get down to the final six.

The six finalists were then invited to cook for Albert Roux back in May.

The announcement of the winners was made at this year's Border Union Show. Paulo, who has been a student at Borders College for only one year, won the top prize of a six month placement with top chef Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles Hotel.

Michelin star chef Andrew started his career when he too was awarded the very first Roux scholarship.

Paulo said: "I can't believe it. I have lived in this country for ten years now and food is my passion. I am so happy to have been selected by such a prestigious chef as Mr Roux".

Albert Roux was so impressed with the calibre of the students, at the cook-off, that he decided there would be two further scholarships for second and third places.

Second place went to Lynn Frizzell, from Galashiels, who won a two week placement at La Gavroche Restaurant in London.

Andrew Thompson, from Earlston, cooked his way to third place and in doing so won a two week placement at Greywalls in Gullane.

All scholarships include accommodation and travel.

Programme Leader of the Catering and Hospitality section at Borders College, Vicky MacDonald commented: "This whole process has been such an experience not only for the students but also for the staff involved.

"We would like to thank Glen Watson, Chef Consultant to Albert Roux, the BUAS and Scotch Lamb for their kind sponsorship and support in running the event and also for the opportunities it has created."

Albert Roux OBE was one of the first chefs in the UK to gain three Michelin stars along with his brother Michel at the Le Gavroche restaurant in London.

The competition was run and sponsored by both the BUAS and Scotch Lamb PGI.