A BUDDING patisserie chef is campaigning to secure a prestigious scholarship at a top London culinary school.

Declan Crofts, 20, of Hood Green Road, dreams of becoming a top pastry chef and following his catering course at Barnsley College, decided to apply to join the scholarship programme at Le Cordon Bleu, a world renowned school that teaches hospitality and culinary French cuisine.

The Julia Child Scholarship is in honor of the American Chef who re-introduced millions of Americans to French food and to home cooking. Famous alumni at the school include food writer and former Bake Off host Mary Berry.

Declan made it to the semi-finals of the scholarship programme, worth £45,000, to study a diploma in culinary management and the Diplôme de Pâtisserie.

There are 16 chefs competing in the final, with the remaining spot decided by the general public who will select their favourite candidate through a YouTube vote, which Declan is hoping to secure.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and it would be amazing to be given the chance,” said Declan.

“While I was at college I was given the opportunity to do a work placement at the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, cook or the Royal family at Windsor Castle and participate in the annual British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) Awards Ceremony 2018.

“All these opportunities have allowed me to develop as a chef and it shows my commitment to the industry. It is what I want to do and this opportunity is career changing for myself and it will put Barnsley on the radar.”

The final takes place on September 16, where the winner will be presented with their prize by Mary Berry.

In addition to the 12 month scholarship which will commence in January 2020, the winner will carry out an internship placement at London’s Savoy Hotel.

In order for Declan to secure a place, he needs to receive the most ‘likes’ on his YouTube video. To vote for Declan visit the YouTube website, search for ‘Declan Croft Julia Child’.

The closing date is July 31 at noon.