A BRAINTREE chef is over the moon after winning a prestigious TV competition.

Daniel Araitei, 32, is the owner of Caesars At The Dolphin, in Coggeshall Road, Braintree.

The restaurant was crowned the winner of an episode of Come Dine With Me: The Professionals.

The popular Channel Four television programme is a spin-off of the popular Come Dine With Me show, which sees competitors host the others and dish up a three-course meal.

This is then rated by fellow contestants before they host their own evening.

Location - Caesars At The DolphinLocation - Caesars At The Dolphin (Image: Newsquest)

In the professional version, three restaurant duos go head to head to win a £1,000 cash prize.

According to Daniel, he and his fellow chef Fabio were contacted by the show’s production team and invited to interview for it.

After applying, Daniel was told it would be a strictly vegan menu for the episode.

The episode was filmed in October 2022, but despite finding out they had won, the secret was kept quiet until it aired last month.

Happy - Daniel ArariteiHappy - Daniel Araritei (Image: Newsquest)

He said “I’ve had to keep it in all this time.

“When I found out we won, I wanted to jump up in the air in celebration, but I couldn’t because the camera was on me.

“It was a nice feeling. It was hard work but we are very happy.”

Daniel originally studied his craft at Colchester Institute in the early 2010s, and in 2015 moved to Braintree and became head chef of the fine dining restaurant in 2018 before taking it over in September 2021.

Following the restaurant appearing on the show, business has become even busier.

Lovely - an inside look at one of the areas in Caesars At The Dolphin Lovely - an inside look at one of the areas in Caesars At The Dolphin (Image: Newsquest)

Daniel said: “There has been a lot of positive feedback, a lot of reaction to it, we’ve been given lots of cards, and messages on social media.

“More bookings have come in which is very good for us, it has helped.”

For Daniel, Caesars At The Dolphin has become a home and an additional family, with the having connected with their customers.

“I want customers to be happy and come back, I love cooking, I treat it with respect," he said.

“Come give us a try and once they try, they will see.”