World-leading chef and culinary innovator, Heston Blumenthal, launches a nationwide search for the British innovator of the future on behalf of leaders in dishwashing innovation, Finish, as he heads up the expert judging panel of the Finish Diamond Standard Innovation Challenge.

The competition, launched by Finish – innovator of Finish Quantum dishwasher tablets, the ultimate product for amazing clean – in association with Lakeland, is inviting Britons of all ages to unite in their passion for kitchen perfection and innovative design, and submit a new idea they believe could be the invention to revolutionise the future of culinary life and the way we live and work in the kitchen. This could be a new piece of equipment, gadget, utensil or ingenious piece of crockery … the possibilities are endless.

Heston will lead the expert panel to select the overall winner of the challenge who will be awarded a once-in-a-lifetime package estimated to be worth at least £50,000. The winning package includes a £10,000 cash prize from Finish, as well as the opportunity to work with Lakeland, home of creative kitchenware, to develop the product and work towards putting it on sale, with the winner receiving royalties on any future sales through Lakeland stores nationwide.

Comments head judge and culinary innovator, Heston Blumenthal: “The British have always been at the forefront of great innovation and great design, and kitchen innovation is no exception. I’m delighted to be at the forefront of this new challenge to find the next generation of culinary innovators.”

Commenting on the Finish partnership with Blumenthal, Rosie Nagra, Judge and Finish Marketing Manager, said, “Heston is the perfect partner for Finish Quantum, as he is the living culinary embodiment of the Finish values of perfection, quality and innovation. His advice and support to those entering the Innovation Challenge will be invaluable.”

Gastronomic alchemist, Blumenthal, who has successfully transferred his own radical kitchen experimentation into the three Michelin starred and award-winning restaurant The Fat Duck, said of the competitions concept, “Great innovation is born from inspiration and from an understanding of tradition and classic innovations of the past.

“The entries that will stand out for me will be the ideas that bring this to life, and that transcend a brilliant idea from the past into something new for the kitchens and cooks of the future.”

All competition entrants will be whittled down to a shortlist of ten British finalists from across the UK, who will battle it out by pitching their idea to a panel of expert judges in a “Dragons’ Den” style finale in central London during August. Alongside Blumenthal, three other judges renowned for their expertise in innovation within their individual fields will assess the finalists. These include: Paul Pankhurst, CEO and Chair of British Design Innovation; Rosie Nagra Finish Marketing Manager; and Wendy Miranda Customer Ambassador of Lakeland.

Commenting on Lakeland’s partnership with Finish and support of the Innovation Challenge, Wendy Miranda said: “With over 45 years of providing British shoppers with innovative kitchenware, Lakeland is delighted to be partnering with Finish to find Britain’s next culinary innovator. As Britain’s leading kitchenware retailer, our stores, catalogues and website are ideally placed to sell and profile the winning creation.”

As the number one recommended brand by leading dishwasher manufacturers, Finish is no stranger to innovation and has been at the forefront of researching and creating superior cleaning products for over 50 years. Finish Quantum is a revolutionary dishwasher tablet guaranteed to give tableware and glassware the Diamond Standard after every wash. The innovative design of the tablet combines three highly active cleaning elements in one single product, to give brilliant results and the most advanced cleaning performance every time. Finish also invented the world’s first dual layer Dishwasher Cleaner, to leave your machine sparkling clean so a cleaner dishwasher means cleaner dishes.

The closing date for entries for the Finish Diamond Standard Innovation Challenge is 16th July 2009. Four runners up will win £1,000 available to spend at Lakeland and a year’s supply of Finish Quantum and Dishwasher Cleaner.