A Michelin star chef fell in love with a Brooklands student’s baking skills in Paris on Valentine’s Day and handed her a life-changing opportunity.

Emily Smith, 18, was the youngest competitor in the international final of the Delifrance sandwich world cup and was pipped to the post by students from Malaysia, Belgium and Japan.

But she impressed top chef Pierre Sang Boyer so much that he offered her a placement at his new London restaurant.

Miss Smith said: “Just to be in Paris was a massive deal, but the whole competition was an amazing experience. It has been a big learning step.

“I’ve already met so many people who have taught me something along the way, so I have benefited from the whole experience.

“Wanting to be able to do pastry and bakery in the future, this is very beneficial for my training.”

Her British Diamond, a peppered beef and gherkin sandwich on a Delifrance triangle cereale, was declared the UK’s best sandwich during the competition.