MasterChef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards has ended his two years search for his first restaurant.

The chef, who is backed by financial advisor Steve Barrey and a consortium of Brighton businesspeople, will open Etch in Church Road, Hove, in Spring 2017.

Edwards, who is also the consultant chef at the British Airways i360 viewing tower, said he would ultimately like to run a small collection of restaurants in Sussex if his first proves a success.

The food at Etch will follow the style of the pop-ups he has run under the same name over the last two years, which feature Sussex ingredients in an informal setting.

Edwards said: “There are plans to open more restaurants, but only if this is successful I’m quite cautious about putting a timeline on it because this needs to work first

“I’m not looking for an empire, just a small collection of restaurants that each offer different.

“My heart’s in Sussex, and I’ve got a foothold here. I’m not even looking at the next site yet, but if someone said we’ve got a great site outside of Sussex, I’m not going to discount it.

“I have to look at it from a business point of view if I can do something funky and exciting.”

Edwards said his work at Brighton’s i360 allowed him to show off his more accessible side, with burgers and fish and chips on the menu.

He added: “I don’t want to put my food out of reach. Food can get too cheffy and what I want to do at the new restaurant is good tasty food.”

Edwards worked under Matt Gillan at the Michelin starred Sussex restaurant The Pass, before crossing the floor to work at the South Lodge Hotel’s sister restaurant Camellia where he became head chef at the age of 25.

He won Sussex Young Chef of the Year in 2010 and won BBC TV Series Masterchef: The Professionals in 2013.