Lexington Catering names LexChef 2018

Winner Jack Shaw
05/12/2018 - 08:50
Workplace caterer Lexington Catering (part of Elior Group) crowned chef Jack Shaw the winner of its 2018 LexChef competition last week (29 November).

Having “won the judges over” with his three-course menu, which had to include a vegetarian starter and ingredients sourced as responsibly and sustainably as possible, comprised:

  • Starter: braised broccoli stalk with pickled walnut ketchup, egg yolk, blue cheese dressing, whey crumb
  • Main: pressed cod’s head, celeriac, chorizo, cod roe
  • Dessert: French pastry, coffee and pear mille feuille, almond milk ice cream

Shaw – who was up against seven other company chefs - was recognised for “his approach to reducing food waste and ability to create some really tasty dishes with food that would otherwise end up in the bin.”

He said: “It was a huge challenge. As a hospitality chef, I wanted to create something that looked neat and tidy but was waste at the same time – sourcing something that fitted the brief but had punchy flavours was a real problem.

“I have included my starter and main on the menu at my site for the last few weeks and it’s been really popular. It’s fantastic to see the judges enjoy it too.”

His prizes is a ‘A Day in the Life of The Pig’ experience at country hotel group The Pig, where he will join the team in the garden, forest and sea foraging to learn about their approach to sustainability. It also includes dinner and an overnight stay.

Judge and Lexington chef director, Rob Kirby, commented: "As chefs, we have a responsibility to help beat food waste. We wanted to provide an opportunity for our team to get creative and look at ways to use food that may otherwise end up in the bin – I wanted them to think about the cuts, the ugly veggies and total nose to tail.

“The finalists produced some really awesome dishes and the competition is a fantastic reminder to our team, customers and partners about the role that we can all play in helping reduce food waste.”

This year’s judges included:

James Golding, group chef director at The Pig; Mark Flanagan, head chef at Buckingham Palace; Claire Clark, Pretty Sweet pastry chef director; Ben Tish, culinary director at the Stafford London; Elior food development director, Peter Joyner; Brian Hannon, owner of The Goat, Kiln and Brat restaurants; and food writer Amanda Afiya.

Flanagan said: “The brief this year was incredible but the presentation and quality from the finalists was really something special. It wasn’t just restaurant quality, it was ‘top’ restaurant quality.”

The eight finalists were as below:

  • Jack Shaw – head chef
  • Jamie Moir – head hospitality chef
  • Sam Walton – head chef
  • Louise Roberts – senior Sous chef
  • Max Leslie – head chef
  • Tom Bradley – head chef
  • Guy Adams – executive chef
  • Iain Wells – head chef

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