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LexChef 2013 Champion Crowned!

On Thursday 28th November, Hannah Westphalen, Chef de Partie at Knight Frank, was crowned Lexington’s ‘Chef of the Year’ at their seventh annual chef competition, LexChef 2013.

The competition was held on Man Group’s stunning client floor at Riverbank House, overlooking the river Thames. 

Hannah competed alongside six other Lexington finalists in the annual cook-off judged by celebrity chefs and industry press; Clare Smyth MBE, Amanda Afiya, Alan Bird and Jeff Galvin. For the first time in the competition’s seven year history a Lexington Manager made it into the finals! Robert Berry, General Manager at Rothschild cooked his way through to make LexChef history!

Lexington’s Chef Director, Rob Kirby, commented “The level of cooking at this year’s LexChef was immense – once again the bar was raised! Huge congratulations to Hannah, our LexChef 2013 champion! She came back fighting from the LexChef final of 2011 where she came very close to winning and this year she took the crown – our first ever female winner!”
Commenting on her win Hannah said, “I’m delighted to be named the winner of LexChef2013 and am thrilled to be the first ever female to have won too. A massive well done to everyone who took part – the competition was fierce and the standard of cooking by my fellow finalists was incredible!”

Hannah’s winning menu included venison wellington, crispy chicken livers, pumpkin and anise purée with port jus and for dessert an apple terrine, almond crumble, blackberry butter sauce with Calvados crème fraîche. And the prize for Hannah’s efforts; a tasting menu for two, with wine, at Clare Smyth’s three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. 

The other finalists, LexChef 2009 winner Sam Potter, Fabio Jesus, Louise Roberts, Laura Hodgskin, Robert Berry and Oliver Jordan, all received a finalist’s trophy, a bottle of champagne and a signed copy of ‘The Family Kitchen’ by Rob Kirby. All 36 LexChef 2013 semifinalists also received a signed copy of Rob’s book.

Head Judge, Clare Smyth, commented during the announcement of the winner that ‘the level of cooking was incredibly high, on par and above national competition standards and that the methods and approach that all the finalists took in the kitchen was very impressing, demonstrating that contract catering really does have some of the finest chefs in the industry.’