On Thursday 27th November Tony Stuart, Hospitality Head Chef at Standard Bank, was crowned Lexington’s ‘Chef of the Year’ at their eight annual chef competition, LexChef 2014.
Tony competed alongside five other Lexington finalists in the annual cook-off: Louise Roberts, Commis Chef at Berwin Leighton Paisner; Kevin Macey, Head Chef at GLG Partners; Javier Millet, Head Chef at Coca Cola; Alex Rowe, Development Chef at London Business School and Matt Jaynes, Head Chef, Cass Business School.
The pressure was on as they were overlooked by some amazing judges: The Square’s Phil Howard; Andrew Turner, Executive Chef for the Cafe Royal Hotel; Michelin starred restaurateur Jeff Galvin; Amanda Afiya, Editor at The Caterer; Mark Flanagan, Head Chef to the Royal Household; Clare Clarke, International Pastry Chef; and Elior’s Food Development Director Peter Joyner.
Lexington’s Chef Director, Rob Kirby, said, “LexChef just keeps on getting better and better, year on year and in every way. The guys did an amazing job, chef Tony’s starter and pud delivered real chefy flavours and demonstrated exceptional technical skills. It was intelligent cooking all round. Bring on next year!”
Commenting on his win Tony said, “I’m incredibly proud to have won LexChef 2014 and it is the icing on the cake, of a massively enjoyable and productive first year at Lexington.
“The atmosphere in the kitchen was electric, with great camaraderie – it felt like we were competing with each other, rather than against each other. It was an amazingly close competition and the standards were incredibly high from all the competitors.
“I’m just hoping my dream will now come true and I will get the opportunity to cook for Mila Kunis!”
Tony’s winning menu included a starter of braised rabbit cannelloni, black pudding, shallots and girolles, followed by roast turbot, crab beignet, fennel, cavolo nero and gherkin ketchup with a dessert of dark chocolate delice, popcorn ice cream, banana caramel and hazelnut.
The prize for Tony’s efforts; a tasting menu for two, with wine, at Phil Howard’s two Michelin starred restaurant, The Square.
The other finalists received a finalist’s trophy, a bottle of champagne and a signed copy of ’80 Cakes from Around the World’ by Claire Clark. All 32 LexChef 2014 semifinalists also received a signed copy of Claire’s pastry book.
Head Judge, Phil Howard, commented that all the chefs delivered food with seasonality, passion and simplicity – his favourite kind of food.
Click here to watch our video of the finalists.