Stuart Tarff, head of pastry at London Business School, has been named Lexington’s Chef of the Year 2016, following a cook-off at the ninth annual LexChef competition last night (10 November).
His winning menu comprised of a four ways beetroot and goat’s cheese salad starter; a main of cannon lamb with carrot panna cotta and lamb éclair; and a chocolate and orange mousse for dessert.
Tarff was competing against seven other finalists: Phil Read, head chef at GLG Partners; Tiago Ferreira, chef de partie at Knight Frank; James Garred, head chef at JLL; Tim Blake, head chef at Man Group; James Willis, senior sous chef at London Business School; Jamie Delande, head chef at Fidessa London; and Jack Malin, chef de partie at Linklaters.
The competition, which took place last week at Lexington’s client site, Omnicom, was judged by Lexington Catering’s chef director Rob Kirby; chef director of the Pig hotel group James Golding; pastry chef Claire Clark MBE; head chef at the Palomar Tomer Amedi; and food development director at Elior Peter Joyner.
As well as his trophy, Tarff wins a weekend at the Pig hotel and a meal cooked by Golding.
He said: “I knew that my dessert was going to be my strongest dish, so I just needed my other two to come together. It was such a great experience. I am still in shock but so pleased to show pastry chefs can cook as well as bake.”
Clark, who has judged the competition for the last nine years, said: “The standard of food has improved year on year and this year was exceptional. There was some incredible seasonal produce which the chefs used to create some amazing flavourful dishes. Stuart’s dessert really stood out – wonderful flavours, and the presentation was exceptional.”
Kirby added: “The eight finalists worked incredibly hard throughout the competition and have shown real commitment and skill. Stuart’s dishes all married up – he was strong from start to finish and absolutely deserved to win.”
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