James Garred and Tony Stuart, the 2018 Tilda Chef Team of the Year winners recently enjoyed an exclusive prize trip to Italy to experience Tilda’s Arborio rice harvest in the Po Valley.
Head chefs Garred and Stuart were invited by the rice company to sample Italy’s culinary scene with gastro experiences such as a Milan food safari and an exclusive ‘paddy to plate’ tour of the mill responsible for Tilda’s Arborio rice.
Stuart, executive head chef, Restaurant Associates, said: “It was an amazing and inspirational experience from start to finish, we learnt so much about Milanese food and the Italian way of doing things, being the Tilda Chef Team of the Year has been incredible.”
The three-day visit also included sampling authentic Italian risotto, cooked at famed risotto restaurant, Ristorante Le Ris, as well as an Italian feast at top Milanese restaurant, Ratana.
Garred, head chef, Lexington Catering, added: “It was a fantastic trip and a great experience to tour Milan and to see the outskirts of the country. It was a very educational experience, which will be good to put into practice.
“It is always good to see what other chefs are doing with their ingredients, how they present dishes and flavours. I would just like to say thank you Tilda for a fantastic culinary journey,” he added.
Danny Leung, who mentored the two chefs and won the Tilda Chef of the Year in 2012, said: “The trip was very educational and a lot of fun, we really enjoyed experiencing and sampling the different foods Milan has to offer. I was lucky to go to Italy in 2012 and the Tilda Chef Team prize just gets bigger and better every year – I’m delighted Tony and James got so much from the prize.”
Johanna Witchell, Tilda’s Foodservice’s commercial marketing manager who accompanied the winners, commented: “The Tilda Chef Team of the Year competition is about recognising those chefs who are creating truly inspirational rice dishes and I’m delighted Tony and James have had the opportunity to come to Italy and explore its rich culture and cuisine.”
written by: Helen Salter