Lexington Catering has awarded its Chef of the Year award to Hannah Westphalen at the firm's seventh annual LexChef competition, making her the first woman to take the title.
Seven Lexington finalists took part in the cook-off, which was judged by chefs Clare Smyth, Alan Bird and Jeff Galvin, and Caterer and Hotelkeeper's managing editor Amanda Afiya.
Westphalen's winning entry was venison wellington, crispy chicken livers, pumpkin and anise purée with port jus and an apple terrine, almond crumble, blackberry butter sauce with Calvados crème fraîche.
Her prize was a tasting menu for two plus wine, at three-Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where Clare Smyth is chef patron.
Westphalen was also a finalist last year, but lost out to Simon Merrick.
The other six finalists comprised Sam Potter, Fabio Jesus, Louise Roberts, Laura Hodgskin, Robert Berry and Oliver Jordan, all of whom were awarded a finalist's trophy, a bottle of champagne and a signed copy of The Family Kitchen by Rob Kirby, Lexington's chef director.
Kirby added: "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 andâ¦took the crown."