Simon Merrick, head chef at the Royal Bank of Canada, has been named Lexington Catering's LexChef 2012.
Merrick competed alongside five other Lexington finalists in the annual cook-off, held at Lexington's client Knight Frank's headquarters on Baker Street.
They were judged by top chefs Claire Clark, Alan Bird from Soho House, Andrew Turner from the forthcoming Café Royal, Lawrence Keogh of the Wolseley, Mark Flanagan of Buckingham Palace and Amanda Afiya, managing editor of Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Lexington chief executive Mike Sunley also debuted on the judging panel.
The two-course menu of pork loin wrapped in black pudding, with pancetta, heritage carrots, beetroot and plum ketchup followed by a Clementine mascarpone cheesecake with a hazelnut praline saw Merrick win a VIP meal menu for two, with wines, at the Wolseley.
Lexington's chef director, Rob Kirby, added: "Every year we are blown away by the standard of cooking and this year really has been exceptional. Our six finalists cooked with such passion, energy and determination and they all created stunning plates of food.
"The judges' comments have been incredible noting the year on year elevation of skills, innovation and cooking. This has been a great year for Simon and winning LexChef is the perfect way to round off his year - we're all thrilled for him!'
The other finalists, Tamsin Roberts, Phil Read, Jamie Delande, Javier Millet and Matt Jaynes, all received a finalist's trophy, a Robert Welch knife and a signed copy of Phil Howard's book, The Square. All 38 LexChef 2012 semi-finalists received a copy of Desert Island Dishes which were signed by some of the contributing chefs.
For the first time Lexington also held a Chef Table competition where teams from three sites competed against each other to innovate and elevate the traditional Lexy Chef Table. Danny Leung and his team won the judges vote with their stunning and surreal cheese table.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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