Lexington's inaugural casual dining competition reveals new food concepts

05 July 2022 by
Lexington's inaugural casual dining competition reveals new food concepts

Rama Social a new food concept with Japanese flavour and Latin soul has won Lexington's inaugural Casual Dining Competition.

Rama Social were crowned winners at the finals of Lexington's inaugural Casual Dining Competition last week. The concept will be introduced across the business and as a reward for winning the competition the team will also enjoy a dinner at a top London restaurant and a masterclass with competition judge and chef Dhruv Baker, founder of Tempus Charcuterie.

The winning concept is based on Nikkei food and the winning team experimented with different cooking techniques – from Japanese cooking to Hibachi grilling on flavoured wood, marinading, and preserving South American ingredients. The team further developed the Nikkei style of food by introducing flavours from Brazil and Mexico and applying them not just to savoury dishes but also to cocktails and desserts.

Matt Wood, managing director of Lexington, said; "This competition highlights the passion and creativity that exists across our business. Not only was it impressive that 27 teams participated in the competition, but it was extremely exciting to witness such high levels of innovation and talent. It was thrilling to experience such a delicious range of food options and know that Lexington teams had created these amazing concepts."

Baker added: "What an honour to be asked to be a judge for a truly spectacular event. The Lexington Casual Dining Competition was a showcase of the width and breadth of the immense talent that Lexington Catering has. Stunning food, beautifully conceived and perfected executed. I was blown away by the sheer brilliance of it all. Such passionate people exhibiting immense talent - it was a treat to witness."

Neil Rankin, chef and restaurateur, and fellow judge, commented: "Everyone was brilliant but the worthy winners fed me one of the best tacos I've eaten and I've eaten a few!"

The other five finalists created diverse concepts ranging from modern British small plates and vegan junk food to Hawaiian poke bowls, Lebanese street food and Hungarian desserts with a British twist.

The team event competition is open to all sites across Lexington's Business & Industry business with 10 teams chosen to showcase their concepts to the judges. Six finalists were chosen to attend the final at OKN1, a collaborative kitchen and dining space at New City College, Hackney, and the home of Lexington's Chef School. Over 150 clients and guests attended and sampled the food concepts developed by the six finalists and voted for their favourite brand which accounted for 50% of the final score.

Each entry had to include food cost of £3 per head, a marketing plan including promotional material, banners, menus and uniforms, a mobilisation plan, a description of equipment from food stands to display materials, recipes for all menu items and supporting photos, materials, and ideas.

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220630 LexChef Linklaters 013

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