Stuart Tarff, Lexington pastry chef at London Business School, has been revealed as Elior’s Chef of the Year at the Elior Awards for Excellence – hosted by football legend Gary Lineker.
Following a tense final round earlier in the year, three chefs were in contention to lift the title: David Brett-Lavell (Elior sous chef at EE Hatfield) James Birch (Elior head chef at The Body Shop) and Stuart Tarff (Lexington pastry chef at London Business School).
At the awards, David, James and Stuart each oversaw a course – based on their best dish from the competition – before Stuart was announced as the winner, having scored the highest overall with the judges.
The dishes consisted of:
- Textures of beetroot with goat cheese tempura and walnut crumb – David Brett-Lavelle
- Roasted Cannon of lamb and braised shank éclair with Montgomery cheddar, heritage carrots & celeriac – Stuart Tarff,
- Chocolate Ganache with Vanilla Poached Pear and Orange Palmier – James Birch
Catherine Roe, Elior chief executive, said: “Stuart showcased great skill and creativity across all three of his competition dishes. And his main – roasted Cannon of lamb and braised shank éclair with Montgomery cheddar, heritage carrots & celeriac – was particularly well thought out and beautifully presented. The quality across the whole competition has been of a really high order, so Stuart can be exceptionally proud of what he’s achieved.”
The judging panel included:
- Catherine Roe, chief executive, Elior UK
- Hazel Detsiny, MD, Unilever Food Solutions
- Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation
- Andrew Bennett MBE, F&B director, Park Lane Hotel
- Peter Joyner, director of food development, Elior UK
- Rob Kirby, chef director, Lexington
Elior’s Chef of the Year Competition is open to all Elior chefs across the UK – with each finalist having been handpicked from all paper entries. Former winners of this prestigious competition include Mark Crowe and Stuart Nisbet, who won the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Contract Catering Chef award in 2016.