Tilda Chef Team of the Year winners, James Garred and Tony Stuart won an all-expenses paid trip to Italy to experience Tilda’s Arborio rice harvest in the Po Valley.
The head chefs enjoyed an exclusive ‘paddy to plate’ tour of the mill responsible for Tilda’s A-grade Arborio rice, as well as the opportunity to sample Italy’s culinary delights during the three-day visit.
Accompanied by Tilda Foodservice’s Commercial Marketing Manager, Johanna Witchell and Chef-Mentor, Danny Leung, the triumphant winners enjoyed the regional-gastro experience, which included a food safari of Milan.
Speaking of the trip, Johanna Witchell said:
“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. I hope they have found the trip valuable and will take a little bit of Italy back to their kitchens.”
The hotly contended prize included sampling authentic Italian risotto, scratched cooked at famed risotto restaurant, Ristorante Le Ris. The chefs enjoy outstanding local produce – including antipasti and Italy’s many fresh pastas in Novara. A tour of Milan’s hidden gems to unearth the best coffee, gelato, cured meat and cheese in the city, as well as an Italian feast at top Milanese restaurant, Ratana.
Following the prize, Tony Stuart, Executive Head Chef, Restaurant Associates said:
“A massive thank you to Tilda Foodservice for the trip to Milan. It has been an amazing and inspirational experience from start to finish, we have learnt so much about Milanese food and the Italian way of doing things, being the Tilda Chef Team of the Year has been incredible.”
James Garred, Head Chef, Lexington Catering, continues:
“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.”
The chefs were mentored by Danny Leung – 2012 Tilda Chef of the Year winner who added;
“From the moment we left the airport, Tilda proved a perfect host. 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 with every year – I’m delighted Tony and James got so much from the prize.”
The Tilda Chef Team of the Year competition will return in 2019 and forms part of Tilda’s ‘Art of Rice’ campaign to highlight the profitability of speciality rice to chefs and operators. Simply by stating the name of the rice, Tilda’s research shows that 68% of people would be willing to pay more for a dish which includes Speciality Tilda rice versus non-named rice*. The Tilda range includes Tilda’s Basmati & Wild, Fragrant Jasmine and Arborio rice.
*Basmati & Wild rice versus non-named rice – Toluna Research, August 2017