This year, the Tilda Chef Team of the Year 2018, saw the winning pair take home the silver medal and wow the judges with their remarkable dishes at Hotelympia’s Salon Culinaire Live Theatre.
Ten teams battled it out to be crowned Tilda Chef Team of the Year by preparing, cooking and presenting a main course and dessert using a Tilda speciality rice variant – all in 45 minutes. Each team was able to choose between Tilda Basmati & Wild or Fragrant Jasmine for the main course and Arborio for dessert.
With the competition stronger than ever, James Garred and Tony Stuart from Lexington Catering stunned the judges with their winning main course of Tilda Basmati & Wild jewelled saffron rice, spiced halibut and crab with sea vegetables. For dessert, they served up tamarind pineapple with caramelised Tilda Arborio rice ice cream, coconut, pistachio and rice granola. Alongside taking home the coveted trophy, the winners will be heading to Italy to experience the Arborio rice harvest in the Po Valley and will get to sample the regional culinary delights on offer.
James Garred, Tilda Chef Team of the Year winner, said: “Tony and I feel honoured to be named the winners of this year’s Tilda Chef Team of the Year! We were up against some incredible chefs and we are delighted that our innovative dishes have been recognised with this award. We are very excited to be visiting Italy, where we can expand our knowledge and find out more about how Arborio is harvested.”
Steve Munkley, Chef Director of Salon Culinaire commented: “Opening the competition up to teams for the first time has been a huge success and we were astounded by the talent on show. The chefs worked seamlessly together in their pairs showing the teamwork it takes to produce world-class dishes.
“Congratulations to both Tony and James who are extremely worthy winners. We wish them all the success for the future and are delighted they will be able to see first-hand what is involved in producing Arborio rice.
“Rice is such a versatile ingredient and Tilda Chef Team of the Year shows how chefs can creatively use speciality variants to produce premium dishes worthy of a higher price tag on menus.”
The competition forms part of Tilda’s ‘Art of Rice’ campaign to highlight the profitability of rice to 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 Basmati & Wild Rice versus non-named rice* – showing how consumers strongly link the Tilda brand with exceptional quality.
For more information on rice and health, plus some great tasting recipes made using the Tilda speciality rice range, follow @TildaChef on Twitter.
* Toluna Research, August 2017