National Chef of the Year 2016: Larry Jayasekara, April 2016

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th March 2016

This is the second in a series of regular blogs by head chef of Michelin-starred Petrus and winner of the National Chef of the Year 2016, Larry Jayasekara.

There’s been a lot going on since my last blog! I recently had the chance to go to the Craft Guild of Chefs sponsors lunch which was an amazing experience. Obviously with this year’s National Chef of the Year and Young Chef of the Year competitions right around the corner I was invited to go along to the lunch the other day at Piquet Restaurant in London.

lamb fedAsides from getting to sit down to a delicious three course meal I also had the opportunity to talk about my experience at last year’s contest and share my story. Speaking in front of organisers, sponsors and past winners I got to talk about my time during the competition, what has happened since winning and why I think competitions such as the National Chef of the Year are important for the industry.

Of course the competition wouldn’t even be possible without the sponsors so I also made sure I thanked them in my speech. In my last blog I mentioned my promotion to head chef at Petrus which has certainly kept me busy and is always keeping me on my toes!

It feels like a mountain that keeps getting bigger and bigger and harder and harder to climb but it’s going really well. Right now we’re just working on introducing lighter dishes to the menu making the most of all the great spring and summer produce that we have coming through.

I find it really exciting seeing all the beautiful new ingredients coming through like green and white asparagus and wild garlic, so I’m definitely looking at how I can utilise these in my next dishes. The most important thing for me is flavour and I always ask myself, ‘how can I get the best out of this ingredient to maximise flavour?’
Last week we added a Dover sole dish to the menu which has been quite popular.

>>> Read more blogs from Larry Jayasekara here

I’m also thinking of replacing the suckling lamb dish with the salt marsh lamb, I’ll still keep the same garnish like the morel mushrooms and wild garlic, I just want to lighten it up a bit to with the new season. I’m working on doing the same for the lunch menu as well by introducing the Dorset crab and this wonderful Alfonso mango that has just started to come which will make a great, light dessert.dover sole

Last time I mentioned that I was going to France as part of the National Chef of the Year, I’m still going away but it will be to Denmark now instead. I’m really excited about it, I don’t know all of the details yet but I do know it will be sometime in June for three days. I think it’s just going to be me and the Young Chef of the Year winner but I’m not sure.

During the trip we’ll get to eat at Geranium and Noma and we’ll also be spending a day fishing with one of the chefs and getting to go foraging, so there will be lots of fun activities to do! Nothing has been finalist yet though but they should be hearing back from there with my itinerary over the coming weeks.

In my last blog I also said about getting the chance to film with KNORR and creating a couple of recipes for them, they’re still editing the footage so I haven’t had the chance to see it yet but I think it all went ok. When they’re finished it should be up on their website and their youtube channel so I’m looking forward to getting to watch that!

>>> Read more about National Chef of the Year here

They have also been speaking to me about doing some more filming over the summer but I need to give them some potential dates for when I’m free, I’m so busy with Petrus at the moment it might not be for a while so I’ll have to give you an update next time. Right now it’s all about Petrus and focusing on all the great seasonal produce we have at the moment getting to create lots of new dishes and making sure the team are all happy.

larry 1Larry Jayasekara is the National Chef of the Year, having won the competition at the Restaurant Show in October. He is head chef of Gordon Ramsay's Michelin Star restaurant Pétrus and previously worked as executive chef for the Manor at Weston-on-the-Green, sous chef at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, senior sous chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and spent two years at the Waterside Inn in Bray. Larry joins a long line of great chefs to have won the prestigious award including Gordon Ramsay, David Everitt-MatthiasSimon HulstoneMark SargeantSteve LoveAlyn Williams and many more.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th March 2016

National Chef of the Year 2016: Larry Jayasekara, April 2016