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

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th April 2016

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

Well it's been another hectic month so here's what I've been up to since my last blog. Celebrating Easter earlier than usual this year, we decided to create a menu to reflect the holiday season while staying true to Petrus.

easter eggWe created a main dish that replicated an Easter egg which was comprised of a foie gras parfait served on a green bean salad made to look like a nest to incorporate the whole idea and theme behind Easter. We also made our own Easter eggs which was great fun! They had a cherry vinegar caramel truffle filling as an accompaniment to the meal for each party to share. The red colouring of the eggs really reflected the style of Petrus and because they were so popular it's definitely something we're looking at doing again next year!

We really wanted to try and create something that could tell a story, and that's really the direction I want to take Petrus in, we want our food to tell a story so the customer isn't just eating the food and leaving, they're getting the chance to discover why we use certain ingredients, why it's been cooked in that way, how we have plated the dish, etc.

It really does make the whole experience that much more interesting for the guest and because we get asked a lot about how the dishes are put together it only seems natural to continue along that path.

>>> Read more of Larry's blogs here

We have a chef’s table in the kitchen so we're really using that a lot at the moment to test out new recipes and dish creation. It's a great way to try out new meals before we decide on adding them to the main menu. Getting direct feedback from the customer, like we have been right now, we can really tailor our dishes to suit their tastes and it's been working well at the moment. Right now we've been working on preparing dishes about four weeks in advance, it really sets us up for the next season so we have all the dishes ready to go as soon as summer hits, which hopefully isn't too far away now!

So since my last blog we have been working with some great seasonal produce that's been coming in such as peas, broad beans, pea shoots, raspberries and strawberries. I'm also looking at adding some light fish and lamb dishes to the lunch menu. All the dishes should be ready for end of next month and I can't wait to see them on the menu and see the reaction from our customers! geraniumDigressing from what I've been doing at Petrus, I'm really looking forward to my trip to Denmark!

I still don't know all the details just yet but David McGee from the Craft Guild of Chefs is working on the itinerary at the moment. It just takes a lot of time to get everything sorted, I need to make sure I have cover whilst I'm away and everyone else involved needs to be ready too, so I think dates and times are going to be very last minute but I can't wait!

Hopefully it should be the end of July, but who knows, hopefully I'll know more soon though. I'm really looking forward to visiting Noma and Geranium, chances like these don't come round often so I'm really going to savour every moment whilst I'm there.

Those places just have such a different style of cooking, as a chef it's really fascinating to see how they cook and what they come up with, hopefully I'll come back with some ideas for Petrus but because it's a different style of dining and clientele I'm just looking forward to getting to enjoy the experience! It's also my first time visiting both restaurants! Lastly, I know I've talked about my filming with NORGE in my last couple of blogs, well to give you an update they are still editing the video but they are looking at adding them to their YouTube channel early next month, so watch this space!

>>> Read more blogs from Larry Jayasekara here

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.

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th April 2016

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