Lee Warren, from Compass Group, wins Tilda Chef of the Year 2016

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th March 2016
Lee Warren was crowned Tilda Chef of the Year 2016, in a tense cook-off at Hotelympia’s Salon Culinaire Live Theatre. Lee Warren, Tilda Chef of the Year Winner 2016 low resLee Warren, a sous chef from Compass Group and working at Haileybury College, impressed a prestigious judging panel, which included newly appointed Salon Director, Steve Munkley, Cyrus Todiwala OBE and Graham Crump, with his main course and dessert dishes featuring Tilda Rice in both courses. The contestants had just 60 minutes to prepare, cook and present two servings of a main course dish and a dessert with Tilda rice at the heart, demonstrating their knowledge of rice and its versatility as an ingredient in the process. A particularly qualified judging panel was set to be impressed this year with two previous TCOTY winners, Danny Leung and Ian Simpson joining head judge Steve Munkley on the panel. Steve said: “As ever we saw some stunning dishes amongst the entries. The level of innovation of what the chefs do with Tilda’s rice always amazes me. This year the competition saw one chef grind rice to make a rice pudding and another dried Tilda’s Fragrant Jasmine to make crisps. “I think that is what is so great with the emerging chefs of today; when you give them a challenge they take the bull by the horns – they just get on with it and make some really exciting ideas.” The biennial competition, run in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs, saw nine chefs challenged to create a main course dish which celebrated the growing trend of world cuisine. Lee scooped the title with his Jamaican influenced entry of a Jamaican Pork main with rice and peas, followed by a dessert of pineapple and coconut crumble with caramelized Tilda Fragrant Jasmine rice ice cream. Mark Lyddy, Tilda’s Head of Foodservice, said: “Congratulations to Lee, it is extremely impressive to watch a young chef compete and triumph in what was a very strong senior class. Lee really impressed the judges with his Jamaican themed menu, and the way in which he used rice to create two exquisite courses. “After the high quality of 2014’s entries we wanted to continue with the focus on world cuisine and were very excited to see each chef’s interpretation of the theme. Lee proved a creditable winner with his Jamaican menu, delivering a fabulous entry highlighting the real versatility of Tilda’s rice range." As well as being awarded the Tilda Chef of the Year trophy, a medal, framed certificate and commemorative award plate, Lee has earnt himself a fantastic two-day trip to the Po Valley in Italy, a new prize for 2016. Home of Tilda’s unrivalled Arborio risotto rice, the visit will give Lee the chance to pick up a whole host of tips and tricks to take back to his kitchen as well as further his understanding of cooking with rice.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th March 2016

Lee Warren, from Compass Group, wins Tilda Chef of the Year 2016