Chefs Show Us How To Tackle Food Waste At LexChef 2018

Rob Kirby

Rob Kirby

Executive Chef 30th November 2018

Chefs Show Us How To Tackle Food Waste At LexChef 2018

Jack Shaw, Head Chef at Lexington Catering, has been crowned winner of LexChef 2018. He was recognised for his approach to reducing food waste and ability to create some really tasty dishes with food that would otherwise end up in the trash bin.

This year, Lexington introduced a twist to the competition. Rob Kirby, Chef Director at Lexington Catering, asked chefs to source their ingredients as responsibly and sustainably as possible to produce a vegetarian starter followed by any main course and dessert.

The judges* at this year’s competition were impressed by the way the finalists** approached the challenge. They thought they all showed amazing creativity but Jack’s menu won the judges over. They were particularly impressed by the flavours and use of otherwise wasted food,

Mark Flanagan, Head Chef at Buckingham Palace said, “The brief this year was incredible but the presentation and quality from the finalists was really something special. It wasn’t just restaurant quality it was ‘top’ restaurant quality.”

Commenting on this year’s competition Jack, Shaw, Head Chef and the LexChef 2018 Winner, said, “It was a huge challenge. As a hospitality chef I wanted to create something that looked neat and tidy but at the same time was waste – sourcing something that fitted the brief but had punchy flavours was a real problem.”

Jack put a lot of work in to test the dishes. He said, “I have included my starter and main on the menu at my site for the last few weeks and it’s been really popular. It’s fantastic to see the judges enjoy it too!”

Rob Kirby, Chef Director at Lexington Catering, said: " As chefs we have a responsibility to help beat food waste. We wanted to provide an opportunity for our team to get creative and look at ways to use food that may otherwise end up in the trash bin – I wanted them to think about the cuts, the ugly veggies and total nose to tail.

“The finalists produced some really awesome dishes and the competition is a fantastic reminder to our team, customers and partners about the role we can all play in helping reduce food waste.”

Jack won ‘A Day in the Life of The Pig’ experience, where he will spend time with the team in their garden and learn more about their approach to sustainability. He will join the team forest and sea foraging and then enjoy a fabulous dinner and overnight stay at The Pig.

Jack’s menu was:
• Starter
Braised broccoli stalk, pickled walnut ketchup, egg yolk,blue cheese dressing, whey crumb
• Main
Pressed cod’s head, celeriac, chorizo, cod roe
• Dessert
French pastry, coffee and pear mille feuille, almond milk ice cream

The chefs have outdone themselves, according to James Golding – Group Chef Director at The Pig. He said, “The challenge was no easy feat. Everyone has a different kind of angle and view about what sustainability and the whole subject of food waste represents to them. At The Pig we use everything out of the garden and it was great to see the LexChef finalists do the same.”

*The judges at this year’s LexChef final include:
 James Golding – Group Chef Director at The Pig
 Amanda Afiya – Former Editor at The Caterer and food writer
 Mark Flanagan – Head Chef at Buckingham Palace
 Claire Clark MBE – Pastry Chef Director, Pretty Sweet
 Ben Tish – Author and Culinary Director of the Stafford London in St James's
 Peter Joyner – Elior’s Food Development Director
 Brian Hannon – Owner and restaurateur, The Goat restaurant, Kiln restaurant and Brat restaurant

**The eight finalists were:

 Jack Shaw – Head Chef
 Jamie Moir – Head Hospitality Chef
 Sam Walton – Head Chef
 Louise Roberts – Senior Sous Chef
 Max Leslie – Head Chef
 Tom Bradley – Head Chef
 Guy Adams – Executive Chef
 Iain Wells – Head Chef

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