Elior names first ever Young Chef of the Year

Elior’s UK Young Chef of the Year, Jessica-May Gardiner
23/01/2019 - 06:00
Catering company Elior UK crowned Jessica-May Gardiner the winner of its first ever Young Chef of the Year competition, after “setting herself apart” during the live final (16 January).

Currently employed by Elior as chef de partie at Waters Corporation (Wilmslow), Gardiner competed against two other finalists - Mihai Alexandru and Jeremy Deas - for the winning title.

Praised for her “excellent creativity and precision,” Gardiner’s dishes comprised: chalk stream trout with pomegranate molasses and mixed beets, and a vegan char Sui pulled jackfruit with sticky rice, vegetables and pan-fried yardlong beans.

All finalists had to undertake a fish filleting skills test, as well as a plated main course (using the fish) and authentic oriental main course.

Elior food development director, Peter Joyner, commented: “Junior chefs are the future of our industry, so competitions like this are a great opportunity for them to grow, learn and improve.

“There's also a real skills shortage in the industry, so encouraging and motivating young people is essential.

“Although competitions demand a lot of time, energy and dedication, they can take chefs all over the world. It’s about finding someone with that passion and dedication to take it that step further and go the extra mile to achieve.

“Congratulations to Jessica and our other finalists - I hope they all go away from (the final) with the buzz of competing and desperate to succeed. The world really is their oyster.”

As part of her prize, Gardiner will spend a day in the The Ritz (London) kitchen with executive chef John Williams, and also attend the Elior Awards of Excellence as a guest of honour.

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