CH&CO crowns Ricky Matonti its Chef of the Year 2022
He impressed the judges with his menu of fermented barley & whey risotto, wild garlic ricotta, slow cooked duck egg, wild garlic oil, pickled shimeji to start; followed by a main of rabbit rack & loin, rabbit ragu tartlet, broccoli, onion & potato crumb, charred broccoli stem, broccoli, anchovy & chilli puree and a dessert of rhubarb & black pepper cake, meadowsweet cheesecake mousse, rhubarb vinegar gel, earl grey tuile.
Matonti has won has a trip to Seville with José Pizarro to visit Cinco Jotas Iberico Jamon production, tour Seville’s vibrant food scene and taste vintage sherries in the cellars of Jerez.
Open to all chefs working across the diverse catering and hospitality business the CH&CO Chef of the Year competition spotlights culinary excellence and gives chefs the opportunity to develop professionally and personally as they experiment, push boundaries and share learning and ideas with their peers.
Jeremy Ford, food director at CH&CO, said: “How fantastic to bring back our Chef of the Year competition after the pandemic put a stop to it for the past two years. Huge congratulations go to the winner, Ricky Matonti. He was an exceptional competitor and his rabbit main course a highlight of the competition.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the finalists who produced amazing food. Everyone stepped up to the challenge and they are all testament to the culinary excellence and talent within our business. I was also impressed by their approach to sustainability. As a holder of the SRA’s three-star Food Made Good rating, it’s a fundamental part of our culture, as the chefs demonstrated perfectly.
“It was a privilege to welcome such an esteemed judging panel to oversee the final and I thank them all for their time and expertise. Having the opportunity to cook in front of and take critique and advice from some of the industry’s finest, most respected chefs is an incredible opportunity for our chefs and important to their continued development.”
Nathan Kearney, head chef with Gather & Gather – CH&CO’s specialist workplace business, was named as the runner-up.