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12th April 2022

Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 reveals winner

Written by: Edward Waddell
Elliot Wakefield has been named the winner of Riso Gallo’s UK & Ireland Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022.

The Riso Gallo UK & Ireland Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 is now in its fifth year and is aimed at budding chefs aged 17 -23 years-old, whether in education or out in industry. The Grand Final was held in London at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on the 4th April.

Chairman of the judges, Paul Gayler, commented: “It was another hotly contested final this year, one of the closest run finals for years. However, the judges were in total agreement that Elliots’ pumpkin risotto dish was full of flavour, complexity and character, while retaining the classic disciplines found in a great risotto.”

The 20 year old chef, from Weybridge, studied his craft at the University of West London, and currently works at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, London. He has won an all-expenses paid three day work experience with renowned judging chef Fabio Pisani and his team at the 2 Michelin starred Il Luogo Aimo e Nadia in Milan, Italy.

Commenting on his win, Elliot said: “I chose to cook this dish because when I was 12 years old my parents took us on holiday to Milan. I tried this dish and fell in love with it. It’s a dish that is close to my heart and I am thrilled that it won me the title.”

Samantha Watkins, 18 years old, came second with her Wild Mushroom & Roasted Chestnut Risotto, winning a staige at the Italian Embassy in London.

The final judging panel included:

  • Paul Gayler MBE, consultant chef
  • Danilo Cortellini, consultant chef at The Italian Embassy
  • Adriano Cavagnini, Executive Chef at the Bvlgari Hotel
  • Fabio Pisani from Il Luogo Aimo e Nadia in Milan
  • Davide Degiovanni, Head Chef at 5 Hertford Street
  • Fransceco Dibenedetto, Head Chef at Bibendum in London
  • Mark Reynolds, Executive Chef at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Barney Desmazery, food journalist

Jason Morrison, managing director of Riso Gallo UK commented: “We have seen another great final for our UK & Ireland Young Risotto Chef of the Year competition. We have a wonderful calibre of judging chefs, and to see the passion in our young finalists is very rewarding.

“For over 165 years, Riso Gallo has supplied many of the top chefs across the world with Italian rice of the highest quality. We understand their passion and commitment to their craft, and the years of training they undertake.

“We launched this competition to help foster and reward the next generation, who can inject personality, passion and creativity into their own vibrant, exciting risotto dish. Our UK & Ireland Young Risotto Chef of the Year has gone from strength to strength each year.”