Elior chefs Andrew Biggs, Mark Kinzel, Jessica Simpson and Sam Walton wowed the judges with their unique dishes which will be served at Elior UK’s Awards for Excellence in March, with the overall competition winner announced on the day.

Taking place at Unilever’s Chefmanship Centre, the competition final welcomed 10 Elior chefs from across the business and the UK. They were tasked with developing and cooking a two-course ‘celebration lunch’ menu for two covers, plus three canapés.

They were judged by an expert panel including Peter Griffiths MBE (president of the British Federation of Chefs), Martyn Nail (executive chef, Claridges Hotel London), Robin Givens (MD contracts, Elior UK) and Steven Fitzsimmons (executive chef, AJ Bell Stadium).

Jessica Simpson impressed the panel with canapés such as langoustine, spruce butter and caramelised whey, as did Sam Walton with his vegan maple glazed beetroot tarte tatin with cashew nut mousse. Andrew Biggs was awarded for his main course of Goosnargh duck breast and faggot, crown prince squash houmous, harissa spiced chickpeas and scorched little gem. For dessert, Mark Kinzel’s dessert of salted crème caramel, dark chocolate and pistachio mousse, Norfolk honeycomb, blood orange, poppy seed and basil was chosen as the perfect dish to end Elior’s awards dinner.

Peter Joyner, food development director, at Elior UK said: “Congratulations to our four finalists – I hope you enjoy serving up your prized dishes to your colleagues and friends at the Elior awards dinner next month. Also, well done to all competing chefs – it takes dedication and skill to develop and execute your own menus under pressure.

“Our Culinary Competition, amongst other internal contests, is a brilliant opportunity for chefs to boost their careers, get in front of senior members of the team, and learn key skills for the future.”

To learn more about Elior UK and its learning and development initiatives, visit https://www.elior.co.uk/.