Jav Aziz, executive head chef at Glasgow Rangers Football Club has been named the winner of Elior’s X-Factor style Culinary Challenge after wowing a panel of expert judges, incluing celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE, with his innovative menu and culinary skills.


The announcement was made at the contract caterer’s company awards ceremony on 3 February 2011 after Jav beat nine other finalists in a tough round of challenges held at Unilever Foodsolutions’ Innovations Centre in January.


The competition saw over 40 chefs from different areas of the organisation submit their menu ideas, with the top ten being asked to attend a National Final Day. The finalists were asked to take part in a mystery elimination round involving the technical challenge of filleting, pin boning and portioning a whole salmon before cooking the prepared fish and serving it with a flavoured risotto.


The top five were then selected to participate in an intense two-hour cook-off where they had to create a chicken dish and dessert from a set list of ingredients. It was Jav’s creative Textures of Chicken with Black Pudding Vegetable Broth and tempting Trio of Desserts (Vanilla Pod Crème Brulée, Bramley Apple Crumble Tart and Black Cherry Chocolate Fondant) that saw him crowned champion.


The runners-up were named as Leon Williams, Digby Trout Restaurants and Daniel Towell, Avenance Business and Industry South.


Peter Joyner, Elior’s food development director, said: “Congratulations to Jav on an outstanding achievement, he managed to stave off some pretty tough competition. The calibre of the entries was very impressive; they really highlighted the passion our chefs have for delivering the very best dining experience, whether they’re catering for business and industry, education, stadia or defence. The menus demonstrated flair and a thorough understanding of the individual needs of each sector. It’s this kind of culinary expertise that really adds value to our clients businesses.”


Jav will be joining all the other company awards winners on a trip onboard the Queen Elizabeth liner exploring the Norwegian Fjords. The two runners-up received an Elior Awards of Excellence trophy in recognition of their achievement.


The judging panel was made up of Brian Turner CBE, Jerry Toth, operations director of Sundial Group, Ray Lorimar, executive chef, Unilever Foodsolutions and Peter Griffiths MBE, Salon director of Hotelympia.