Elior UK recently crowned Jessica-May Gardiner as the winner of its first ever Young Chef of the Year Competition, following an intense culinary competition for chefs aged 23 and younger. Hosted at Unilever’s UK Headquarters, Gardiner, Mihai Alexandru and Jeremy Deas took to the stage to showcase their creativity, versatility and technical skills. They had to prove their fish filleting skills test using sustainable fish, before producing a plated main course (cooking their own recipe using the fish) and an authentic oriental one.
Gardiner is currently chef de partie at Waters Corporation, headquartered in Wilmslow. Aside from taking home the Young Chef of the Year trophy, she will be joining executive chef John Williams MBE at The Ritz for a day, and will also attend the Elior Awards of Excellence as a guest of honour on 20th March.
Peter Joyner, food development director for Elior, said: “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.
“Congratulations to Jessica and our other finalists, I hope they all go away from today with the buzz of competing, desperate to succeed. The world really is their oyster.”