Lexington Catering chefs, James Garred and Tony Stuart, were recognised for their triumphant win at this year’s Tilda Chef Team of the Year competition, with a trophy presentation at Coca Cola Headquarters – one of the contract caterer’s many prominent clients.

Johanna Witchell, commercial marketing manager, and Karen Goff, regional account manager at Tilda, presented the trophies to the chefs alongside Knight Franks’ head chef, Danny Leung –  the Tilda Chef of the Year 2012 winner.

Speaking at the presentation, Jo Witchell for Tilda Foodservice said: “I’d like to congratulate James and Tony on being Tilda’s first Chef Team winners. Every year the Tilda competition gets bigger and more competitive.  Rice is such a versatile ingredient and the dishes these talented chefs delivered on the day were remarkable. We’re delighted to be able to present these trophies personally and look forward to accompanying James and Tony to Italy later in the year.”

As the Tilda Chef Team of the Year, the celebrated chefs won an all-expenses paid trip to Italy to experience Tilda’s Arborio rice harvest in the Po Valley. The pair will also get to sample the regional culinary delights on offer with a food safari in Milan, to learn more about Italian food.

James Garred, head chef at Coca Cola, added: “To have Tilda come to London and present Tony and I with our trophies is really special. We are so excited to have won the competition, I can’t wait for Italy and the opportunity Tilda is giving us to expand our knowledge and sample the country’s rich culture and cuisine.”

Back in March, the chef team battled it out at Hotelympia’s Salon Culinaire Live Theatre by preparing, cooking and presenting a main course and dessert using a Tilda speciality rice variant – all in 45 minutes. Each team was able to choose between Tilda Basmati & Wild or Fragrant Jasmine for the main course and Arborio for dessert.

The Lexington Catering chefs stunned the judges with their winning main course of Tilda Basmati & Wild jewelled saffron rice, spiced halibut and crab with sea vegetables. For dessert, they served up tamarind pineapple with caramelised Tilda Arborio rice ice cream, coconut, pistachio and rice granola.

The winning recipes are available to view at www.tildafoodservice.com.