Chef of the Future 2016 Winner - Gavin Kellett

The Vegetarian Society Cookery School is pleased to announce that Gavin Kellett, from Powys, is the winner of Chef of the Future 2016 competition. The live final, saw four contestants from Cheshire, London, Powys and Surrey battle it out to produce a three-course meal, plated for four people, within three hours.

Gavin Kellett, previous winner of the Chef of the Future title, said: "I am so thrilled that I managed to win this great title twice in a row. This year the standard was so high and I believe it was a tough call for the judges, as we all tried each other's dishes in the kitchen, I feel any one of us could have won. I was extremely happy with my dishes, also that I was able to make a complete menu that was not only vegan but gluten-free to win this amazing competition. I would like to thank the Vegetarian Society and the Vegetarian Society Cookery School for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills and for organising this highly successful event."

Gavin Kellett is a professional chef, currently working as a relief chef having recently moved to Crickhowell, Powys. Here's Gavins' winning menu:

  • Waldorf salad - faux pickled apple, rapeseed mayonnaise, walnut crisp, celery, burnt apple purée, poached celeriac, pickled walnut and celeriac remoulade. Served under a glass cloche filled with apple wood smoke.
  • Celebration of onion - quinoa and wild garlic stuffed onion, hazelnuts, roasted onion and tofu mousse, charred shallots, caramelised onion purée, burnt leek powder, clove, green onions and oak lichen.
  • A Healthier Dessert - no bake chocolate brownie, lemon curd, banana and poppy seed cake, soya milk purée, raw cacao nibs, chocolate and green tea tuiles, organic matcha green tea ice cream and torched banana.

The judging panel consists of Alex Connell, Principal Tutor of the Vegetarian Society Cookery School, Emily Leary an award-winning food, lifestyle writer and John Soonaye, editor of 'The Vegetarian' magazine.

John Soonaye, Editor of 'The Vegetarian' magazine, said: "Choosing a winner for this competition was not an easy task. Every one of the finalists produced restaurant-quality vegetarian food combining full-on flavours, a variety of textures, and showing how ingenuity and imagination can really elevate simple, wholesome ingredients. Gavin is a worthy winner, but Ben, Danaliese and John are also brilliant finalists."

The other finalists were Ben Limb, Danaliese Radley and John Walter.

Finalists and menusHere are the other finalists menus. Ben Limb from Coffee and Kitchen, Cheshire: Ben's menu:

  • Artichokes - baby globe and Jerusalem - scorched and marinated with fresh ricotta and a broad bean pesto.
  • Salt-baked red beetroot with aubergine with a Puy lentil dressing, giant couscous, pickled apples, almond dukkha and Greek yogurt
  • Elderflower pannacotta with a quartet of rhubarb (sorbet, poached, crisp, purée)

Danaliese Radley is a private chef for a family in London. Danaliese's menu:

  • Fragrant Thai sunshine salad - green mango salad with lemongrass and kafir, tamari tofu-tempeh, sweet spicy lychee salsa
  • Japanese garden of earthly delights - shiso beet stack, garden sushi roll, baked shiitake sashimi, edamame pâté, spiced miso avocado and pink lotus trellis with pickled ginger sauce
  • English allotment rhubarb pudding - Rhubarb poached with rosemary served with apricot kernel cream, raspberry chia jam and a star anise crisp

John Walter is a professional chef at Lakeside Restaurant, Surrey University. John's menu:

  • Scotch egg with curry mayonnaise - coated with dal and oats with a rapeseed and mustard seed mayonnaise.
  • Seasonal harvest plattery - a clever balance of hot and cold, with organic bulgur wheat, shredded beetroot with hazelnut oil and toasted buckwheat, grilled butternut squash, and fresh cherry tomatoes with halloumi.
  • Rhubarb and stem ginger Charlotte with elderflower - poached rhubarb and ginger syrup steeped boudoir biscuits encasing stem ginger soy whip.