Misha Ellaway, 24, will serve her menu of hibiscus macaroon with a foie gras ganache, lamb faggots with kohlrabi fondant, pickled radishes and fève, rhubarb, wild nettle and black garlic purée, served with red wine jus at Adam’s Restaurant as this year’s theme of The Chef Stagiaire Award is British lamb.
The Chef Stagiaire Award is an initiative for UK-based chefs under 25 who are invited to submit a menu for two covers, with a written recipe, pictures and method for an amuse bouche and a main course.
Ellaway will have to impress judges including head chef Aaron Mulliss and celebrity chef Tom Kerridge on a one-week stage at the two Michelin-starred, four AA Rosette restaurant The Hand and Flowers in Marlow.
The winner of the nationwide contest will spend four weeks in San Francisco at Benu, a three Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant or two weeks at Six Senses Zil Pason, a six-star resort in the Seychelles.
Ellaway has been in the industry for 10 years, having started as a kitchen porter while studying at University College Birmingham. She has also worked as a junior sous at her hometown, rapidly escalating to the senior sous chef role within three months.
She said: “The Chef Stagiaire Award is very well-regarded in the industry but it’s only open to chefs under 25, so with this being my last year to give it a go I decided to enter and see what comes of it. When designing my menu I thought lamb faggots would be a great way to represent my West Midlands roots, as faggots originate from the Black Country.
“I also paid close attention to who the judges are and their style of cooking. Luke Tipping creates a lot of Japanese-style dishes, while James Mackenzie is very into BBQ British cuisine and Tim Blake aims to bring home-style food into the workplace – and if there’s anything that makes me feel at home, it’s lamb faggots.”
A spokesperson for the Chef Stagiaire Award said: “This year’s Chef Stagiaire Award received not only the highest amount of applications but also the strongest. Making it through to the top 10 is a huge achievement.”