Vicky is tops with Marco
Sheffield chef Vicky Wainwright has beaten three other finalists to be named Marco Pierre White's Chef of the Year.
Vicky, who is chef de partie at Marco’s New York Italian in Sheffield, won the competition - which was created by Marco Pierre White to challenge his junior chefs and create a platform for them to step-up and raise their profiles.
There were more than 40 entries and the four finalists had 90 minutes to cook a dish inspired by Marco’s cooking style, with the three star Michelin chef leading the judging panel.
Vicky, of Arberthorne, spent 13 years as a school cook until three years ago, when she began working at Marco’s New York Italian. As part of her prize, her winning dish - oxtail lasagne with smoked garlic mash and baked vegetables - will feature as a special across Marco’s restaurants.
She said: “It was a dream come true to cook for Marco. He has been an inspiration for my home cooking for years and then I got the chance to work for him, which has massively enhanced my development.
“I’m really excited to have my dish feature as a special in Marco’s restaurants.”
Marco added: “All four finalists dishes were very good and what they each achieved was amazing. They are all winners to come so far.
“This competition was a good way for people to express themselves. All four dishes could have made it on to the menu, which made it tough to judge.
“When I judge I look at technical ability but I also look at which dish I prefer to eat. I love oxtail and Vicky’s dish was fitting to the ethos of the food we serve across our restaurants. It’s simple, it’s not trying to be too clever, you know exactly what you’re going to get and it tastes delicious.”