The winner of the Executive Chef of the Year award is Glenn Evans of Las Iguanas.
This accolade, sponsored by Panasonic, recognises that whether it is restaurants, pubs, care homes, contract caterers or any other professional foodservice business, the group executive chef has one of the most important roles to play when it comes to what happens on a kitchen level. From creative menu development and food sourcing to kitchen specification and roll-outs, this accolade honours those individuals that are excelling in their posts.
Glenn Evans oversees one of the most skilled kitchen operations within the casual dining sector due to Las Iguanas’ unique focus on authentic Latin American dishes that are fully prepped and assembled in-house.
All dishes are cooked fresh on site using the highest quality ingredients from the countries that inspire its food, meaning that Glenn and his development team have to diligently align new menu developments with its cooking platforms to ensure they can be executed easily across its estate.
Recent menu investments, which have included the addition of 15 new dishes to its spring offering and an updated evening Nightlife menu, are testimony to the innovative work that takes place in its development kitchen.
Mr Evans (pictured receiving his award from Panasonic UK sales and marketing director, Iain Phillips), said: “I’m honoured – it’s great to be recognised at the first FEJ Awards. Las Iguanas has received a number of individual and group awards over the last 12-18 months and we feel this recognises our service, investment and marketing. We have educated our customers on our food offer and travelled to find inspiration all over Latin America. Our biggest focus is Brazil at the moment. We are ahead of the curve on food trends such as veganism and we always want to enhance our kitchens. They are working really well at the moment.”
All five finalists in the Executive Chef of the Year category are masters of their craft who deservedly made it onto the final shortlist for their dedication, expertise and ability to deliver results. The fact that each one polled a huge amount of votes is testimony to how highly they are regarded by the industry.
– Chris Knights, Young’s & Geronimo Pubs
– Mike Lewis, YO! Sushi
– Rob Mitchell, Drake & Morgan
– Simon Xavier, Chiquito