apetito chef is a National Chef of the Year finalist

Jethro Lawrence cooked a tarte tatin with tandori carrot to secure his place as a finalist

Award-winning apetito chef Jethro Lawrence has made it to the final of the National Chef of the Year competition run by the Craft Guild of Chefs, which has previously been won by Gordon Ramsay.

Lawrence, the former Head Chef at the two AA Rosette Woolley Grange Hotel and BBC MasterChef: The Professionals quarter finalist, who joined leading meals provider apetito as a development chef two years ago, says: “ For the semi-finals the chefs were tasked with cooking one dish, which had to be vegan, based on one humble ingredient and focused on zero waste, so I produced  my version of a Tarte Tatin but with tandoori carrot. It was inspired by my time working with Simon Rogan who did a similar dish but with the classic apple.

“With the cost of food rising recently, it’s been great to get a bit more creative by using every part of a humble ingredient. When I saw the brief, I was very happy, as I was vegan for about 10 years and the flavour combination of this dish reminds me of meals we would have had at home.”

Jethro created his Tandoori Carrot Tarte Tatin by rolling up thin sheets of carrot and baking them with a Vadouvan spiced coconut butter caramel. For the base he made vegan puff pastry to add a rich crisp texture and  served it with a coconut-based sauce and a roast carrot broth, made using some of the leftover carrot scraps and infused with a coriander oil.

To ensure the dish was zero-waste, with the other half of the leftover scraps of the carrots, he made a carrot vinegar gel that added acidity to the dish and offset the sweetness from the carrot. He garnished it with a crisp salad of thinly shaved heritage carrots, from a local supplier in Bromham, Wiltshire and flowers from his garden.

Commenting on Lawrence’s progress in the competition, general manager of care =homes at apetito, Richard Woodward adds:“We’re all so proud of Jethro to have made it this far in the competition. Since joining apetito, he’s brought extensive knowledge, innovation and value to our meals’ development programme, creating some really incredible dishes that residents love.

“Every single dish he’s cooked in this competition has sounded incredible and the whole of team apetito is cheering him on.”

The dish really impressed the Judges and secured Jethro a place in the Final, which will be held at the University of West London on 10 October.

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