Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, celebrated a successful evening at the glittering Craft Guild of Chefs Awards ceremony, at the London Hilton, Park Lane.
Recognised as the equivalent of The Oscars for the chef industry, the Awards highlighted the UK’s most outstanding chefs across all sectors of the industry.
Two chefs from across the business were recognised with top accolades; Ryan Hopper, from ESS Defence took home the Public Sector Chef Award while James Larkins, Chartwells, Oxford University won the Contract Catering Chef Award.
Tom Parry, Levy, Jockey Club Catering; Graham Singer, Culinary Director Scotland and Thomas Pill, Farnham Castle, The Venues Collection were also very worthy finalists at this year’s awards.
Nick Vadis, Culinary Director Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented on the double accolade for Compass, “The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards are extremely prestigious within our industry so to have two winners from Compass really is an exceptional achievement, especially given that contract catering and the public sector are paramount to our business.
'We always strive to be the very best and having five finalists, two of which went on to win, proves that we’re continuing to excel and deliver fantastic food and service to both our clients and their customers.”
Ryan Hopper (pictured), winner of the Public Sector Chef Award enthused: “It was a real honour to be a finalist for this award, so it’s great to come away with the win. Helping develop so many chefs across the sites is very rewarding in itself, but it’s always nice to be acknowledged and it doesn’t get much better than by the Craft Guild of Chefs.”
James Larkins, Contract Catering Chef Award winner, said, “The sense of achievement to be recognised by the Craft Guild is overwhelming and I’d like to thank all my senior colleagues, in particular Nick Vadis, for their support.
'This award is particularly special, and I dedicate it to my team, who I’m incredibly proud of, I couldn’t have won it without them. As a team, we’ve built up this contract from a blank canvas into the strong proposition it is today.”
Established in 1965 as a Guild of the Cookery and Food Association, the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed into the leading Chefs’ Association in the UK and has many members worldwide.
The annual event, now in its 25th year, recognises the greatest culinary talent across the industry whether they work in a village pub, fine dining restaurant, university kitchen, contract catering, officers’ mess or develop products for national retailers.