Restaurant Associates celebrates exceptional talent at annual competition

Restaurant Associates, the executive dining division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, hosted the annual Hospitality and Culinary Skills competition, a celebration of the exceptional chef and front-of-house talent across the business.

A panel of hospitality leaders including Silvano Giraldin, Restaurant Associates’ Executive Chef Jeremy Ford, Michael West, Miles Macinnes, Paul Hood, Adam Byatt and Anthony Demetre judged the 14th Hospitality and Culinary Skills Competition at The University of West London on the 15th September.

Altogether, 16 finalists including chefs and front of house, were challenged on food combinations and customer service. Each chef had been paired up with a front-of-house competitor to work as a team. The panel critiqued competitors on the cooking and serving of a three-course meal for 32 guests comprising of Restaurant Associates' clients from companies across the city.

The evening began with a champagne pouring challenge, which saw the finalists having to pour one bottle into eight glasses with equal measure. They then served the champagne with canapés prepared by the chef finalists. Chefs and waiters then worked in pairs to serve a three-course set menu comprising of core British ingredients including Mackarel & Heritage Beetroot for the starter, British beef for main and pears for dessert.

Following deliberation, Angel Morales (HSBC) was named the chef winner for 2016 and Ronny Wilbald (Citi) won the front-of-house award.

James Boyle, Managing Director of Restaurant Associates, said, “The Hospitality and Culinary Skills Competition is such a great evening as it gives our chefs and front-of-house colleagues the opportunity to showcase the talents we have within our hospitality teams. Restaurant Associates is all about strong growth in food, service and people and this competition represents the passion our people have for the values of the business. It was a great evening and congratulations to all of our finalists and winners.”

The competition was launched in memory of the late Roger Naylor, former Executive Chef for Restaurant Associates. It showcases outstanding food and exceptional service across the business. Naylor was an enthusiastic and dedicated chef who trained under Albert Roux. The prize was named in Roger's honour following his death in April 2003 to commemorate his work in chef development. Now in its 14th year, the competition invites chefs and waiters from Restaurant Associates to demonstrate the skills and expertise they deliver to customers.