The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and its members took home an astonishing six wins between them at the 25th Cost Sector Catering Awards, including the coveted public sector life time achievement award for former TUCO chair Julie Barker.
Matt White, current chair, won the public sector award for his tireless work improving quality and nutrition within university catering, whilst TUCO Academy, formed only in 2015 under the stewardship of TUCO CEO Mike Haslin, was awarded the training and apprenticeship award for its excellent learning and development programme.
Matt White, Chair of TUCO, said, “I am thrilled and honoured to win the public sector award. This award means so much to me. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be an influential figure in this industry and will continue to support my peers. TUCO have many amazing initiatives to help teach and develop caterers in higher and further education. I am pleased to be a part of that.”
Sarah McLoughlin, Head of TUCO Academy added, “The TUCO Academy is delighted to have been honoured with the training and apprenticeship award. The Academy has been the enduring vision of the TUCO board along with the TUCO Academy Steering Group and is fully supported by TUCO members to provide a learning and development resource for the TUCO family talent pool and to help their teams achieve their full potential.
'For the TUCO Academy to be recognised by the industry at such a prestigious event and against such strong competition is a phenomenal achievement. We look forward to increasing our provision to help develop skills, compliance, professional development and personal growth through unique and engaging methods, led by our member’s needs.”
Julie Barker, who was blown away by the award, noted, “For the last decade I have listened intently with genuine interest to the citations read about amazing colleagues within our fantastic industry. Never did I think the citation would be about me.
'I am stunned and thrilled to be the recipient of the CSC Lifetime achievement award. It is particularly gratifying to receive an award for work I am passionate about, in an industry that I love. I look forward to continuing my work in our great industry long into the future.”
Three other TUCO members picked up awards on the night, including the University of Huddersfield, who were awarded both the Innovation award (Michaela Booth) and the University/College award. Carol Vallejo from Royal Holloway, The University of London was presented with the Chef award.