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Compass chefs turn up the heat to be named Chef of the Year

The fiercely contested annual Compass Chef of the Year final took place at the Restaurant Show on Wednesday, 8 October, at London’s Earl’s Court Two.

Compass Group news team
Friday 10 October 2014


Compass Chef of the Year winners 2014

The Compass Chef of the Year competition is currently in its 14th year and annually demonstrates the skill, passion and expertise that Compass chefs have in abundance. From over 200 entries, 23 chefs from across Compass Group UK & Ireland battled it out for the title of Junior, Senior and Apprentice Chef of the Year.

Eight junior chefs had just 90 minutes to create a three-course meal, whilst eight senior chefs were given two hours to cook up a four-course meal, showcasing British produce and reflecting the latest food trends for a panel of industry judges, including celebrity chef Brian Turner and last year’s Senior Chef of the Year winner, Chris Pulfer.

In the 2014 Senior competition, chef Adam Thomassen from Restaurant Associates took the gold, closely followed by Craig Nellis from ESS with silver and John Clarke from Eurest who won bronze.

In the Junior competition, it was Thomas Sargent from Chartwells who scooped gold, while Claire Rickard from Eurest came away with the silver and Maria Dare-Ojo from Restaurant Associates won the bronze.

This year's competition saw the return of the Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year category, introduced for the first time in 2013, to showcase some of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s fantastic up and coming culinary talent.

These budding chefs were tasked with creating a duck dish in just 40 minutes, with Jonathon Gibbison from ESS securing top prize. Shanti Gurung from ESS and Ben Smith from Levy Restaurants UK were awarded second and third place respectively.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director for Compass Group UK & Ireland said: "This competition is our culinary highlight and is fiercely contested by chefs from across our business. It really showcases the amazing culinary talent that we have at Compass. Every year the bar gets raised and the quality of the food produced by both our junior and senior chefs was outstanding; these chefs are a real credit to our business and I'm sure many of the junior and apprentice chefs we saw today will become our senior chefs of tomorrow.”

The Know Your Food award also returned to the stage for 2014, following its launch in 2013 and yet again saw chefs demonstrate their ability to create amazing food that reflects Compass’ commitments to health, wellbeing and sustainable sourcing. In the senior competition it was Lee Warren from Chartwells who took home the Know Your Food award, and in the junior competition it was Eleanor De Maria from Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Food Development Team.

As part of their prize, the Junior and Senior Chef of the Year award winners will now travel to New York on a study trip to visit some of Compass’ sites and search for new, innovative ideas and culinary trends. The apprentice winner will travel with the Compass Culinary Team to Luxembourg for the Culinary World Cup which is taking place in November 2014.


For more information:
Helen Skipworth, Compass Group UK & Ireland
Tel: 01895 554462 / 07917 790040
Email: helen.skipworth@compass-group.co.uk