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Winners revealed for Restaurant Associates' Culinary & Hospitality Skills Competition

Restaurant Associates, the executive dining division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has crowned Nicole du Preez as their Front of House Waiter of the Year and Adam Bateman as their Chef of the Year.

Compass Group news team
Tuesday 16 September 2014


L-R - Michel Roux Jr, James Naylor, Jason Atherton, Adam Bateman, Adam Byatt, Jeremy Ford.

The Culinary and Hospitality Skills Competetion was held at Chelsea Football Club on Wednesday, 10 September. The event showcased outstanding food paired with exceptional service and standards that would rival some of the UK’s finest hotels and restaurants. Restaurant Associates invited chefs and waiters who are under 30 years of age to demonstrate the skills and expertise they deliver to customers every day.

Eight finalists in each category were critiqued on their cooking and serving of a three-course meal for 32 guests. The judging panel included high profile industry figures such as Michel Roux Jr, Jason Atherton, Adam Byatt, Edward Griffiths, Silvano Giraldin and Jack Scott, from Jascots wine merchants, as well as many Restaurant Associates’ clients from companies across the City, which include leading investment banks and law firms.

The evening began with the champagne-pouring challenge, during which waiters had to pour eight equal flutes of champagne without any spillage, revisiting a glass and using the entire bottle – an art incredibly difficult to master. Chefs and waiters then worked in pairs to serve a three-course set menu comprising of scallops and a choice of seasonal ingredients, short saddle lamb to be stuffed and carved at the table and served with a choice of seasonal vegetables to garnish and a tarte tatin served with a choice of fruit.  

As the winners, Nicole and Adam have both won lunch or dinner for two at a Michelin-starred restaurant of their choice. Judges praised their quality of work, attention to detail, passion and poise throughout the competition.

James Boyle, Managing Director of Restaurant Associates said: “Congratulations to the Culinary and Hospitality Skills Competition winners, they demonstrated passion and expertise to the judging panel flawlessly. This competition gets to the heart of what Restaurant Associates is all about; brilliant food and brilliant service delivered by our associates.”

Jason Atherton, Restaurant Associates’ consultant chef added: “What’s unique about this competition is that it brings front and back of house professionals together where they are judged equally. The level of talent I’ve seen today is really quite impressive.”

Adam Bateman, Chef of the Year, commented: “To be competing against other talented professionals in front of such an esteemed panel of judges has been a great test of my ability. I’m thrilled to receive this recognition and be part of such a great event.”


For more information:
Charlotte Mann Compass Group UK & Ireland
Tel:   01895 554459 | 07584 339367
Email: Charlotte.mann@compass-group.co.uk