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Culinary Director - Compass Group UK & Ireland

"Cooking has always been my passion and after being pushed into a career as a helicopter air mechanic, I quickly realised I needed to pursue my dream and started training in culinary arts at the Royal Naval Supply School and the Army School of Catering."

Nick Vadis

After years of cooking around the world in the Navy, I went on to combine teaching and cooking and took a role at the Tri-Service School of Craft Training, whilst also studying a Bachelor of Arts in education. I then went onto become Head of Cookery Training for the New Royal Naval Cookery School.

I left the Navy in 1999 and worked with Cambridge University, setting up a training and conference facility. In 2001 I joined Compass Group UK & Ireland, as Executive Chef at British Airways and in 2007 was appointed to UK Executive Chef.

Why did you choose contract catering?

Being from the military I was used to structure and being part of a large organisation. Compass Group UK & Ireland has a great structure as a large business.

Our culinary apprentices are a huge part of our business. Does it make you proud to see the young generations coming through the ranks?

Seeing our apprentices succeed is so rewarding. It’s an amazing feeling to give something back to new talent.


"Coaching the English national team to win the Culinary Olympics."

"It’s a big company, but it feels like a small company – all working together to create amazing food and experiences."

"Anything with fresh fish, it’s intricate and delicate, which makes it really challenging. "