Executive Chef - Business & Industry | Compass Group

Executive Chef - Business & Industry, Sales & Retention

  • James Larkins

    Tell me about your career to date?

    It’s been quite a mix of contract catering, hospitality, restaurants and hotels. I have worked at the Leander Club, Henley on Thames, a private members club, which was home to rowing legends such as Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pincent. I also led the team at the Monkey Island Hotel, Bray on Thames as the Executive Chef where we earnt Rosettes for our food. Along the way I have also been involved with looking after the hospitality and banqueting at Silverstone during the F1 races, not to forget time at Wembley Stadium and at Arsenal’s football stadium (not that I am an Arsenal fan!).

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

    IYes without a doubt, having supported Wandsworth Young Chef of the Year and various Springboard events it so important to give back to the industry to encourage the next generation of chefs along with mentoring our own apprentices.

    What do you love most about being a chef?

    Get to play with delicious food all day!

  • "I have had so many during my career from achieving my Batchelor of Science in International Culinary Arts to more recently achieving a bronze medal at the World Culinary Olympics."

  • "Scallops – I am a big fan! I love them with a sweet red onion marmalade, hot wild mushroom salad, and sweet cherry tomato & sherry dressing to finish."

  • "Contract catering has changed significantly in recent years, standards are now incredibly high, so you are still challenged as a chef and as a result we now successfully compete with the private sector.  I have found that contract catering gives you a greater freedom to develop and experiment with different dishes."