Leanne Turk, Food Development Chef, Chartwells

Case Study

Leanne found her passion for cooking when working in her parent’s pub. Between the ages of 16-19 she attended Westminster Kingsway College and did a 3-year professional chefs diploma training in professional cookery, front of house and kitchen management. During this time, Leanne partook in work experiences at Le Gavroche, Locanda Locatelli and a restaurant in Gailllac in the south of France.

After college, Leanne initially worked at the 3 rosette Boxwood Café for Gordon Ramsay Holdings, but moved to fine dining at Goldman Sachs International and later, fine dining within Compass Group UK & Ireland. Leanne became a qualified NVQ assessor and obtained a Level 3 Award in Education and Training after several years with Babcock International Group as a Hospitality Vocational Assessor.

This background in training has allowed Leanne to progress within the business, she previously worked as the training and development chef where she also ran Chartwells’ ‘Creative Kitchen’ in Hounslow, an educational hub where students can take part in hands-on cookery sessions that go beyond the kitchen with assemblies, workshops and tutorials.

Leanne is now our Food Development Chef for Chartwells (Primaries, Secondaries and Academies). Her role as a Development Chef within Chartwells includes recipe development and creation, delivering innovation and being compliant to the School Food Standards. Leanne’s development includes sugar reduction in desserts for menus for the Compass Group 2020 Health & Wellbeing Strategy and more recently completely allergen free dishes on central menu to support pupils with allergens and intolerances.

Leanne says, “Being a chef for Compass Group is so rewarding as we support each other, share passions and work hard on achieving innovative food and excellence.”

She adds that “Women in Food is a fantastic platform to showcase the talented women in Compass who approach every day of work with passion, commitment and a hands-on approach to working with food. Compass has also encouraged my development by supporting me on an external course on health and nutrition to further highlight the work I do for Chartwells.”


Leanne is an Ambassador of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food programme, created to support the careers and development of our female chefs across the business.

Leanne Turk, Food Development Chef