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Relief Sous Chef for the South West

"I feel as more women are coming into the kitchen attitudes and strict hierarchies are changing, and I’m keen to be part of that change!”

- Katie Smith - Relief Sous Chef for the South West 

Katie Smith

After college, I joined Compass in 2017. I worked in government services then transferred to defence as a relief sous chef for the south west.

I worked as a kitchen porter, moving up the brigade before being offered the Hestia role. I was told by my Line Manager I would be a “guinea pig” to see if it was something Compass could roll out across the estate. 

My aim is to become the first female Executive Chef within Compass by the age of 24. 

In 2019 I received a bronze award at Junior Chef of the Year. I produced a baked heritage tomato and goats’ cheese tartine.


What made you want to be a chef?

At school I enjoyed cookery. I’m an energetic person and felt drawn to a life in the kitchen. I love being a chef because you have the opportunity to be creative and experiment. I thrive on the environment I work in and enjoy coming to work each and every day. 

What is the next big challenge for you?

I’m always working on myself as a chef. Along with VIP dinners, I will be also be working at the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show at Excel London (formerly Hotelympia) in March. I’m hoping to create a new favourite dish that can be used at future events – watch this space!

#WomenInFood Chef Katie Smith