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Gemma Evans, Executive Chef at Chartwells

Case Study

Gemma has been with Compass for just over nine years, initially joining as a Sous Chef then within 18 months, progressing to Head Chef before stepping into her current role of Executive Chef in 2011.

Gemma’s culinary journey started at Westminster Kingsway College where she trained for three years. She still credits her lecturer as being an inspirational mentor who helped guide and nurture her dream of becoming a chef. Working at the highest of levels and under some prestigious names such as Aldo Zilli, the legendary Italian chef, Gemma was working at the famous Petrus restaurant when it received its second Michelin Star.

Highly competitive by nature, Gemma has relished competing in the last two World Culinary Olympics, helping to lead the way and inspire female chefs to reach their potential. At Erfurt in 2012, she won gold whilst in 2016 she picked up a bronze medal, both times competing as the only female chef in the team. Most recently at the Culinary World Cup - EXPOGAST 2018 Luxembourg in November, Gemma was part of the Compass team that impressively scooped over 20 medals between them.

On Women in Food:
“I sit on the Women in Food board which allows me the ability to provide valuable insight into the industry from a female chef’s perspective. I’m also honoured to co-chair our Woman in Food Ambassador Programme, where we aim to encourage people into this amazing industry as well as supporting the successful career pathways of our female chefs.”

On Compass Group UK & Ireland:
“It’s great that I can call myself part of the Compass ‘Culinary Family’. I’ve had some amazing mentors who have encouraged me to push my culinary boundaries and embrace the great opportunities on offer here. I'm very proud to work for Chartwells, the specialist provider of catering to the education sector where I work on their dedicated health and wellbeing programme ‘Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen’, which was launched in September 2018.

We deliver curriculum tailored events to young people, teachers and communities which include tackling issues like childhood obesity, mental health and lack of exercise through face to face workshops and interactive activities. It’s such a privilege and I find it hugely rewarding”.


Gemma 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.

Gemma Evans, Executive Chef, Chartwells