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Women in Food Ambassador series: Rashida Spyriades, Pastry Chef, Restaurant Associates

Case Study

Rashida works as a pastry chef for Restaurant Associates, the Executive Dining Division of Compass Group UK & Ireland. She has been working for the business since 2010 and has created desserts for various high profile clients, events and guests.

Rashida began her career as an apprentice in 2004 and started gaining a range of experience working in busy kitchens catering for banquets. Rashida has always been passionate about pastry and loves creating desserts and cakes so after completing college, working in various kitchens and building up her skills, Rashida began working as a pastry chef and quickly progressed to a chef de partie. Following six years in the hotel restaurant sector, Rashida wanted a new challenge and took up a role as a pastry chef for Restaurant Associates.

In 2012, Rashida went on to have a baby boy and was on maternity leave for a year. After returning to work on a full time basis for a couple of years, Rashida decided to work flexible hours and says she received full support from her management team throughout this process and now as she juggles her work and family life. Rashida is now looking forward to the arrival of her second child and will shortly be going on maternity leave.

On Women in Food:

Women in Food is a forward-thinking initiative to encourage women of all ages to look at catering as a viable career option. Women have a lot to offer in the kitchen - I would love to see more examples of women from all backgrounds thriving in this industry and it is important for all women to have the right support in place so they can overcome any hurdles that they may face on their journey to success. I also think it is important to have informal networking events where new starters can meet other women in the company to gain connections.

On Compass Group UK & Ireland:

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Compass, having been able to cater at offices, events and for a wide variety of guests. I’m really excited to support the Women in Food scheme and I feel my role as an ambassador is to set an example. I want to show others that if you are passionate about what you do and hardworking it is possible to strike a balance between motherhood and having a career. I also believe the ‘Maternity, Adoption & Shared Parental Leave Pack’ that Compass has now launched is fantastic. It's empathetic yet very informative. It is great to know that expecting and new parents are able to benefit from an incredibly helpful guide to help them prepare for maternity leave and for when they return to work.


Rashida is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food Ambassador programme which aims to support the needs of female chefs and was formed following the launch of the business’ ‘Women in Food’ initiative.


Rashida Spyriades