Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, is celebrating after some of its best chefs have returned from the World Culinary Olympics victorious with 10 awards, including a Gold for Team England for the first time.
The 24th edition of the global culinary contest, held between 22 and 25 October, saw 40 nations and over 2,000 professional chefs competing in Erfurt, Germany.
Altogether, 13 Compass chefs joined the cream of the crop as they showcased their talents during the four-day cook off. An amazing, 50% of the 10-strong England team was made up of Compass chefs as well as nine taking part as individuals. The individual chefs’ contingent, headed up by Richard Bowden, Executive Chef for Local Authorities in Chartwells, came away with eight awards including six bronze medals, one silver and one diploma.
For the first time the English National team, supported by the British Culinary Federation, was heavily represented by chefs from the foodservice industry, demonstrating how the skills and talents are being developed in the sector. The team was coached by Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, who also competed in the contest and was captained by Simon Webb, a head chef at Restaurant Associates, the fine-dining division of Compass. The team won gold in the Hot Kitchen and bronze for the Cold Table.
During the competition, national teams took part in two disciplines. The first was a 110-cover hot kitchen event with food served in the Restaurant of Nations where each team prepared a three-course meal focusing on their national specialist food. The second was a cold presentation buffet where both national teams and individual chefs competed over a series of days, creating a range of dishes across a variety of categories.
Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I am exceptionally proud of all of our chefs that took part in the competition. This is a great result for us and to have won gold for the first time is an outstanding achievement for our chefs and the rest of the English National Team. Competing on a global level and coming away with numerous awards is a testament to the great skills, passion and talent our chefs have at Compass. I would like to thank all those who supported us, especially Compass, the British Culinary Federation, our sponsors and suppliers.”
Richard Bowden, Executive Chef for Learning Authorities in Chartwells, added: “The Culinary Olympics has been a great competition for our chefs and it is an amazing achievement to have come away with an array of awards. It has been an excellent contest giving our chefs across the business the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on a global platform. Well done to all winners.”