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Compass chefs cook up a storm at culinary competition


Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, celebrated its annual Chef of the Year competition last week at The Restaurant Show, at Olympia in London.

Chefs from across the business applied to take part in the competition across three categories - apprentice, junior and senior chefs of the year.

The judging panel was made up of prestigious chefs including; celebrity chef, Brian Turner CBE; Director of Le Salon Culinaire, Peter Griffiths MBE; one of the founding partners of the Tanners Restaurant, Chris Tanner; and last year’s senior winner, Aaron Latham.

In the senior competition, the ten chefs were given just two hours to cook four courses. Daniel Lines from Restaurant Associates won the gold award, with Jamie Gibbs from ESS and 14forty taking silver and David Bryant from ESS and 14forty taking bronze.

The junior event celebrates young talent and saw ten competitors cook three courses in just one and a half hours. All awards were won by Restaurant Associates’ chefs - the gold by Maximilian Judges-Briggs, with Terry Baldwison taking the silver medal and Rebecca Allen taking third place.

Ten apprentices took part in the apprentice category – they were given forty minutes to cook one dish. Sophie White from Chartwells won the gold award, while Maria Teodora-Mazilu from Levy UK won silver and Silviya Karaivanova from Chartwells took the bronze.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director for Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “This competition showcases our people and the young talent in the junior and apprentice categories that we’ve got coming up through the ranks. This year has seen some exceptional dishes created. Congratulations to all those who competed and to those who took home medals.”

Sophie White, the apprentice chef winner commented: “I’ve been preparing for this competition for months and I’m over the moon to have won. My colleagues have been really supportive throughout this process and it’s been a great experience.”

David Simms, Culinary Director, Restaurant Associates added; “Our Restaurant Associates chefs worked hard to win these awards and we’re really proud of the commitment and talent they have shown. It’s been a long process, but all our work has clearly paid off. It’s grown our chef’s confidence and we’re now looking to other opportunities to showcase our talent.”

As well as the status of taking the gold awards in their categories, the junior and senior category winners will now travel to America, on a culinary journey visiting some of Compass America’s sites, eating in some of the best restaurants in the city, whilst also looking at culinary trends.



Gold award winner

Silver award winner

Bronze award winner


Daniel Lines

Restaurant Associates


Jamie Gibbs

ESS and 14forty

David Bryant

ESS and 14forty


Maximilian Judges-Briggs

Restaurant Associates

Terry Baldwison

Restaurant Associates

Rebecca Allen

Restaurant Associates


Sophie White


Maria Teodora-Mazilu

Levy UK

Silviya Karaivanova



Chris Garside, MD Compass Group UK & Ireland with the winners - Daniel Lines, Sophie White, Maximilian Judges-Briggs - and Donna Catley, HR Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland