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Compass chefs honoured at Craft Guild of Chefs Awards


Four Compass Group UK & Ireland chefs have been honoured at this year’s prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Awards - known as the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. The Compass winners were -

  • Scott Freeman, Culinary Director for ESS Defence, Marine & Aerospace - Public Sector Catering Chef Award
  • Wayne Corbett, an Executive Chef for 14forty - Contract Catering Chef Award
  • Ian Page, Executive Chef for Payne & Gunter - Banqueting & Events Chef Award
  • Darren Passmore, Executive Head Chef within Restaurant Associates – Culinary Hero

The event took place on 1st June at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London. The highly coveted awards celebrate and honour exceptional talent spanning the entire industry.

The Public Sector Catering Chef Award went to Scott Freeman. After cooking his way round the world in his early career, Scott later went on to teach in hospitality education. He started working with Compass to develop its Chef Apprenticeship Academy and has since taken on a role as Executive Chef for ESS Government Services, going on to be promoted to Culinary Director for ESS Defence, Marine & Aerospace. He was recognised for not only leading the culinary direction of this sector, but also his notable charity work and supporting more junior chefs through apprenticeships.

The Contract Catering Chef Award was handed to Wayne Corbett, an Executive Chef for 14forty. Starting out as an apprentice, Wayne’s 20-year career has seen him progress through the ranks. Wayne has been overseeing catering services across six client sites, managing menu planning, foodservice presentation, ordering, waste management and team training. Wayne truly shone during the pandemic, when despite the challenges posed, he adapted operations to provide 24/7 catering to his client.

Payne and Gunter’s, Ian Page, was awarded the Banqueting & Events Chef Award. When he first joined P&G in 2022, he hit the ground running, working on a £1.6million event alongside Jason Atherton within his first ten days. Since then, he hasn’t stopped delivering outstanding food and service to customers at stand out events – even catering for the Royal family. Ian also acts as the Young Chef Ambassador for the Craft Guild of Chefs, mentoring others to help them thrive.

Darren Passmore, an Executive Head Chef within Restaurant Associates was named Culinary Hero – an award voted for by peers within the industry. Having been in the army for 27 years, Darren has cooked all over the world in some of the most challenging environments. He then moved to Compass to take on a role within healthcare and is now working in Restaurant Associates. He is passionate about the transformative power of food and uses it to improve lives. Darren also runs Rustic Rhubarb and teaches cookery skills to people with learning difficulties in his spare time.  

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director of Compass Group UK & Ireland and chef ambassador to the NHS Supply chain: “Our chefs are what makes us special and we are lucky to have so many within our business that demonstrate quality, experience, dedication and passion. These awards have recognised four of our very best – a huge congratulations to Scott, Wayne, Darren and Ian. They work tirelessly each day and are a true inspiration to our sector.”

Compass Group UK & Ireland also had several others shortlisted for the awards –

  • David Hearn, Chef Manager - ESS Energy – Contract Catering Chef Award
  • Ben Crocker, Pastry Chef - Levy UK+I – Pastry Chef Award
  • Tony Murphy, Executive Chef – ESS Government Services – Public Sector Catering Chef Award
Wayne, Ian, Scott and Darren win at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards