Chefs from across the Compass Group UK & Ireland business joined together for the company’s annual Compass Chef of the Year (CCOTY) competitions, yesterday. Held at a Cookery School, in Winchester, the contest shows off the company’s best-in-class culinary talent with an opportunity for learning, development and networking.
In the Senior Chef of the Year category Gary Wolfe, from Restaurant Associates received gold, followed by Bruce Morrison from ESS Energy who took home silver and Izabela Ginter, ESS Energy was awarded bronze.
George Charles-Pulfer from Restaurant Associates won the overall Young Chef category, taking gold. Silver went to Aga Bernaciak of Restaurant Associates and bronze to Isabel Cureton, ESS Defence.
Finalists in the Senior Chef of the Year category prepared three dishes in just over two hours. The winning courses that were prepared by Gary, included a delicious Tartlet of artichokes; Dayboat Southcoast Turbot; and Norfolk Royal Russet Apple Pie.
The Young Chef of the Year competitors (chefs to the level of Chef de Partie), were required to prepare two dishes - a starter and a main course in two hours. Judges were wowed by George’s dishes of leek, yeast and cashew starter, followed by Herdwick lamb and carrot.
For participants to make it into the final, they have either been selected or have taken part in heats. The process is judged on several factors including the sustainability of menus, including seasonality and keeping waste to a minimum, with competitors tasked to produce one plant-based course.
The chefs were judged by National Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Matt Owens; Chef Consultant, Simon Stocker; Head of Ingredients and Workplace Managed menus, Foodbuy UK, Bob Brown; and Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, Nick Vadis.
The Senior Chef winner, Gary Wolfe said: “The Compass Chef of the Year competition has been a brilliant process to be involved in and I have learnt a lot on this journey. It’s a huge honour to win this award, thank you so much to the team for their support.”
Nick Vadis, Compass Group UK & Ireland Culinary Director said: “Every year I am bowled over by our amazing chefs. They show dedication, creativity and skill. They are mentored by others within the business and throughout the process I watch them grow and develop. It’s been a great day – a massive well done to everyone involved.”