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Compass Group UK & Ireland apprentice chef wins at Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards


Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, is celebrating after one of its apprentice chefs won the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs graduate award.

Eleanor De Maria, from Eurest, was recognised for passing the Craft Guild of Chefs’ challenging graduate award and first pastry graduate awards final exam during a ceremony on Tuesday, September 6, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. This achievement follows on from Eleanor’s recent win of the Apprentice Chef award at the annual Craft Guild of Chefs award ceremony in June.

To pass the exam chefs had to achieve a mark of 85% or above in a series of challenges. This included a multiple choice paper test, a pork belly butchery task, poaching lobster and then creating Lobster Newburg, roasting pork, making a classic Gateaux Fraisier and planning and cooking their own dish using a mystery basket of ingredients.

Eleanor said: “I feel very proud and humbled to have passed the graduate award and join the graduate hall of fame which only 48 chefs have ever passed. It was a challenging round of tasks for which I had to prepare for, I received help from Nigel Frederick's in a one to one lesson on butchery and had so much support from my colleagues and chef mentor Nick Vadis.

“During this process I learnt many new skills and met some great chefs my own age, we all offered each other support because we were all in it together and weren't competing against one another. The other graduates and I are going on a fishing trip to Gloucester with the Craft Guild as a treat which I am thoroughly looking forward to. This has been my favourite competition to take part in during my career so far because it is rewarding in more ways than one and I couldn't have passed without the encouragement and support from Compass and the Craft Guild.”

Nick Vadis, UK Executive Chef at Compass Group UK & Ireland, added: “Congratulations to Eleanor for achieving such a significant award from the Craft Guild of Chefs. It is excellent that she has been recognised by the prestigious board twice in one year. Eleanor is a great apprentice and has gone from strength to strength during her time at Compass Group UK & Ireland and I believe she is on the way to building a great career ahead of her.”

Established in 1965 as a Guild of the Cookery and Food Association, the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed into the leading Chefs’ Association in the UK and has many members worldwide. The Graduate Awards were founded in 2002 by Vice-President, Steve Munkley, who saw a real need in the industry for providing formal recognition of young chefs’ culinary excellence.


Eleanor De Maria – Background
Eleanor started her career as an apprentice at Chelsea FC in 2012, she was then selected to work alongside Jason Atherton on a number of events. Since then, Eleanor has completed her apprenticeship, been promoted to a new role at the Compass Group Innovation Centre and is now embarking on an advanced apprenticeship Level 3. Overall, Eleanor has excelled in culinary competitions, supported events and helped raise awareness to other young people about the opportunities within the catering industry. Eleanor has shown her culinary talents during the Brit Awards, the 50 years’ celebration of BT Tower and Feeding Britain’s Future. In 2015, she won a People First regional award for intermediate Apprentice Hospitality.

For more information contact:
UK Communications Team
Compass Group UK & Ireland
01895 554 999


Eleanor De Maria wins at Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards