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Women in Food Ambassador series: Molly Horne, Apprentice Chef, Compass Group UK & Ireland


Molly started off as one of our youngest apprentices and is an excellent ambassador for what the Compass apprenticeship scheme can offer.

She was first introduced to the business after doing work experience, at the age of 14, at Compass’ headquarters in Chertsey. Through showing a willingness to learn and a desire to progress, Molly impressed many of the chefs, including Culinary Director Nick Vadis. The two stayed in touch afterwards and when Molly finished school she knew her passions lied away from further education, instead leading her more towards becoming a Compass chef.

As she enjoyed her experience at Chertsey prior to joining the company so much, Molly entered the business in the same kitchen. Through her time at the site Molly has continually developed her skills, particularly in aspects of service, while also working on innovation ideas for new brand Caffé Dallucci including creating delicious sandwiches and box salads.

Molly recently completed her Level 1 stage of the three year apprenticeship. She is accompanied in the kitchen at Chertsey by two other apprentices, doing their Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship years, who help her with her development as well as her head-chef and mentor Sam Jones.

Another special part of the Chertsey kitchen is the fact that four of the eight chefs are women, showing a move away from the stereotypical view of a male dominant kitchen, and symbolising our pledge to make all our kitchens 50% female by 2020.

On Women in Food:

“I think it is important to have a good balance of men and women in the kitchen and I believe Women in Food is a great initiative to support this. The scheme also encourages more women to come into the industry by showing the benefits of contract catering and it is a great way to support the development of female chefs. I’m also excited to be involved in the Women in Food Ambassador programme so that I can share my experiences as an apprentice with others who may be considering a career as a chef.”

On Compass Group UK & Ireland:

“Compass has really supported me through my apprenticeship and my development as a chef. I have been able to develop my skills and I’m looking forward to building my career as a chef. “

Molly is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food Ambassador programme which aims to support the needs of female chefs and was formed following the launch of the business’ ‘Women in Food’ initiative.

Molly Horne