Gather & Gather has crowned Kevin Murphy as its ‘Restaurant Chef of the Year’ and Laura Dent as its ‘Hospitality Chef of the Year’ at an event held at University College Birmingham last night. The final five from each category beat chef competitors from across the UK and Ireland in five regional heat competitions for a chance to impress the judges and win the coveted titles.
Competitors for Hospitality Chef of the Year had to design, prepare and present a three-course meal to a panel of judges including Michelin starred chefs Ollie Dabbous of Hide, London, and Brad Carter of Carters of Moseley, Birmingham. Laura’s winning main dish included Kerry Hill lamb loin and breast with potato terrine, paired with charred summer cabbage, garlic scapes and lamb jus.
Aspiring Restaurant Chef’s of the Year were required to produce a main dish as well as a bakery item to a panel of five Gather & Gather Executive Chefs led by Culinary Director and Food on the Edge Ambassador Mark Anderson. Kevin was the clear winner with his cauliflower shawarma on handmade flatbreads, as well as his sweet treat of sweet potato and maple millionaire oat squares.
As part of their prize, both winners will accompany Jose Pizarro, heralded as the Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK, on a two-day food trip to Seville, Spain. They also received premium MAC chef’s knives, bespoke chef shoes from Wearertech, a hamper of Belazu ingredients and glass trophies presented by Gather & Gather’s Managing Director, Allister Richards, and Jeremy Ford, Director of Food.
Also celebrating were Gather & Gather graduates from the Silver Chef Academy. The course saw 11 graduates complete 12 intensive training sessions, including performing chef demonstrations, hands on skills-based training as well as classroom-based sessions in order to gain their silver accreditation. Following this, all 11 graduates, reaching from Reading to Scotland, will be able to embark on the Gold Accreditation course.
Allister Richards, Managing Director, Gather & Gather said:
“This was a celebratory event showcasing the world class talent we boast at Gather & Gather. The passion and energy in the room just goes to show how important great food is to our chefs, suppliers and clients. I extend a huge congratulations to our winners Kevin Murphy, Laura Dent and our talented graduates from the Silver Chef Academy.”
Ollie Dabbous, Michelin Starred Chef and member of The Gathered Table, said:
“It was a privilege to judge a competition of this standard. The quality of dishes was very high, which made the decision difficult, however, the winners shone through with excellent execution and restraint.”
Notes to editors
Silver Chef Graduates
Jade Balding, Chef at Rolls Royce, Derby
Andrea Battiato, Commis Chef at Sky, Osterley
Matthew Buckland, Head Chef at Ford, Dunton
Vitor Estradas, Chef De Partie at Lloyds Banking Group, London
Shaun French, Head Chef at Ford, Dunton
Joshua Peter Gledhill, Chef De Partie at Primark, Reading
Darren Grant, Sous Chef at Standard Life House, Edinburgh
Alexander Hillam, Commis Chef at Sky, Osterley
Jon Milner, Sous Chef at Yorkshire Building Society, Bradford
Bernado Rodrigues, Commis Chef at Sky, Osterley
Jacqueline Smith, Chef at Rolls Royce, Derby
About Gather & Gather
Launched in April 2013, Gather & Gather offers restaurant, café, hospitality and event services to a range of clients across a broad spectrum of sectors including media, technology, legal, financial services and retail.
Employing 2,700 people, Gather & Gather has become one of the UK’s leading workplace catering experts, connecting customers to brilliant, on-trend food and drink, a market-leading wellness programme and an award-winning suite of technology. Gather & Gather received the maximum Three Stars in the SRA Sustainability Rating in 2018. Gather & Gather is part of Mitie Group plc.
Founded in 1987, Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. It offers a range of specialist services including Security, Engineering Services, Catering, Cleaning Landscaping, Energy and Property Consultancy, and Custody Support Services.
Mitie employs 54,000 people across the country, looking after a large, diverse, blue-chip customer base, from banks and retailers, to hospitals, schools and government offices. It takes care of its customers’ people and buildings, by delivering the basics brilliantly and by deploying advanced technology. It is pioneering the Connected Workspace, using smart analytics to provide valuable insight and deliver efficiencies to create outstanding work environments for customers.