More than 200 high-profile guests from across the hospitality and catering industry came together at the first-ever Chef Mentor Awards to recognise the most inspiring mentors in the sector.
Held at Celtic Manor, leaders from restaurant, hotel, catering and education establishments celebrated individuals who have trained, nurtured and inspired chefs in kitchens across the UK.
The awards, a pre-cursor to H&C EXPO, an event designed to help future-proof the industry, is the first of its type for the sector.
Winners included Albert Roux OBE who was awarded the special Peter Hazzard Award for his lifelong commitment to the training and development of chefs who have now become leading names in the industry.
The winning chefs were made up of individuals from all major sectors of the hospitality industry.
The full list of winners is below:
Best Restaurant Chef Mentor, in association with EquipLine: Gerry Sharkey, La Bonne Auberge
(Highly Commended: Chris O’Callaghan, Castle Dairy)
Best Hotel Chef Mentor, in association with McVitie’s: Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park
Best Contract Catering Chef Mentor, in association with Hope & Glory Tea: Colin Gray, Capital Cuisine
Best Care Home Chef Mentor, in association with Dakshas Gourmet Catering: Kelly Gavriliuc, Elior UK
Best School Chef Mentor, in association with Royal Academy of Culinary Arts: Gareth Billington
Best College Chef Mentor, in association with Foxes Academy: Mandy Prince, Vision West Nottinghamshire College
Best University Chef Mentor, in association with AURES Technologies: Anthony Wright, University College Birmingham
The Rising Star Chef Mentor, in association with Cambrian Training: Leon Seraphin, Beyond Food CIC
(Highly Commended: Hrishikesh Desai)
The Peter Hazzard Award, in association with The Todiwala Foundation: Albert Roux OBE
There were also special mentions for Michael Burke from The Sheffield College for his extensive tenure of motivating and mentoring young chefs across an extensive teaching career; Murray Chapman from First Contact – Murray is not a chef but was commended for his indefatigable energy when supporting colleges, students and chefs; and Hrishikesh Desai from Gilpin Hotel & Lake House for inspiring his teams to achieve beyond their expectations.
Cyrus Todiwala, OBE, chair of judges, said: “We’d like to congratulate all the winners in what was an incredibly difficult competition to judge.
“Every single one of the chefs who were nominated have given so much to the industry and have helped us continue to be one of the most significant contributors to the UK economy.
“All the mentors deserve recognition and we’d like to express our sincere thanks for all they do.
“Our industry is built on the talent, hard work and total commitment to development of many of our winners tonight.”
Mark Harris, event director, H&C EXPO, added: “We are delighted for all of the winners and finalists at our first Chef Mentor Awards.
“When we first discussed the idea with Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, we knew that there was a real opportunity to shine a light on so many of the people who make the industry what it is.
“We are pleased that we’ve been able to create a new platform for them to be recognised and we cannot wait for next year’s competition already.”