BCF AWARDS NIGHT SUCCESS!
The 16th Annual Dinner and Awards Evening was held in the Ballroom at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham on Sunday 7th May, where the British Culinary Federation recognised some very talented people within the hospitality industry.
The event was hosted by Heart FM radio presenter Russ Morris, with awards presented by BBC Midlands TV newsreader Nick Owen. The evening was a huge success and brought together chefs, suppliers and industry professionals from all over the UK.
After an excellent Taittinger Champagne reception and some very enjoyable snacks, Chairman Lee Corke welcomed everyone and wished members and all their guests a very enjoyable evening.
Taittinger Champagne Reception
Cod Fish Cakes, Tartare Sauce
Goats Cheese and Truffle
Fried Chicken BBQ
Chilled Piccolo Tomato, Pepper, Extra Virgin Oil
Smoked Mackerel, Avocado, Pickled Blueberries, Brown Toast
Loin and Breast of Lamb, Green Pea, Feta, Mint
Cheese Parfait, La Roché Cracker, Muscat Grape
Valrhona Millot Crème Brûlée, Berriolette Cocoa Nib Nougatine
Coffee and Chocolates
Compere: Russ Morris
Awards host: BBC Newsreader Nick Owen
The British Culinary Federation wishes to acknowledge and thank all the industry sponsors of the awards and the many renowned chefs who put their restaurants forward for table prizes.
Champagne Kevin McKee, Family Taittinger
Table water Margaret Johnson, Wenlock spring
Wines Simon Stretch, Bidfood and Unity Wines
Cheese course Paul Murphy, Harvey & Brockless
Chocolate Petits Fours Andreas Antona, SOKO
Also, with sincere thanks to Culinary Director at the Grand Hotel, Adam Bateman
Eleven awards were presented this year to an array of talent from the industry.
Presentations were made by Chairman Lee Corke , Nick Owen and the sponsors.
PROMISING YOUNG CHEF AWARD
Sponsored By University College Birmingham
Presented by Kali Davidson Head of Department College of Food. The Johnnie Bora Memorial Trophy is presented to the most promising young chef under 25 years of age, working full-time in the industry and who has demonstrated outstanding talent and enthusiasm.
The winner this year was Jamie Macdonald of Absolute Taste. A very committed and focused young chef. He started his career as a pot-wash at a local pub and quickly excelled up the ranks, joining The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, receiving a promotion to Chef de Partie upon graduating with a distinction. He then went on to join the 3-Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck gaining invaluable experience, before joining the company he is with today.
For such a young chef, he has excelled in every challenge thrown his way, taking on interim management positions whenever available. His enthusiasm, hard work and skillset have seen him managing teams of up to 25 people and acting as Lead Chef for a number of high-profile events, including Silverstone and The Open at the Royal & Ancient. This includes creating menus based on client briefs and managing budgets of around £520k.
Jamie has continuously advocated for young chefs to join the event industry and is actively involved in recruitment drives to attract new talent, hosting student talks at Oxford Brookes College and Birmingham College of Food.
Alongside his work achievements, he has also excelled within England’s National Culinary Team, starting at Junior level and recently winning Bronze and Silver at the Culinary World Cup 2022 and now progressing to the Senior Team.
CHEF LECTURER /MENTOR OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by University of Cambridge
Presented by Chairman Lee Corke.The Ken Fraser MBE Memorial award is presented to a member working within the industry who trains, mentors and encourages young chefs to progress within their chosen profession.
The winner Professor Bernard Schumacher of University College Birmingham has been teaching for over 23 years, after spending many years in the hospitality industry, working in Michelin star restaurants to contract catering establishments.
He teaches Further and Higher Education students and works tirelessly to ensure that the students are taught to extremely high standards and are well supported throughout the curriculum. He always ensures that all his teaching methods are up-to-date and relevant within the industry today.
An exceptional lecturer who provides his students with more depth of life experiences relative to the industry’s needs of today. A humble person who keeps a very low profile, he has mentored many students to success in various competitions, including England’s National Junior Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010, where they achieved 2 silver medals and were placed 4th overall.
A keen competitor himself in the past and known as “The Ice Man”, well respected and admired by many in the industry,
BCF MEMBER AWARD
Sponsored by Caterfish
Presented by Managing Director Keith Smith The Robert J Smith Award is presented to anyone within the federation for their professionalism and dedication to the industry and their loyal support to the British Culinary Federation.
The winner was Rod Bowker a highly capable experienced Consultant Chef and Food & Beverage Executive with a sound knowledge of the International and National catering profession. His past Food & Beverage consultancy business specialised in Chef and Restaurant Training; Product Development; Recruitment and Concept Ideas, and attracted many clients.
He served a kitchen apprenticeship before moving through all the recognised ranks of the elite ‘partie’ system to the position of Head Chef, Executive Chef and eventually, Divisional Executive Chef in 4- & 5-star kitchens for a large international company. He attended culinary school at the renowned and elite “Ecole Lenotre”, Paris. Taking his career further he entered Food and Beverage management. He was responsible for the ‘red star’ project for Forte Hotels which involved him training chefs and implementing ‘red star’ standards in selected hotels within the Forte portfolio as well as the Michelin project of placing promising company chef candidates into various Michelin-starred restaurants around France.
Rod was awarded the prestigious “Maitrise Escoffier” medal by the Conseil Culinaire Francaise de Grande Bretagne. Currently overseeing the judging for Stadium Experience, he organises an experienced team of culinary professionals to assess the hospitality on offer.
RESTAURANT CHEF OF THE YEAR.
Sponsored by Aubrey Allen
Presented by Director Simon Smith The Louis Cipolla Award is presented for the greatest contribution to the profession by any hotel or restaurant Chef member within the British Culinary Federation.
This year’s winner of this award was Christophe Marleix Executive Chef of Cord by Le Cordon Bleu London who has worked at some of the best restaurants in France. He joined the restaurant in the spring of 2022, working incredibly hard to set up the business for its official opening in July that year. The restaurant has already received much recognition since then and Chef has been working extremely hard in continuing to raise its profile within the industry.
He heads a team of young chefs with most of the brigade being recent Le Cordon Bleu alumni. A very kind and patient chef, extremely dedicated in training young chefs, bringing with him years of experience from many renowned establishments, Christophe’s cuisine is light, contemporary and very respectful of seasonal ingredients.
COMPETITION CHEF OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Essential Cuisine
Presented by Emma Fordham Account Manager This award in the name of past Honorary member and Group Executive Chef of the NEC, Paul Gould OBE, is presented for highly recognised contributions to the competition arena across all sectors of the industry.
The winner was Adam Thomason MCA Culinary Director of Absolute Taste previously Executive Chef of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon before moving to his present role, he started his career at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains, spending three years there before moving to Copenhagen, Denmark to gain further experience at Michelin level. He has entered many competitions across the industry and gained his Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) in 2017.
As a seasoned competitor, he joined England’s National Culinary Team in 2019 in preparation for the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart 2020. This was his first
experience of competing abroad, with the team going on to win two Silver medals. On his return, he was appointed Team Captain and brought together a new squad, with the focus being on the Culinary World Cup, Luxembourg, held recently in November 2022.
The team did exceptionally well, winning Silver and Gold medals and placed 4th in the hot kitchen. Their main course, which he was responsible for, received the highest points out of all the teams.
Adam still finds the time to develop and grow the current team and his next challenge is to compete at the Culinary Olympics in 2024. He continues to show much commitment to the National Team, the BCF and the competition arena.
PROMISING YOUNG STUDENT
Sponsored by Lakeland Dairies
Presented by Nigel Austick Head of UK National Accounts. This award, in memory of past Chairman and Vice-President, Eric Bruce, who encouraged and mentored many young chefs to excel, is presented to any college student chef in full or part time attendance who has shown enthusiasm and commitment to his or her chosen profession.
This year’s winner Sabaya Tikamda a very focused young student who has for the past two years, studied at the College of Food, UCB Birmingham, maintaining 100% attendance. A young student, always willing to learn new skills with enthusiasm, his course work is often graded as exceptional in practical assessments. He has been able to utilise his practical skills and knowledge out in industry through his chosen placement at Fairlawn’s Hotel in Aldridge.
Sabaya shows the desire, passion and ability and is hungry to learn new processes. His willingness to work in a team and take on extra curriculum enrichments is evident to see. He continues to progress on his course with drive and an inspiring degree of enthusiasm and is popular with his contemporaries, who at times seek his council and approbation.
HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Sponsored by Liquid PR
Presented by Chief Operating Officer David Colcombe to any Hospitality Professional who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes and continues to deliver results.
The winner of this award Thomas Leatherbarrow Culinary Director of TLC Gourmet, started his career as a chef at a young age, worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and private catering. He was educated at Colchester Institute, Culinary Institute of America and Swiss Academy. He has achieved many accolades and awards throughout the industry along the way, particularly across the Pastry sector. Recently winning the coveted Business Elite Entrepreneur of the Year for under-40’s, he works tirelessly to ensure that the business operates successfully through all exploits to achieve the targets and growth of the brand and its strength globally.
Thomas’s own achievements, including 3 Masters degrees, speak for themselves throughout his career but it’s the legacy he has created that motivates his team which supports his vision and work. They give their all to help drive the business forward, taking massive inspiration from his experience and skill set. A great motivator of people, he offers the opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and experiences through food to help that ensure greatness can be achieved by all those who wish to do so.
UNIVERSITY CHEF AWARD
Sponsored by TUCO
Presented by Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Brown, The Leicester Services Partnership to Ashley Podges Senior Sous Chef University of Leicester.
From the quietness on campus due to the pandemic, to the hustle and bustle of bringing together a new team in a newly refurbished kitchen, and everything in between, this chef, who worked his way up from an Agency Chef, surpasses expectations when it comes to his role as a Senior Sous Chef.
Graduation 2022 was no mean feat with almost 7,000 students from 117 different countries graduating, 18 ceremonies in total taking place across 7 weekdays, overseeing the production of over 30,000 covers with 3 ceremonies held per day. Alongside the day-to-day business of producing dishes for 14 retail outlets across Campus, he was responsible for the menu development, execution and smooth running of the VIP two-course lunches, and the VIP light buffet refreshment stations that took place daily for the duration of the Graduation celebrations, as well as producing a Fine Dining VIP Dinner for 200.
Ashley was also responsible for setting up a new ordering system ‘Procure Wizard’, populating the database with menu recipes and making better business decisions on inventory management, through precise comprehension of the software and streamlining procurement.
Managing a team of 12 chefs, he pushes his brigade, puts his trust in them and never stifles their creativity. From time to time, he makes it a point to step out of the kitchen to be present at marketing taster campaigns, where he has led in adding specific dishes to menus, as well as working with external suppliers such as Quorn and Birds Eye for a newly adapted Veganuary campaign.
CONTRACT CATERER CHEF OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Wrapmaster
Presented by Regional Account Manager Stuart Andrews is Open to all Contract Catering Chefs in the UK who deliver excellence in their specific area.
The winner of this award Darren Edwards Executive Chef at Wellington College has been working for Sodexo in his present role since November 2018 and in his time, he has both stabilised and developed the catering operation.
During a recent audit, it was noted that not only is he incredibly committed, but also skilled and diverse. There are very few Executive Chefs who have such high focus on fine dining and high-volume catering. The team has received much praise from across the college population. Recently hosting the Sodexo Regional Leadership, many of the team commented on how fantastic the food was, stating it was some of the best within Sodexo, even to a better standard than the Good Eating Company visit!
He continues to be committed to and focused on the operation and has been incredibly proactive in recruitment. Whilst he has over 35 years catering experience, spending time at Reading University and within the RAF reservists on active duty, Darren continues to develop and has a very open customer centric approach, resulting in student feedback scores increasing during his tenure. A chef who is very passionate about pushing standards to the next level,
PASTRY CHEF AWARD
Sponsored By Town and Country Fine Foods
Presented by Clinton De Sousa of Town and Country Fine Foods. Tonight’s awardee Bharrat Chandegra is Head Pastry Chef/ Chocolatier at SOKO Patisserie and Artisan Chocolates providing chocolates and patisserie to the industry. He started his career at the College of Food, aged just 16, taking an interest in Patisserie and working in many establishments to enhance his career. Work experience took him to London, working at the RAC Club with Philip Corrick before moving to Rushden Hall Hotel & Spa, Northhamptonshire and Charles Napier in Oxford, amongst others. Bharat then moved to Resorts World at the NEC, Birmingham, holding the position of Pastry Chef for over four years.
A semi-finalist on the Great British Bake Off, The Professionals, he is a very collaborative chef, sharing his vast amount of knowledge and skills with junior members of his brigade. A specialist and Artiste in chocolate work, his attention to detail and commitment to the business is always outstanding.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sponsored by Contact
Presented by Managing Director Steve Goodliffe one of two awards the first recipient Stephen Scuffell
started his career as a 16-year-old apprentice chef at London's Four Seasons Hotel in conjunction with a block-release course at Westminster College.
He then moved to Jersey, working on the island for 9 years. Then on to Amsterdam, before returning to the UK as Head Chef at Sir Christopher Wren’s hotel in Windsor. Going on to work for Forte Hotels as Executive Chef at the Kensington Close Hotel in London, The Westbury in London and The Westbury, New York as well as The Diplomat Hotel in Bahrain, followed by The Forte Crest Hotel, Heathrow where he was appointed as the company's first Executive Food and Beverage Chef Manager.
He was offered a Franchise of one of the restaurants at the Forte Crest in Heathrow which he developed into a modern Mediterranean casual dining eatery called Tutto. Three more restaurants followed at Sunningdale, Chiswick and Pangbourne, running for 8 years before selling the brand in 2003.
During his 10 years with Forte Hotels, he also worked 3-month stages at Michelin 3-star Roger Verge and Michelle Guerard, along with stints at the George V (cinq) and Plaza Athene in Paris.
Stephen was then approached to head up the new build at the Moran Hotel Group’s first English Hotel, The Crown in Cricklewood, followed The Chiswick Moran, also looking after the Leeds and Manchester Hotels when Bewley's Hotels were acquired as a group.
He followed this with a teaching role at Central Bedfordshire College before moving onto his present role as Chef Ambassador for Gourmet classic where he has developed a unique range of allergen-free sauces and dressings for food service and retail.
Chair of the Vice-Presidents Council at the Craft Guild of Chefs, Chair of Judges in the Live Theatre at Salon Culinaire, HRC Show. A keen competitor both in the UK and overseas, he has raised funds for the British Heart Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Teenage Cancer Trust through Dinners, long distance walks and half marathons. Also, in conjunction with the NHS, he has run Summer Cookery Schools in Slough and Eton, teaching underprivileged children nutrition and basic cookery skills.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sponsored by Robinson’s Catering
The Second Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Dan Robinson Managing Director of Robinson’s Catering to BCF Vice President and past Chairman, Mark Houghton a chef who developed his career in the hospitality industry, working in both the private and public sectors, ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels to large, multi-site catering organisations.
Starting his career in four- and five-star hotels, working his way up in classical kitchens, before honing his skills under acclaimed Chef and Restaurateur Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, forming part of the team that achieved two Michelin stars, before moving to the famous Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire as Executive Chef.
He went on to work at The Great House Hotel in Sonning-on-Thames, where he discovered his love for the planning of kitchen refits and the opening of new restaurants, moving on to Brooks Hotel, Solihull and Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry, winning AA rosettes for both restaurants.
Mark then moved into the public sector to become Executive Chef of the University of Birmingham, heading up the in-house catering department with annual turnover of over £13 million. Responsible for all food production across the university campus, providing service for 35,000 students and 8,000 staff, ‘All Event’ catering, including catering for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, various politicians and foreign dignitaries.
At the University, he also managed the design, development and construction of a £3.5 million centralised production kitchen generating 45,000 meals per week. He facilitated the development of the hospitality delivered buffet and events division “Fresh Thinking”, transforming it from a business turning over just £30,000 per annum to one turning over more than £1.7 million.