The top 10 finalists have been decided in the 2018 search for the Kitchen Porter of the Year, a competition organised by The Caterer in association and partnership with warewash manufacturer Winterhalter.
Now in its sixth year, the competition has gone from strength to strength and is the only annual competition in the industry to recognise and celebrate the back-breaking work that KPs do in our kitchens.
The top 10 finalists are:
• Suhail Ahmed, Social Pantry, London
• David Bingham, Middletons Hotel York, House of Daniel Thwaites
• Martyn Dickers, Cardiff Marriott Hotel, Cardiff
• Adrian Fairweather, Chewton Glen Hotel, Hampshire
• David Gadsby, BaxterStorey, London
• Hedley Kent, The Headland Hotel, Cornwall
• Henryk Miekina, The Cavendish, London
• Alexs Riitmaa, Crathorne Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire
• Rafal Szynwelski, Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire
• Mohammed Wi Wakili, The Goring, London
The judges were looking for kitchen porters who demonstrated that they were going above and beyond their day job, with good integration within the front of house and kitchen teams and evidence of ‘going the extra mile’ commitment to their roles and sheer endurance.
Judge James Horler, chief executive of Ego Restaurants, director of Patisserie Valerie, Ping Pong and Cartwheel Recruitment, who started his career as a KP said: “This competition gets more difficult to judge every year, and we had more than ever this year with over 100 entries to review.”
Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK, was delighted with the continued response to the competition and added: “The calibre of entries continues to be outstanding and our Top 10 must truly be representative of the best of the best KP’s in the country.”
The brainchild of Winterhalter UK, the KP of the Year competition launched in 2013 to recognise kitchen porters working in restaurants, pubs, schools, contract caterers and hotels across the country.
The judging panel consists of: Lisa Jenkins, products and suppliers editor, The Caterer (chair); James Horler; Richard Davies; Anne Pierce, chief executive of Springboard UK; Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive of the of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts; Hayden Groves, executive chef, BaxterStorey; Brian Hannon, co-founder and director of Super 8 Restaurants – owners of Kiln in Soho, Smoking Goat and Brat in Shoreditch; Mark Surguy, hotel manager, The Stafford, London and Stephen Kinkead, managing director, Winterhalter UK.
The 2018 KP of the Year prize includes £1,000 cash for the individual winning KP and a celebratory meal for the KP and their friends and family in a casual-dining restaurant of their choice. The winner’s place of work will win a prize too, in the shape of one of Winterhalter’s warewash products worth up to £8,000.
Further results will follow with the overall winner of the 2018 KP of the Year competition revealed in October.
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