Sous chef, Lexington Catering
Nominator Rob Kirby
Louise Roberts joined the Lex School of Talent in 2011. After finishing the programme, she secured a role as a commis chef in a hospitality kitchen with BLP, employing 1,000 people, working within a team of six. She has gone on to secure roles as chef de partie, junior sous chef and now hospitality sous chef at a major city law firm, catering to over 1,500 people. She supervises all sections of the kitchen and is responsible for producing consistently high-standard food across 42 dining rooms, seven days a week, ranging from breakfast to à la carte and bespoke dining.
She thrives on helping to promote others and has helped her kitchen porter and commis chef to secure advancement. She inspires young people and supports the ongoing talent pipeline at Lexington Catering by promoting the Lex School of Talent.
Do you think the hospitality industry could be more sustainable? Not just in terms of plastics and waste but in terms of careers and diversity, training and growth?
While we do our best to operate with as small an environmental footprint as possible as an industry, we can always do more. This ranges from using seasonal produce and reducing food waste to cutting legislative red tape. I feel strongly about the increasing level of homelessness and not being able to donate any food surplus we have. There is still a large amount of food waste that can't be used when thousands of people could benefit from it.
Who is your hospitality hero?
My hospitality hero is Clare Smyth as an award-winning woman in our industry. After being told when I first started training that, because I'm a woman, I was allowed only to be a pastry chef, I have looked to Clare as inspiration for what strong, talented women can achieve.