The winners of the Compass Group UK & Ireland Chef of the Year Awards 2016 have been revealed.
Hundreds of chefs from across the company applied to take part and were whittled down to 24 competitors across three categories: Apprentice, Junior and Senior Chefs.
In the senior competition, David Mahoney (pictured) from Compass Ireland took gold, while Chris MacLeod from ESS won silver and Aaron Latham from Chartwells took bronze.
Mahoney's victory marked the first time a competitor from Compass Ireland has won since 2007.
The competitors were judged by Brian Turner, Peter Griffiths, Andreas Antona of Simpsons and the Cross, Omera Gallucci and last year's Chef of the Year winner James Hart.
Mahoney said: "I'm over the moon to have won. Chef of the Year was the first competition I have entered, so going into the day I was a bundle of nerves. In addition, you have to get used to cooking in a new kitchen and dealing with the pressure. So to be chosen by such a prestigious selection of judges as the winner is a brilliant feeling and one I will cherish for a long time."
The junior competition saw Ryan O'Connor from ESS win gold, while Faye de Souza from Restaurant Associates took the silver award and Katrina Walcroft from ESS walked away with bronze.
Patrick Kane from Chartwells won gold in the apprentice award, while Molly Horne from Compass House and Luke Maloney from ESS took the silver and bronze awards respectively.
Nick Vadis, culinary director for Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: "Chef of the Year is an event I look forward to every year as I love the opportunity it gives to showcase the amazing culinary talent we have in the company. From the apprentice chefs cooking in their first competitions to the senior chefs, the standard of food was exceptional. Everyone who participated deserves huge praise for cooking with such skill and also being exemplary ambassadors for Compass."
The gold winners for the Junior and Senior Chef of the Year titles will get to visit some of Compass' sites in the US next year
Compass employs more than 4,300 chefs.
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