Five diligent and inspirational chefs, who have given significant support to the Craft Guild of Chefs over the past 50 years, were recognised for their contribution to the association at a banquet to celebrate its golden anniversary last night.
The 50th anniversary celebratory banquet, which took place at the Underglobe directly beneath the Globe Theatre on London's Bankside, paid tribute to Steve Scuffell, Pauline Tucker, the late Winnie Myers, Ian Jaundoo and Giovanni Fontabasso. Each received a trophy and a personalised knife set courtesy of I O Shen, presented by the guild's patron the Countess of Wessex and Craft Guild national chairman Christopher Basten.
More than 250 guests made up of Craft Guild members and business partners attended the celebration, which included a "dine through the decades" five-course meal designed and prepared by a brigade of the guild's finest chefs. It comprised 1960s-inspired canapés, prawn cocktail, Babycham sorbet palate cleanser, shoulder of lamb with fondant potatoes and roast vegetables, and ‘egg and soldier' for dessert.
Basten said the banquet was a wonderful way to bring the guild's 50th anniversary celebrations to a close. "The night was fantastic, the chance for everyone to get together and celebrate the achievements of our association while having a bit of fun. The banquet itself went down a storm, and while the menu was simple, it reflected the last five decades to a ‘T'.
"We also had the opportunity to mark the many achievements of an incredible chef from the five decades the guild has been running. The late, great Winnie Myers is, sadly, no longer with us, however, we were delighted to have her two nieces there to collect her award."
The banquet was just one of the highlights of this year's 50th celebrations, marking a momentous milestone for the guild as the largest chefs' association in the UK, staunch supporter of education and the advancement of culinary art and science across all sectors.
The 50th anniversary awards winners
Steve Scuffell (award sponsored by Speciality Breads)
Pauline Tucker (award sponsored by Meiko UK)
Pauline Tucker can often be seen supporting large chef competitions. She joined what was then the CFA at just 16, and worked her way through the committee of management to become national chairman in 1994-1996. An active member both nationally and locally within the London division, she is still heavily involved in the administration of the Wessex Culinaire competition and, along with Steve Scuffell, heads up the guild's organisation of World Skills.
Winnie Myers (award sponsored by Bunzl Lockhart Catering Equipment)
After entering the industry in 1934, Winnie Myers devoted her life to cooking and being a member of the CFA and the Craft Guild. In her early career as a wren, she was posted to HMS Collingswood before going on to work at Greenwich Naval College, where she met Queen Mary. She was involved in preparing the Queen's silver wedding anniversary banquet in 1972. She joined the CFA in 1952 and the guild in 1975, and later became the first female to be elected onto the committee. While working at the House of Lords as head cook, a post she retained 26 years until her retirement at 61, she became the national chairman of the CFA. During her chairmanship, she visited the division in New Zealand and Australia.
Ian Jaundoo (award sponsored by Bidvest Foodservice)
Ian Jaundoo has been a keen supporter of the guild for many years, working within the education sector at Liverpool Community College, where he encourages each and every student to fulfil their every potential. Jaundoo, who still lectures today, was awarded a fellowship of the Craft Guild several years ago. He often hosts charity dinners in support of the Craft Guild and other charities. "His infectious smile and laugh always keeps everyone going during long hours in a kitchen."
Giovanni Fontabasso (award sponsored by British Premium Meats)
Giovanni Fontabasso came to England from Italy in 1960 and joined the CFA and Craft Guild in 1976. He worked at Trust Houses Forte, before moving to Gardner Merchant, where he stayed for 22 years. In 1986, he took on the role as catering manager at Charterhouse school, where he stayed until his retirement in 1996. A key player in the Surrey division of the CFA, he was instrumental in its success heading up the division many times. Elected onto the main committee, he was National Chairman from 1996 to 1998 and acted as senior trustee for many years. Even after retiring, Fontabasso still plays a major role in the activities of the guild as a vice president and supports the Rotary Club with food-related projects.