With a prize package that includes the coveted KP of the Year trophy, a piece of Winterhalter kit worth up to £8,000 for the winning KP's employer and £1,000 cash and a celebratory meal with friends and family in a casual-dining restaurant of the KP's choice, the competition is open all sectors of the industry.
Organised by The Caterer, in partnership with warewash specialist Winterhalter, the competition has gone from strength to strength over the last six years, attracting hundreds of entries for the ultimate crown of KP of the Year.
Aleks Riitmaa from Hand Picked Hotels' Crathorne Hall in North Yorkshire was the 2018 Kitchen Porter of the Year. Riitmaa was praised for his loyalty to his team, having been with Crathorne Hall for 12 years.
Elizabeth Raine, general manager at Crathorne Hall, said: "It was great to be able to share the news that Aleks had been shortlisted and then even more enjoyable to celebrate him winning! It was a great morale boost for the Crathorne team."
His manager Alan Robinson, executive head chef of Crathorne Hall, added: "Aleks does so many thoughtful things for the team in the kitchen and back of house. He inspires others and knows everyone's names. He hand scrubs areas of the kitchen other KPs don't even know about!"
Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK, said: "The quality and quantity of entries improves annually, and we were completely overwhelmed last year. The hardest part of our judging day is getting a top 10, but Aleks shone through as a winner from the start!"
The brainchild of Winterhalter UK, the KP of the Year competition launched in 2013 to recognise kitchen porters working in restaurants, pubs, schools, contract catering and hotels across the country.
The judges look for kitchen porters who demonstrate that they are 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".
Every kitchen porter entered will receive a KP of the Year bespoke Oliver Hardy apron from Winterhalter UK and highly commended finalists (if chosen) will also receive a cash prize.
For more information on the competition including pictures and comments from past winners, visit Winterhalter's dedicated KP of the year website.