Contract caterer Elior celebrated its top employees at the company's 13th annual Excellence Awards ceremony yesterday (29 March), held at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London.
The awards were hosted by football legend Gary Lineker and recognised the achievements of individuals from across Elior's UK business.
The audience-voted You Made a Difference award recognised exceptional customer service, and was awarded to John Reid, deputy general manager of Glasgow Rangers F.C., who offered his own wedding ring to a couple on their wedding day after their rings went missing. Jade Mustafa (pictured), hospitality and events manager of London South Bank University, won Site Colleague of the Year.
Stuart Tarff, pastry chef at London Business School, also won Elior's Culinary Competition. Tarff and two other finalists, David Brett-Lavelle and James Birch, catered a three-course meal for the 200 event attendees, with Tarff crowned the overall winner on the day.
Brett-Lavelle, sous chef at EE Hatfield, served a starter of textures of beetroot with goat's cheese tempura and walnut crumb. Tarff's main course was roasted cannon of lamb and braised shank éclair with Montgomery cheddar, heritage carrots and celeriac, and a vegetarian option of oven-roasted celeriac with gratinated éclair, braised Quorn and heritage carrots. The head chef at the Body Shop in Littlehampton, James Birch, offered up a dessert of chocolate ganache with vanilla-poached pear and orange palmier.
The nomination process took place June to September last year, resulting in more than 4,000 nominations across the business, 33 finalists chosen to attend the awards ceremony, and 11 winners announced on the day. The winners will be treated with a trip to Vietnam which will include visits to Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Tra Que vegetable village, the Cu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta.
Arran McDowell, HR director at Elior UK, said: "[The Awards] are all about recognising the hard work, dedication and talent of our colleagues across the business, and importantly, each of our finalists has been nominated, and voted for, by their peers."
The winners were:
• Customer Service Award: Gulshon Dadral, general manager, Whipps Cross Hospital
• Star Site: AJ Bell Stadium, Manchester
• Chef Award: Rob Neary, executive chef, Bank of England, London
• Culinary Competition: Stuart Tarff, pastry chef, London Business School
• Special Recognition: Matt Jennings, learning and development manager at Elior
• eXperience Service Champion: Sylwia Szpyra, front of house supervisor, Inmarsat, London
• Apprentice of the Year: Kieran Wight, exclusive chef, BT Murrayfield
• Support Services Colleague of the Year: Craig Stewart, operations manager, Stadia, at Elior
• Manager of the Year: Amanda Gunn, group manager, Nottingham University Hospitals
• You Made A Difference: John Reid, deputy general manager, Glasgow Rangers F.C.
• Site Colleague of the Year: Jade Mustafa, hospitality and events manager, London South Bank University
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