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At a time when companies are struggling to retain staff, judges singled out this year's Food Service Caterer of the Year winner as a fantastic motivator of people who puts a great emphasis on training and stability.
One judge, and competitor, said: "He's the quiet, genuine guy who makes the training happen. He's innovative with his staff - particularly with chefs, taking them, for example, to workshops at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant."
Smith has spent his entire career in the food service sector. Over the years he has risen from a position as unit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, to area manager, sales manger and, finally, managing director of two independent companies.
For the past 20 years he has worked closely with William Baxter, firstly at Baxter & Platts, and since 2000 as the managing director of BaxterSmith.
Both companies have achieved great things, but the public face of this success has more often than not been William Baxter's rather than Mike Smith's.
After Robert Platts and William Baxter sold their company to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>