Peter Barnetson of Skibo Castle is 2015 KP of the Year

06 November 2015 by
Peter Barnetson of Skibo Castle is 2015 KP of the Year

Peter Barnetson, kitchen porter at the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, a private members' club in Scotland, has been named 2015 KP of the Year in an annual competition organised by The Caterer in partnership with warewasher manufacturer Winterhalter.

Barnetson was selected as the overall winner from over 100 entries from talented kitchen porters across the country.

He was recognised for his multi-skilled approach to tackling jobs in the kitchen, such as spray-coating kitchen equipment, maintaining dish washers and (as an ex-grocer) using his knowledge of fruit and vegetables for quality control.

Barnetson, 65, has been at Skibo Castle for 13 years, and plans to beat his father's retirement age of 82. He prepares the afternoon sandwiches, fixes faulty equipment, checks deliveries and is currently assisting in the design of a new clubhouse at the castle, advising on the design aspect of the hot-wash area and placement of choice of machinery.

Craig Rowland, executive chef at Skibo Castle, who nominated Barnetson, said in his application: "KP teams are such vital cogs in ensuring the smooth running of any professional kitchen. I have worked with Peter for 13 years and he never takes short cuts, he always completes a job and has never taken a sick day."

Stephen Kinkead, managing director, Winterhalter, explained the rationale behind the campaign: "As a family business, this competition is about recognising the family in the kitchen and the crucial role of the KP as the hub of the kitchen team.

"Peter deserves this recognition," added Kinkead.

"This was the toughest year ever to judge and the calibre of the shortlist was incredible; the difference between the top few was paper thin and to win against such competition is a real accolade."

Sara Jane Staynes, judge and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, commented: "Peter's attendance record is outstanding and his ability to apply himself to so many different tasks makes him a great mentor, someone to aspire to in this competition."

James Horler, judge and chief executive of 3Sixty Restaurants, said: "Peter is 65 and still going strong - it's fantastic to see such longevity in a role, especially as being a KP is hard work! It's great to see a long and fulfilling career as a KP."

The judges also presented two joint runner-up awards to Stephen Butler, a kitchen porter for Restaurant Associates in London, and Salif Sawadogo from Gaucho Restaurants, also in London.

"Naming a shortlist is testament to the quality of the nominations we received. The KPs we discussed are at the top of their game and we wanted to acknowledge that," added Kinkead.

"Our runner-up Stephen has succeeded in a difficult role and has a fantastic relationship with his front of house team," said judge Richard Davies, executive chef at the Manor House Hotel in Wiltshire.

Fellow judge Amanda Afiya, editor of The Caterer, praised Sawadogo for his participation in the Key4Life campaign, a scheme to get young offenders who have served time in prison back into the workplace.

Winterhalter presented Barnetson with an individual prize of £1,000 and a celebratory meal for him and his friends in a casual dining restaurant of their choice. Skibo Castle also received one of Winterhalter's warewash products worth up to £8,000.

Past KP of the Year winners >>

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