Team Talkington Bates saw off competition from 15 other caterers to win the ACE Ready Steady Cook Team Challenge and days later was named Contract Caterer of the Year 2010 by food-to-go trade show lunch!.
Paul Bates, joint managing director at Talkington Bates, said: "It was an amazing week for the company because it was the first time we had entered the ACE event since it started in 1994, which makes victory even sweeter for our team this time around.
"To scoop a second award the same week really makes this a very special moment in the company's business development."
Talkington Bates was represented at the ACE event, held at London's Imperial College, by Christian Sandhagen and Cordelia Hornibrook who head up the kitchen at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire - a site which was successfully retained by Talkington Bates for a further five years earlier this year.
The team was presented with a trophy, certificate and Champagne and also received a special lunch and kitchen tour at the Fat Duck restaurant from event sponsors McFarlane Telfer for their winning menu of polenta and sage crusted squid, roasted Pomodoro tomatoes, radicchio and glazed cucumber with shallot and balsamic vinegar followed by vanilla sponge, honey and date Greek yogurt, caramelised pears and spiced syrup.
The lunch! judges described Talkington Bates as a relatively small company by contract catering standards, but praised its "strong culture, effective management structure, and impressive growth".
By Janie Stamford
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