Hotel Cateys 2022: Hotel Chef of the Year (more than 250 covers) – Dominic Teague, One Aldwych

08 December 2022
Hotel Cateys 2022: Hotel Chef of the Year (more than 250 covers) – Dominic Teague, One Aldwych

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One Aldwych's executive chef Dominic Teague leads a team of 26 full-time chefs who deliver dining experiences throughout the 105-bedroom, five-AA-star hotel in London. This includes the hotel's Indigo restaurant, Downstairs at One Aldwych, and afternoon tea, banqueting and room service.

The hotel has long had a strong focus on sustainable sourcing and, as well as working hard with his suppliers to use the best of British produce, Teague has also created a gluten and dairy-free dining concept at Indigo. Not only is this creative – with a version of bread and butter that rivals the real thing – guests often don't realise anything is missing from their meal.

Teague has developed a new seasonal tasting menu series at Indigo that kicked off this autumn and celebrates local, seasonal produce. This will no doubt include dishes featuring the hotel's honey, which is generated through two beehives on the roof, alongside a herb garden also used by the kitchen team.

Teague oversees the delivery of 122,000 covers a year and manages all food costs and payroll and is responsible for recruitment, training, HR and development of all chefs. In fact, his influence extends beyond the kitchen to the front of house and reservations team, who are offered tastings on all new dishes to ensure they are trained to provide the best possible customer service.

This focus on training and nurturing has helped Teague achieve a low staff turnover of 8.7%. Meanwhile, he has restructured the hotel teams to eliminate double shifts and upskilled the team to be able to work both in Indigo and Downstairs at One. He has also created and recruited for two key roles – head chef and pastry chef – to elevate the creativity and assist in the management of the two kitchens. Teague has even filled operational gaps that would normally have been the responsibility of the front of house team, demonstrating his dedication to the wider business in the absence of a food and beverage manager and hotel manager during Covid.

When it comes to being creative, he has delighted guests, too. As well as a new afternoon tea to accompany the Indigo restaurant menu, Teague has relaunched the hotel's Charlie Afternoon Tea, which now operates 160 covers a day.

Adapting to changes in demand to drive down waste, Teague has also maintained payroll through sensible buying. He orders less more frequently, so rather than buying 50 lemons a week, he buys six per day. Menus have been adapted to increase variety too, allowing the team a regular outlet for their creativity.

He might have a great many covers to consider each day, but this is a chef that takes a granular approach to delivery, both for his guests and his team.

What the judges said

"Dominic demonstrates great leadership skills, which shows in his low staff turnover. He is a passionate chef who motivates his team through nurturing and training, while always looking at how he can bring something different to One Aldwych that is relevant and refreshing, such as the gluten- and dairy-free concept at Indigo."

Simon Young

The shortlist

Adam Bateman, Grand Hotel Birmingham

Dominic Teague, One Aldwych

Past winners

2021 Olivier Ruiz, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London

2019 Simon Attridge, Gleneagles

2018 Robert Bates, the Belfry Hotel & Resort

2017 Chris King, the Langham London

2016 Chris Wheeler, Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel

2015 Lewis Hamblet, South Lodge

2014 James Murphy, Principal Hayley – Grand Central Hotel

2013 Ryan Neill, De Vere Cameron House on Loch Lomond

2012 Nigel Boschetti, JW Marriott Grosvenor House

2011 Martyn Nail, Claridge's

2010 Steve Munkley, Royal Garden hotel

2009 Simon Young, Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel

2008 Anthony Marshall, London Hilton on Park Lane

2007 Henry Brosi, the Dorchester

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