Mick Dunn, kitchen porter at Red Carnation's Rubens at the Palace, Hotel 41 & Bbar, in London has been named the 2016 KP of the Year.
Dunn was chosen as the overall winner of the competition, organised by The Caterer in partnership with warewasher manufacturer Winterhalter, from over 100 entries from dedicated and versatile kitchen porters across the country.
He leads a team of kitchen porters responsible for Rubens at the Palace, Bbar and Hotel 41, three businesses located in close proximity to each other overlooking Buckingham Palace, and part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
The judges also presented three highly commended runner-up awards to Wendy Scott, KP at Sodexo's Beachley Barracks in Chepstow; Kevin Axtell, another Sodexo KP at Windsor Castle Guard Rooms and Daniel Gligorov, KP at the White Hart at Fyfield in Oxfordshire.
Dunn was described as a phenomenal KP by competition judge James Horler, chief executive of 3Sixty Restaurants, who added that his consultative approach to working with other departments set him apart from his peers.
A KP for over 27 years, Dunn is a respected member of the Red Carnation team, with a record of outstanding loyalty. He known across the business thanks to his engaging personality and a brilliant sense of humour that shines through in his everyday dealings with all his colleagues whether front or back of house.
The 65-year-old will soon be promoted to the role of chief steward while continuing to oversee his team.
Malcolm Hendry, general manager at Rubens at The Place and Dunn's nominating manager for the competition, described him as: "Dedicated, loyal, outgoing and hardworking - a trusted individual with a great work ethic who is not afraid to take the initiative. He is a true asset to our business and always goes above and beyond the call of duty."
Stephen Kinkead, managing director, Winterhalter, explained the rationale behind the campaign: "This competition is about recognising the family in the kitchen and the crucial role of the KP as the hub of the kitchen team. Mick is exactly what this competition is all about.
"We had another excellent crop of entries this year and the calibre on the shortlist was incredible. All of the KPs who received nominations should be very proud of themselves; they are all truly appreciated by their teams."
Sara Jane Stanes, judge and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: "It is difficult to choose just one winner, but Mick's long service and smooth running of the three properties really did shine through.
"He seems to go the extra mile as a matter of course as well. He monitors all the kitchen equipment, maintains the dish washer, assists with and produces chemical orders, regularly patrols the refuge areas and generally looks after the back of house areas."
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