Michelin Stars in our Boardroom?
“I’m privileged to work with some of the most talented chefs in our industry. But these chefs aren’t necessarily who you’d expect. They’re not in two or three star Michelin restaurants or the ‘celebrity’ chefs opening their latest venture. They’re the chefs of the every man – the B&I caterers that fuel our boardrooms, workplace dining and hospitality areas across the country.
“These highly skilled chefs are implementing a plethora of techniques and innovation. And, it’s right under our noses. I’m lucky enough to see this first hand as I sit on a number of tasting panels for my clients, whose caterers are rolling out the season’s new menus. I can’t help but be blown away at the high level in this part of the industry. This includes everything from presentation and service to the finest taste and seasonal ingredients.
“But are these everyday boardroom heroes getting the recognition they deserve? These mostly unknown chefs go largely unnoticed. They turn up, prepare stunning food and then go home. There’s no Saturday morning kitchen slot, TV appearances, Masterchef or book signings for them!
“Instead, they are supported by some of the country’s best known foodservice operators who train, invest and support them in cascading information down to the chefs onsite. “Their professionalism is unrivalled. Having served my time in a kitchen environment for 16 years, I can appreciate just how much work and dedication that they put in to producing their dishes. Even when they take classical dishes as a base, they put their own stamp on it, making them largely unrecognisable.
“The chefs, having worked an eight hour day in a hot environment, are often still found in the kitchen late at night, creating and producing some superb food. “The support system is there, but apart from a handful of industry and internal competitions, Sodexo’s famous Salon Culinaire for example, there’s no real, reason why consumers aren’t queuing round the block for their workplace dining? “I’m truly in awe of the chef talent in this area of the foodservice industry. They produce the finest examples of British food – real masterpieces. They then go home only to do it all again the next day. In my eyes, they are our unknown food heroes… and it’s time they receive the same accolades.”