Chef in line for ‘Oscar’ award
Executive Chef, Mark Hancock, has been shortlisted for a top nationwide award for his role in transforming the University’s catering services over the past three-and-a-half years.
Mark is in line for one of 15 accolades at the 2012 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards, which are known in the trade as the ‘Oscars for chefs’. He is shortlisted in the Cost Sector category, which recognises chefs working in public-sector catering operations (eg in local councils and schools).
A panel of expert judges were impressed by Mark’s innovative approaches since his appointment in 2008 to leading Catering Services towards financial self-sufficiency; and by his commitment to sustainability, healthy eating and the professional development of his staff.
Sarah Wilkinson, Commercial Operations Manager, says that the award would be well-deserved. She says: “Mark is a talented chef and a driven, highly conscientious colleague. His genuine passion for nutritious and ethically sourced food has made him an indispensible member of our team.
“Bringing all our food production in-house was a major project, and Mark played a key role in its design and development. He ensured the highest possible levels of energy efficiency were incorporated, with induction cookers, the elimination of gas, and a reduction in electricity use.”
Sustainability and the environment are very close to Mark’s heart: he has introduced recycling and composting schemes for kitchen and customer waste, and works with company Vegware to provide fully compostable and biodegradable packaging and cutlery. He has also forged partnerships with local suppliers to ensure the provenance of ingredients used and to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
Mark develops and trains his 29-strong kitchen team through placements and visits, including to the local fish market, Munneries (fruit and vegetable supplier) and participation in Jamie Oliver’s “fresh pasta making” class. In addition, several members of Mark’s team are completing NVQs.
Chef De Partie Danny Tullett says: “Mark is full of ideas and very approachable, encouraging me to bring forward my own ideas and creativity.”
A number of other members of staff from across the University also support Mark’s nomination, including Sephie Deacon, Head of Corporate Events. She says: “Mark provides exciting and innovative menus for my events as well as ensuring that the food is both locally and responsibly sourced.”
Sarah adds: “Mark is one of the most innovative colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with – constantly seeking to enhance our offering and meeting every new challenge with enthusiasm.”
Mark will find out if he has won at an awards ceremony at Wembley Stadium on 13 June.
Established in 1965 as a Guild of the Cookery and Food Association, the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed into the leading Chefs’ Association in the UK and has many members worldwide.
Amazing. I love the food- tastes as good as it looks, profesionalism and real leadership of Mr Hancock.
Go Mark! All the best
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