“If you have the choice of one or two companies to work for and BaxterStorey is one of them, go with BaxterStorey as your first job in contract catering. You won’t regret it. Their training and development is unparalleled”That was the advice offered to me by my friend Stewart four years ago. He worked with me back in the day as a Commis Patissier at the Ritz and was speaking from personal experience of the company. In time a role within Baxterstorey did come up and having followed his advice, I have to say; he was bang on the money. I have not regretted a single minute.
Two days later and our focus turned to Hayden as the National Chef of the Year Finals got under way. He sent a couple of tweets of thanks to wellwishers on the train in and that was the last we heard from him for the day. Time to let his food do the talking. With a judging panel that held a handful or two of Michelin stars between them underscores the pressure these chefs were under to prepare, cook and deliver perfection. Consistency and steely determination were the main ingredients required as the clock ticked away. Plate after plate was sent through to eagerly awaiting tasting spoons while tweet after tweet was shared and dissected. I was riveted at the tension of it all, and that was just in my office at work.
We will never know how close it really came, but to say that the judges deliberated for 90 minutes tells me there wasn’t a cigarette paper between victor and vanquished. Eventually someone took the microphone to thank sponsors and volunteers while Twitter exploded with excited impatience as we held our breath for the big announcement.
"Third place goes to…" not Hayden. Thank goodness.
"In second place…" oof, again not Hayden. That’s a good thing right? He has to be first. Or what if..what if he's not first? I quickly tweeted "All or Bust!" as I prepared myself for the worst....
"And the 2013 National Chef of the Year is… Hayden Groves of BaxterStorey." A huge collective cheer went up while a torrent of tweets from well wishers came through.
Noel Mahony, our co-CEO, wasn't letting me off the hook with my 'doubting Thomas' tweet of 'All or bust!'. He tweeted:
@mykitchensync I put my money on all rather than bust... Top man!,Top man indeed. And top woman in the form of Janine the previous evening. Within two days we - the collective BaxterStorey we - had scooped the National Chef and National Restaurant Manager of the Year Awards. A stunning double in skills excellence that makes me proud to be associated with such talent and dedication. From Coffee to Restaurant Service to Hospitality benchmarking to Cooking Skills to Sales to Training to HR... we have been up there competing with the best of the best in UK industry. That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because someone decided that to be at our best we need to attract talent, nurture talent and promote talent. And that is something quite a few of us want to be a part of.
— Noel Mahony (@NoelMahony1) October 8, 2013
@mykitchensync sorry to hear about the MBA course Thomas. Rest assured we have many plans for you and your development.
— Noel Mahony (@NoelMahony1) June 15, 2013
..all I can say is watch this space.
Please feel free to leave a comment. And if you enjoyed reading this you may like other related posts listed below. To receive future posts don't forget to subscribe via email (just enter your email above), or by RSS, or why not follow me on twitter @mykitchensync.