Murray Chapman, Founder, A Passion to Inspire. Passion to Inspire', founded by Murray Chapman, is a non-profit making, voluntary initiative, initially developed to bring education and industry closer together. The initial format was a competition, but with a fun and supportive element, to nurture, encourage and support students and give them belief in, and a passion for, their chosen career. Through the work of the organisation, students, colleges and lecturers have the opportunity to meet some of the industry's top chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers and to date, the initiative has involved over 145 students in 40 colleges and many lecturers. Murray's enthusiasm towards the industry is infectious to all that he comes into contact with, and given that he operates his own chefs recruitment company he combines his business together with a lot of key business partners and associations which in turn generates good exposure for the industry as a whole and helps support the underlying talent available given the right platforms. There are many unsung heroes in the hospitality and catering profession but very few come close to Murray Chapman. His Passion to Inspire competition very much sums up his own attitude. He is one of the most passionate people when it comes to the encouragement of students to take part in competitions and generally work at improving their standards. He also passes this enthusiasm on to other chefs who he gets involved to mentor students and help with the competition. He is completely selfless when it comes to devoting his time to this and travels up and down the country to promote these ideals. This is not his "day job" just something he is passionate about and a Passion to Inspire is not only a competition but also Murray Chapman's philosophy, Murray is a man with selfless dedication and commitment towards spreading the good word of our profession.
Harry Lomas MBE BEM, Exective Head Chef, Grove Hotel. Harry is without doubt an unsung hero who has throughout his long and varied career upheld the very highest standards of professionalism. Harry started his career as a young apprentice chef when he joined the Army Catering Corps in 1975. On completion of his apprenticeship he served in numerous Units and locations throughout the world including many operational roles Harry is an exceptional organiser and man manager and was rapidly promoted and reached the most senior of non- commissioned ranks, Warrant Officer Class 1. His personal attributes and high technical skills were recognised by the Army Board when he was selected for Commissioned Officer status where he rose to the rank of Major. In his military career he has been honoured twice – a British Empire Medal whilst serving with the 1st Armoured Division for services to charity and to the hospitality industry and 20 years later he was awarded Member of the British Empire for services to personnel and industry. His penultimate appointment in his military career was within HQ London District where he was responsible for the feeding arrangements for many state and ceremonial occasions. His final appointment being at Headquarters Land Forces where he was responsible for feeding the British Army both at home and abroad on operations. He played a key role in building the Camp Bastion kitchens feeding both British and multi national troops. His reputation for getting the job done was recognised across the industry in general and he was head hunted to join the 2012 Olympic Delivery Team where his contract management skills and his ability as a tough negotiator identified him as the ideal candidate to take on the catering commitment at ExCel, housing 5 Olympic arenas and feeding up to 140,000 people daily. On completion of the Olympic adventure he was, with no former hotel experience, appointed Executive Head Chef at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire. He quickly made his mark there and is now part of the senior management board at the Grove. Harry is a true people person who has the ability to motivate his people to achieve extraordinary things. His meticulous planning, attention to detail and ability to deliver targets is exceptional. He has, since assuming the appointment at the Grove, built a successful competition team who have achieved great things at both Hospitality and Hotelympia. He has joined the judging teams at major Salon and has quickly risen to Lead Judge in the Live Theatre. An example of Harry’s development and mentoring skills was when he met, in a pub restaurant, a young KP, Michael Carey who has special needs. Michael was being mistreated by his pub employers so Harry arranged a job for him at the Grove as an apprentice, encouraged him to participate in competitions to build his confidence and enhance his technical skills. This young lad has now won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in open classes in the Live Theatre at Hotelympia or Hospitality. He has been promoted to a 1st commis position in the hotel’s Glasshouse Restaurant. Michael is now planning to mentor an apprentice of his own with a target to enter a team competition at Hotelympia 18.
Ian Morris, Head Diet Chef, Sodexo @ Birmingham Children's Hospital. Ian started his career at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in October 1988, at the age 20, as an assistant cook after successfully completing his C&G 705 / 706 and 707, passing with credit. During his time at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Ian’s passion for food and his interest in diet and nutrition led him to train as a specialist diet chef, completing his NEBSS course in 1989. He transferred to Sodexo in 1998 taking on the roles of the diet chef, assistant head chef, assistant general manager and acting general manager. At his request, Ian is currently back working where his true passion lies - as senior diet chef. Ian’s dedication to his role and to improving the catering experience of our patients is inspiring. Ian says of his role: “The role of head diet chef can be demanding at times, but it is made possible by working as part of a great patient services team with a supportive team manager. Giving me the opportunity to do what I love, giving me a chance to shine and demonstrate each day our Trust Values.” Ian is a real vibrant and bubbly character and loves to support theatre cooking with the children on the wards, ranging from making pizzas, baking cakes, decorating biscuits or taking part in pancake fun in the restaurant. Parents are also encouraged to support, as the children like to give what they have created to their parents or siblings. While working in the diet section Ian has developed strong relationships with patients, parents, dieticians and ward staff. He teaches parents who need to cater for their child with dietetic needs at home. This gives the parents encouragement and practical advice and he always offers to be a point of contact when they go home, should they need it. He also supports the training of new dieticians to give them a better awareness of the patient catering service and will always find time to help his colleagues and the site team and mentors his colleagues to become diet proficient. He supports both Health and Safety audits and ward food audits and holds food tasting events for the governors and the ward staff whenever new menus are introduced. Ian has created and developed several recipes for children on restrictive diets and has introduced fat free cakes, biscuits and ice cream and gluten, egg and milk free desserts and ice creams. These support the 3 week menu cycle for 9 different diet menus. The team are going from strength to strength, developing new ideas to make food more interesting and fun for the children who stay with us. Ian continues to be ready with ideas to improve services e.g. food tasting sessions, cookery sessions, themed menus and he works hard to make these successful. Key to improving the patient dining experience is building relationships with ward staff, and Ian has worked hard to gain their trust. Initially our audits were viewed sceptically, although over time, and with Ian’s charming persistence, staff became more engaged which led to improvements. Ian works within the wider hospital catering environment by coordinating Christmas lunches, even being Santa one year, clinical staff barbecue events, promoting health and wellbeing and the hospital’s AGM, silver service and catering lead for the hospitals chairman and chief executive and colleagues and overseeing the catering for VIP visits including a visit from David Cameron.
Alan Paton, Head Chef, Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Colchester. As well as working hard at his full time position as Head Chef at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, gaining two AA rosettes - which in such a high volume property is a brilliant achievement – Alan’s involvement in charity dinners and industry competitions makes him a true unsung hero. Alan is always first to step forward to help and support competitions and events, inspiring students by taking on a Head Judge / Mentor role with Redbridge College, mentoring them at the Upskill Day at Infusions for Chef and then on to the final at Colchester. He does not understand the word no! It is always “what is next” or “what do you want”, working and giving up his time to do charity dinners and festivals such as Art in The Park for 16,000 people, a 10th anniversary dinner for charity Ups and Downs and working with organisation ‘A Passion to Inspire’ to produce an 11 course taster menu with a brigade of chefs and alongside a cohort of students for a dinner held at Stoke by Nayland in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Alan is also heavily involved with Future Chef and through his hard work and dedication is on the board of The Craft Guild of Chefs.