Summer 2010 - Craft Guild AGM 2010

12/07/2010 10:07
All change at the top as the Craft Guild elects a new chairman and committee, plus honours and awards for the heroes of the past year.

Andrew Green was elected national chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs at the Guild’s AGM on Sunday, March 28, his appointment unanimously agreed by the members. Green, who takes over the reins from Nick Vadis, said he would use his skills as a chef as well as his experience as Sodexo’s general manager for Transport for London, to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

“Each previous chairman has brought something different to the position, and the Guild as a professional body has benefited immensely from their contributions. They have all brought new dimensions to the role – different, sometimes challenging and often forthright – but all done in the best interests of the Guild. I will also bring my own style. “There will as always be tough decisions to be made along the way, ones that I and the new committee will make with the Guild’s best interests in mind.”

Green was effusive in his thanks to Nick Vadis for his help in preparing him for the challenges over the next three years. “Nick led the Guild through difficult economic times and his commitment to the Guild has not just been three years as chairman, but three years before that as vice chairman.” But Green is enthusiastic to get on with his task. “We are at the start of a new journey with a new committee of management – many old faces but a few new ones as well, and I’d like to thank them in advance for the valuable contribution they will make to the smooth running of the Guild. “We are still seen as the strongest and most talked about chef organisation in the UK and this is only possible with the continued help and assistance from business partners, colleagues and suppliers. We do have a brand that we can be proud of and we should not be afraid to use it where we can. How often am I told about our excellent magazine Stockpot and how chefs read it from cover to cover; I know I do.”

Christopher Basten, executive chef at the Marriott London County Hall Hotel, was elected to take over Green’s role as national vice chairman, working alongside a new management committee that includes the Guild’s first food development representative following its amalgamation with the former Food Development Association last year.Helping to fund the maintenance of the Guild’s head office, which had needed immediate attention, the Craft Guild Benevolent Fund’s senior trustee Giovanni Fontebasso explained that with the trustees’ approval the Benevolent Fund had provided temporary financial aid. With the establishment of the Craft Guild Brick Fund, fundraising events were in place to refund this amount.

Also beneficial to the Craft Guild was business partner Robot Coupe’s offer to donate a sum of money annually to assist members, which would be administered through the Benevolent Fund. CEO Martin Bates explained: “Robot Coupe’s money will go into the Benevolent Fund and will be for issuing small amounts to those that need it. Instead of money to get people through college, we can make discretionary donations of small amounts for things that people genuinely need. This idea was received very well at the recent PACE conference. All that’s required is a simple form to be completed explaining why the money is needed.” Following the AGM, a host of Craft Guild members were recognised for their unstinting support of the Guild during 2009

This year around 130 members, family and friends attended the lunch specially prepared by executive chef Allister Bishop and his team at Le Meridien Hotel in London.

The menu consisted of an assiette of salmon, pan fried sea bass or roasted rose veal, and an amazing assortment of mini desserts. The lunch was supported by Blue Arrow Catering, Brakes, Compass Group, Justerini & Brooks, M&J Seafood, Marriott County Hall, Mid Shires Rose Veal; Milk Link Foodservice, Moran Hotels, Reynolds Catering, The Landmark London, Town & Country Fine Foods, Villeroy & Boch and Wenlock Spring.

New committee of management
National chairman - Andrew Green
National vice chairman - Christopher Basten
National treasurer - Geoff Acott
PR/Merchandising/Website - Ian Nottage
Corporate events organiser - David Mulcahy
Competitions manager - Gary Hunter
Exhibition manager - Lee Maycock
Culinary team captain - Fergus Martin
Schools and colleges representative - Matt Owens
Food development representative - John Feeney
Social events - Steven Walpole

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