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8th June 2022

Compass crowns 2022 Apprentice Chef of the Year

Written by: Edward Waddell
Lorcán Leavy, apprentice commis chef at a Restaurant Associates site in the city, was crowned Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year 2022.

Eight Compass apprentice chefs battled it out at the annual Compass Chef of the Year culinary final, held at the Compass Group headquarters in Chertsey. Each chef was tasked with creating two courses in just two hours using a mystery box of ingredients that included chicken, mackerel and seasonal produce.

His winning menu was a starter of charred mackerel, fennel and baby beetroot, followed by roasted chicken breast with leek and asparagus. Dylan Patel, apprentice chef de partie at Restaurant Associates and Joao Fioribelli, apprentice professional cookery chef at Compass Ireland came second and third respectively.

Lorcán, who is studying his Level 2 commis chef apprenticeship at Westminster Kingsway College, was as recruited under an apprenticeship scheme and joined Restaurant Associates seven months ago. He said: “I’m really happy to have won, it’s been a really good learning experience and has taught me to stay calm under pressure.”

All competitors will be part of a brigade of chefs to cook at the annual Apprenticeship of the Year special dinner at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in July, where Lorcán will cook his winning menu for over 100 VIP guests.

Jonathan Foot, head of apprenticeships and early careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, added: “I’m blown away each year by the standard of cooking from our apprentices, especially with them only having 24 hours to create a menu from the mystery box. The Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year competition presents our apprentice chefs with a fantastic opportunity to work under pressure and apply the skills and knowledge that they’ve learnt as part of their apprenticeship qualification.”

The finalists included:

  • Ainhoa Diez Fernandez – apprentice chef de partie, Chartwells Independent
  • Carlos Cruz – apprentice commis chef, Compass Ireland
  • Dylan Patel  – apprentice chef de partie, Restaurant Associates
  • Jacob Banting – apprentice commis chef, ESS Defence
  • Joao Fioribelli – apprentice professional cookery chef, Compass Ireland
  • Laura Smith – apprentice senior production chef, Chartwells Independent
  • Lorcán Leavy – apprentice commis chef, Restaurant Associates
  • Patricio Pienovi – apprentice commis chef, Compass Ireland