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5th March 2024

Wellness ambassador Andy Aston shortlisted for Burnt Chef accolade

Written by: Edward Waddell
Andy Aston, who is the Craft Guild of Chefs wellness ambassador, has been shortlisted for the ‘Most Inspiring Wellbeing Champion’ accolade at the Burnt Chef Project Mental Health Heroes Awards.

Having championed mental health support and worked tirelessly to reduce the stigma around mental health in hospitality on a global stage, The Burnt Chef Project is now recognising those individuals and businesses who’ve gone the extra mile with an all-new awards ceremony.

Andy approached the Craft Guild of Chefs in 2021, to see if he could help them develop a wellness campaign and create a new culture in the industry.

No formal role previously existed in the Guild, but Andy worked with the Guild to create their first wellness ambassador role and wellness sub-committee. Andy was appointed to the new voluntary role of wellness ambassador in April 2021, with ambitions to shine a brighter light on the importance of good mental health.

Working with the Guild he set about putting together a wellness sub-committee to support him and develop a wellness mission statement and purpose. Andy initiated a collaboration between the Craft Guild of Chefs and catering colleges, specifically around improving mental health for chefs.

He devised and launched a wellness event programme for the Guild. This involved developing and running three to four wellness events a year, bringing in speakers and creating a safe space in which chefs can share experiences. Since he started, more than 300 people have attended these events, with many coming back several times.

Attendees come from all areas of hospitality from hotel chefs, to restaurant chefs to food producers. The events have galvanised people to connect around mental health and put the topic at the forefront of the Guild and the wider industry. He has planned four new wellness events for 2024.

Matt Owens, chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “During the last three years Andy has held numerous wellbeing events up and down the country to support our chefs and business partners by giving a platform to engage should they need. Andy has built a strong sub-committee to support events moving forward.

“It has allowed us as a Guild to have more touch points with our members and a place they can reach out. Andy will organise every detail of the event along with engaging with various support platforms to ensure help is available which is paramount to our industry. A true ambassador to the cause and a more than worthy winner.”

The shortlisted finalists for the ‘Most Inspiring Wellbeing Champion’ includes:

  • James Griffith, Liberation Group
  • Sorana McCarron, IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • Sting Khumalo, The Biltmore Mayfair Hotel
  • Joe Bentley, Cedar Court Hotels
  • Andy Aston, Craft Guild of Chefs wellness ambassador

The winner will be announced at the Love Hospitality fundraiser on 25th March at the ExCeL London.