The winner of the Outstanding Service to the Industry Award is Nick Vadis, culinary director of Compass Group.
The recipient of this award started his career cooking around the world in the Navy more than 40 years ago and after combining teaching and cooking for a period he went onto become Head of Cookery Training for the New Royal Naval Cookery School.
In 2001 he joined his current employer, which today is the largest contract caterer in the UK market, taking on the role of executive chef for British Airways before being made UK executive chef six years later.
In his current post as culinary director, Mr Vadis has led the implementation of his company’s culinary apprenticeship programme and remains a champion of innovation.
His application and dedication continues to be an inspiration for all those that work alongside him, while his energy and passion for the job is one of the reasons that his employer is able to provide such a versatile food offer to the 15,000 locations that it serves across the UK.
It also deserves to be noted that our winner has been involved in no less than seven Culinary Olympics and it is undoubtedly a sign of his selflessness that he describes coaching the English team to Gold as his proudest achievement.
Nick Vadis (pictured receiving his award from FEJ’s editorial director Andrew Seymour), said: “I really didn’t expect this. Thank you very much, I am deeply honoured. This award is about the people I work with, the people who specify and install the equipment that allows the people at the Compass Group to do their jobs. It is inextricably linked. I’m receiving this award on behalf of my team. This is really humbling – it’s lovely to be recognised. All of our teams work with every supplier. Compass Group has the vision, drive and determination to succeed.”