Blog. Celebrating our KPs with Winterhalter
November 13, 2019 | Author: Mark Lewis
When I was editor and then publisher of The Caterer, judging its various awards was one of my greatest pleasures.
I always looked forward especially to chairing the Hotelier of the Year judging, and in particular the moment when I’d call the new winner to break the good news and then put them on speakerphone so the gathered judges – past winners, all – could give them a hearty round of applause.
Chairing the KP of the Year Award judging always sat with the marvellous Lisa Jenkins. But I was delighted to be present when Mick Dunn, kitchen porter at Red Carnation’s Rubens at the Palace Hotel, was presented with the award, in 2016.
On the day of the presentation, GM Malcolm Hendry gathered his team together on the pretext of a health and safety session, so that Mick was surrounded by colleagues when we broke the news to him.
"It was a bit of a shock to walk into a room with so many people - chefs, housekeepers and office staff”, Mick said at the time. “I went bright red for the photo shoot! But I was elated - and I still feel so very proud now."
Someone once said to me that, if news reporters were the running backs of an editorial team, the production desk was its scrum. You could use a similar analogy for chefs and their KPs. The chefs might do all the fancy footwork, but without KPs fronting up, they’d be powerless. Pots would go unwashed, kit unrepaired, deliveries unchecked.
That’s why it was such a brilliant idea on Winterhalter’s part, to instigate a National KP Day and the KP of the Year award. What better way to celebrate the unsung heroes of the commercial kitchen?
This year, I was privileged to be invited to take part in the judging of the 2019 KP award; and delighted that we were able to honour such a worthy winner, in BaxterStorey’s Davie Fleetham.
Winterhalter spread the icing on the cake, when they informed me that they had chosen Hospitality Action as the nominated charity for this year’s annual KP Day celebration.
Hospitality Action can only be as supportive of its beneficiaries as our supporters are generous, so we were hugely grateful. Thanks to supporters like our friends at Winterhalter, we’re able to transform the lives of many hospitality people – KPs and chefs among them.