Kitchen porters are one of the most important people in the kitchen. They wash equipment, clean and prepare food to ensure the smooth running of the kitchen. However, according to many highly recognised chefs, the Kitchen Porter is often an overlooked position.
Luke Thomas describes them as the “forgotten heroes of many kitchens.” But Winterhalter’s Kitchen Porter awards, now in its sixth year recognises the hard work of a vital role in any kitchen.
This year, Winterhalter UK announced Davie Fleetham their Kitchen Porter of the Year 2019. Davie, a KP for BaxterStorey at RBS in Edinburgh for 17 years, was presented his award by Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK, at a special ceremony at RBS.
Davie said, “I can’t believe I’m the winner. I knew something was going on today, but I had no idea I was going to be awarded KP of the Year. To be recognised like this is amazing.”
The winner receives a £1000 cash prize, a celebratory meal in the Casual Dining restaurant of the winner’s choice, a Winterhalter warewasher for their place of work plus an exclusive KP of the Year apron.
There were also two Highly Commended runners up, Cheryl Wrightson of Jurys Inn, Middlesborough and Sam Idubor of the RAF Club in Piccadilly. They were both presented with a trophy, a special Kitchen Porters apron as well as a £250 cash prize.
Sam Idubor has been a KP at the RAF Club for over two years. On his commendation, he said, “I have worked here for two years and I love it! I am part of a great team so to be recognised for such a big award is amazing, I am very happy. The club told me that I was in the Top 10 but to receive Highly Commended is just brilliant.”
Cheryl Wrightson was also happily shocked with the news. She said, “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I was nominated. To be awarded Highly Commended is something else; such a surprise! It’s nice to know I’ve beaten some good competition and be recognised like this.”
Top Head chefs have offered their appraisal for the awards and share the belief that it is a great opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes of the kitchen.
Michael Caines MBE comments, “The KP has been and always will be a key part of the kitchen. They are unsung heroes, working hard and in difficult conditions to keep the flow of the kitchen going. We’re very, very pleased that we’ve got a Kitchen Porter of the Year competition. It’s a wonderful initiative.”
Organised by The Caterer, in partnership with Winterhalter, the competition has significantly grown over the last six years, gaining more attraction and hundreds of entries across the hospitality sector. Any chef or manager from every part of the catering industry can enter their KPs for the award. Click here to find out more.