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Kath Breckon achieves Public Sector Chef accolade at Craft Guild Awards

25th Jun 2024 - 08:44
Kath Breckon achieves Public Sector Chef accolade at Craft Guild Awards
Kath Breckon, training and development chef at North Yorkshire Council, has been named as the Public Sector Chef Award winner at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards.

The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards are seen as the chefs’ Oscars recognising the ‘exceptional talent’ across the whole of the industry. The winner of the Public Sector Chef accolade was announced at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards ceremony that took place on Monday 24th June at JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London.

Nominations for the Public Sector Chef Award were sought from the high-volume catering arena including hospitals, prisons, education, military, public and social services and in-house staff restaurants. The two other finalists were Graeme Collie, executive chef at King's College London and Stuart Pelham, head chef at Llys Cyncoed (Care UK).

In 2016, Kath won the LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) competition and used the opportunity to widen her cooking knowledge and enthuse others. She was promoted to area supervisor helping to train new school chefs and in 2019 became development chef, allowing to add her flair and passion for food in menus, recipes, allergen management and special diets.

Her responsibilities today have grown to include the creation of nutritionally balanced, locally sourced, sustainable menus, budgeting, overseeing compliance with Food for Life, special diets, promoting the meal service within North Yorkshire and surrounding areas, presenting at tender bids and training.

To meet rising food costs she has redeveloped menus, cutting the number of recipes, which has had the effect of reducing the average daily meal price for core menus by 7p compared with 2023. On nearly 4.8m meals served, that is a saving of more than £335,000 in a year. At the same time she used the opportunity to reduce allergens, increase taste and add food waste reduction tips.

Not stopping there, she has also updated the secondary school offer drastically, bringing in new initiatives and recipes to compete with the High Street. This has seen the numbers staying on site increase by an average of 11.2 %.

Kath’s passion for the sector goes above and beyond her role, joining the LACA Yorkshire & Humberside Region and taking on the role of treasurer. She has also been invited to be part of the Knorr Professional – ‘Best in the Business Campaign’, becoming the Ambassador For Education.

Kath was recently presented with the LACA Yorkshire & Humberside Region’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Education Catering Award’ and has also just picked up the APPG Excellence in School Food Award – Individual, which was presented to her by Sharon Hodgson MP. In April 2024, Kath was named as the recipient of Public Sector Catering’s Chef of the Year accolade.

The full list of winners:

  • Accredited College Restaurant Award: Sheffield College
  • Apprentice Chef Award, sponsored by Compass Group: Jess Miller, chef de partie, Chartwells Independent
  • Banqueting & Event Chef Award, sponsored by CleanEvent Services: Paul Bates, executive head chef, Hilton London Metropole
  • Chef Lecturer Award, sponsored by Grande Cuisine Academy: Anthony Gascoigne, chef lecturer, North Hertfordshire College
  • Competition Chef Award, sponsored by HRC 2025: Christopher Morrell, senior chef - officers' mess, Royal Air Force
  • Contract Catering Chef Award, sponsored by PizzaSi: Simon Webb, hospitality executive chef, BaxterStorey
  • Culinary Hero Award, sponsored by Williams Refrigeration: Graham Singer, culinary director, ESS
  • Development Chef Award, sponsored by Essential Cuisine: Martyn Lee, development chef, Waitrose
  • New Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by Alliance NZ: Miller Prada, Humo London
  • Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Lakeland Dairies: Michael Kwan, executive head pastry chef, The Dorchester
  • Pub Restaurant Chef Award, sponsored by Bonemasters: Chris Mapp, head chef & owner, The Tickled Trout
  • Public Sector Chef Award, sponsored by Tugo Food Systems: Kath Breckon, training and development chef, North Yorkshire Council
  • Restaurant Chef Award, sponsored by Unox: Tom Tsappis, chef owner, Killiecrankie House
  • Street Food Chef Award, sponsored by Major International: Cameron Laidlaw, chef, Junk Street Food
  • Young Chef Award, sponsored by Meiko: Cameron Jones, chef cook, Waterside Inn
  • International Chef Award, sponsored by Cunard: Thomas Keller
  • Outstanding Support of Culinary Excellence Award, sponsored by Premier Foods: Savoy Educational Trust
  • Special Award, sponsored by Sodexo: Asma Khan
  • Sustainability Excellence Award, sponsored by Rational: Anna Pazdera, London Heathrow Marriott Hotel
Written by
Edward Waddell