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Neil Porter receives Lifetime Achievement accolade at Public Sector Catering Awards

5th Apr 2024 - 08:38
Neil Porter receives Lifetime Achievement accolade
The 2024 Public Sector Catering Awards, which took place on 4th April at the London Hilton Metropole, celebrated award winners including Neil Porter who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the industry.

Neil is one of just three LACA chairs to have served two terms of office, taking the helm from 2004-2005 and then again from 2008-2009. The second time saw him faced with representing school caterers during the introduction of new nutritional standards in the wake of TV chef Jamie Oliver’s exposé of school meals on Channel 4.

Since 2008 he has headed LACA’s Events Group (formerly the Training & Development Committee), which oversees the association’s showpiece annual conference and exhibition known as the Main Event. His time in charge has seen the event grow in size and importance, adding extra attractions such as Finishing Touches, the final of the School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) and most recently the Grab & Go Challenge.

King’s College London had a night to remember as they won the University Award, the Sustainability Award and the Health & Nutrition Award as well as catering team member Lisa Connellan picking up the Unsung Hero Award.

There was recognition for Nick Vadis of Compass, who won the Special Contribution Award for his work in helping to set up the NHS Chefs Academy and driving the project forward to raise standards among hospital chefs.

Cleverchefs won the Contract Caterer of the Year Award and POCS Cat Taylor emerged victorious as the Armed Forces Caterers of the Year Award. A special mention must go to Matthew White, the outgoing chair of the Public Sector Catering Alliance who finishes his two-year term later this year.

Chair of TUCO from 2016-2020 and awarded an MBE in 2022, Matt has thrown himself enthusiastically into his latest pan-industry role and worked tirelessly to support all parts through his leadership of the Alliance. He received an Outstanding Industry Contribution Award, which is not one of the regular awards, and was for the first time given to an individual rather than an organisation.

Public Sector Catering editor David Foad said afterwards: “It was a terrific awards night, a genuine celebration of the best in an industry that does such a fantastic job behind the scenes. My congratulations go to all the winners, with thanks to everyone who was nominated for making our judges work so hard over difficult decisions this year.”

On the night a charity raffle was held to raise money for hospitality charity Springboard to help it in its work to encourage young talent into the sector and re-train older applicants. Colin Murray was the Public Sector Catering awards night host. The event was attended by over 600 people from the catering industry. 

Full list of this year’s winners:

Written by
Edward Waddell