KP wins prizes worth over £12,500 in awards conceived and sponsored by Winterhalter
Bartek Malek of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge is the 2013 Kitchen Porter of the year. The award, conceived and sponsored by Winterhalter, is designed to celebrate the huge, often overlooked contribution that KPs make to the foodservice industry.
As KP of the Year Bartek has won £500 cash and an unforgettable experience – a night out with five colleagues at the chef’s table in a Michelin Star restaurant. Plus, for his workplace, he’s won a brand new Winterhalter pass-through warewasher worth an estimated £12,000.
Bartek was nominated by Simon Young, executive chef at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower. Simon describes Bartek as “the star performer of our team,” praising his ‘can do’ attitude and ability to think outside the box. For example, he has built a strong network of kitchen porters at other leading hotels and uses these contacts to sound out the latest developments before making equipment purchasing recommendations.
The main point of the awards scheme is to recognise the enormous contribution that KPs up and down the country make to the foodservice industry. “We felt it was time that kitchen porters got some of the limelight, and I’m delighted to say that many top chefs agreed with us,” says Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK. “We had letters of support from people like Sat Bains, Frances Atkins and Tom Kitchin. And we had entries from sites across the industry – schools, restaurants, hotels.
“We’re going to keep on celebrating the KPs’ contribution by talking to and about kitchen porters and celebrating the work they do at the official KP of the Year website (www.kpoftheyear.com). The website is also the first place that caterers will be able to find out about next year’s awards.”
Judges described how high the standards were in 2013’s tight-fought competition. “A lot of people put a lot of work into the entries,” said Stephen. “In recognition of that we are giving every single one of our nominated KPs a special presentation Oliver Harvey apron and skull cap. The two runners up will also receive a commemorative plate.”
The judging panel for the 2013 KP of the Year awards included James Horler, of 3Sixty Group; Nick Vadis, Compass; Liz McGivern, Red Carnation Hotels; Jeff Galvin, Galvin Restaurants; John Hicks, Baxter Storey; and Stephen Kinkead, Winterhalter.