ESS Chefs Win at the Culinary Olympics

16 February 2024

Compass Group UK & Ireland chefs won an impressive 26 medals at the IKA/Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany - representing teams for Compass, Craft Guild of Chefs and England’s National Team. 

The IKA/Culinary Olympics is the oldest, largest and most diverse international culinary arts competition in the world. The event is a pioneering celebration of international gastronomy and demonstrates the commitment of food professionals to culinary excellence. 

16 Compass chefs travelled to Germany to compete.

The Compass Group UK & Ireland team comprised 11 talented chefs, four support chefs and two team coaches, with the following representatives from ESS: Gordon McKenzie (Team Captain), Barry Fleming (Pastry Chef), Chris MacLeod, David Bryant, David Auchie, Kevin Rocks (Support Chef), Dougal Macpherson (Support Chef) and Graham Singer (Team Coach). The Compass team claimed 17 medals, from across the community catering and the UK regional team table.

Nicola Harper, Group Executive Chef for ESS, competed as part of the Craft Guild of Chefs Team and took a fantastic Gold medal for Individual Culinary Arts.

As individual entrants, Nathan Clark brought home a Silver and a Bronze, and James Larkins a Silver.

Collectively Compass chefs brought home a Gold, 18 Silvers and 7 Bronze awards.

Nicola Harper, Group Executive Chef - ESS Defence, said: 

Winning my first Gold at such a high-level international competition is amazing - I am still over the moon and can’t wait to see what the future holds with these inspirational chefs. It was such an honour to represent the craft, Compass and Craft Guild of Chefs.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director - Compass UK & Ireland and Team Coach, said:

I am extremely proud of all our chefs who either supported, or competed, in the Culinary Olympics. To have such fantastic representation across the different categories on the world stage is a credit to our business. The dedication and time they spend honing their skills is evident in the medal haul - they are all true ambassadors for their craft. A huge well done to everyone that took part.

Graham Singer, Culinary Director - ESS and Compass Scotland, added: 

"It was humbling to be part of such a great team, and to be their coach and mentor - and it was truly a proud moment to see the success of our individual entrants alongside the overall team medal wins. We have a great team of extremely talented and professional chefs including our young apprentices. The dedication and commitment in the run up to and execution of the event showcased their determination and fantastic skills on the world stage."