ESS Culinary Director, Graham Singer, Wins Craft Guild of Chefs Award

25 June 2024

Graham Singer, Culinary Director for ESS Energy, Government & Infrastructure, has been honoured at the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Awards where he won the Culinary Hero Award.

The award, decided by a public vote, recognises how Graham balances the professional delivery of a demanding day-to-day role with a commitment to supporting his community. As well as overseeing the feeding of thousands of customers weekly across ESS’ Energy, Government and Infrastructure contracts and leading on culinary strategy for Compass Scotland, Graham is passionate about having a positive impact in his local community. 

This is strongly demonstrated through the work he does to support those who are less fortunate over the festive period. 

In the week leading up to Christmas 2023, Graham led a team of volunteers in preparing and delivering 4,500 meals for charities and organisations supporting people in the Aberdeenshire area. These included food pantries, churches, sheltered housing, community centres and the Aberdeen Council Homeless Service.

The volunteers prepared a selection of eight main courses to go into meal packs which would feed people for several days over Christmas, with the recipient organisations noting that these would be the only hot meals some of their beneficiaries would have access to over the festive period. The team also provided hampers containing Christmas confectionary, festive selection boxes and staple food items of soups, pasta, cooking sauces, rice, biscuits, tea, coffee and ambient ready meals.

A representative of an organisation supported, commented:

“The lovely meals supplied go to so many good causes. From feeding the people in our homeless units to individuals, families, elderly people and those who face Christmas alone. In a time where food banks are stretched, and pasta and sauce are the staple for many as an affordable way to eat, these nutritional meals are a true godsend. Anyone who approached us for a meal this Christmas will be given a delicious meal prepped by the chefs.”

The work followed similar initiatives in 2022 and 2021 when Graham led teams that prepared over 4,000 meals and 2,500 meals respectively.

Graham has ongoing relationships with several charitable organisations, including Social Bite and Aberdeen Cyrenians, which support the homeless and vulnerable. He has prepared meals for the organisation’s beneficiaries and coordinated clothing contributions for volunteers.

He also leads projects to support the UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy which offers pastoral care and financial support to those who work or have worked in the industry and their dependents. These have included developing a soft drink in collaboration with two suppliers, with a percentage of proceeds going to the charity.