Brand News


Luka Seddon – 2017 Shine Awards Shortlist

Congratulations to our Apprentice Commis Chef, Luka Seddon, who has been named in the 2017 Shine Awards shortlist for Apprentice of the Year. The Shine Awards annually celebrate the contribution that women bring to the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry.

At just 21, Luka is one of CH&Co Group's rising stars, which she proved when she won the inaugural Toque D'Or Apprentice competition last summer. She is without a doubt a very talented chef who has the potential to be a leader in our industry. We are 100% confident that her love of food, passion for detail and ability to lead others will show other female chefs the opportunities available to them and inspire them for years to come.

Commenting on making the shortlist, Group Food Development Director, Jim Wealands said, 'To be a female chef in what is still a male-dominated industry can be really challenging - you need to be strong-willed. Luka is, and she has a natural ability to stand out in the kitchen. She is a very talented young chef with a very bright future ahead of her and I'm sure she will inspire many other women to follow in her footsteps. We were astounded at the dish she created for the FSM awards and are delighted that the industry is once again recognising tomorrow's talent'.

The 2017 Shine Award Winners will be announced at a special event on 16 October 2017 at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.


Laura Amos wins the ACE Robyns Award 2017

Congratulations to Laura Amos, Ampersand’s catering manager at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, who was crowned the 2017 ACE (Association of Catering Excellence) Robyns Award winner, last night.

Laura, who is responsible for a range of catering functions at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, including the Café at the Palace and numerous formal receptions and events, received her award at the ACE annual summer party held at ZSL London Zoo, in front of 250 hospitality guests (and the odd Lion or two!).

She has made a real impact on the success of the catering operation.  For example, in 2016 Laura’s innovative approach in the Café at the Palace realised an increase in afternoon tea sales by an astounding 400% and her customer numbers were up by 30,000. She is respected by her client, customers and team for her verve, her forward-thinking, innovative marketing ideas, her commitment to ensuring first-class experiences across a range of catering functions, and her commitment to developing her team.

She Marta Pegram from Lexington, Sam Roth from Baxter Storey and Rebecca Cuppit from Lusso were also highly commended.

Tim Jones, chairman of CH&Co Group, who co-founded CH&Co with his late wife Robyn Jones OBE, and ACE Robyns Award judge, said: “There is clearly exceptional young talent in our industry and it’s a privilege to be involved in the second ACE Robyns Award. The standard of entries, which came from a diverse range of roles and a broad spectrum of companies, was incredibly strong and the judges had a tough job.

“As the judging process reached the shortlist stages, ACE’s chairman Paul Hurren and I watched from the side lines to ensure the ultimate decision was impartial.  The overall winner is someone that typifies Robyn’s drive, passion and attention to detail and the judges found this in Laura Amos.  She excels in her role, as the results and client feedback clearly show, and contributes significantly to both the success of the business and her team members. I congratulate Laura wholeheartedly.  She is a deserved winner who should be very excited about what the future holds.”

The other finalists were Sonia Carvalho of Restaurant Associates, Amanda Cox of Sodexo, Nicole Du Preez of Restaurant Associates, Teresa Gohil of Amadeus, Christopher Howard-Kraft of Blue Apple, Rob Simmons of BaxterStorey, Miguel Teixeira of Bartlett Mitchell, Adam Thomason of Restaurant Associates and David Touizer of CH&Co Group.

Paul Hurren, Chair of ACE said: “It’s very important to recognise the young talent in our industry. They are, after all, our leaders of tomorrow. It’s crucial that they’re engaged, inspired and supported in their pursuit of a fulfilling and successful hospitality career.  The ACE Robyns Award is a key part of ACE’s work in this field. The entries this year were exceptional and it’s clear that our industry has a bright future.”

The ACE Robyns Award was created in 2016 in memory of Robyn Jones OBE, founder of CH&Co, long-term ACE Patron, and well-known and respected champion of mentoring, training and developing young hospitality talent. The award upholds her legacy and spotlights the next generation of industry talent. Open to those under the age of 35 from across the diverse range of contract catering roles – be that in operational, culinary, front of house, business development or support roles – it recognises those excelling in foodservice and going the extra mile for their clients and teams alike.   


And the Oscar goes to…

Paul Hurren, Lusso’s talented managing director, was last night honoured by the industry for his outstanding contribution to foodservice at the Cateys 2017, also known as the ‘Oscars’ of the hospitality industry.

Paul scooped the coveted Foodservice Caterer Award for the innovation and growth Lusso has demonstrated under his leadership. And, it makes for impressive reading.

Financially, Lusso had a phenomenal year in 2016. Thanks to culinary, technological and sustainability innovations, the team secured £48.7m of new and retained business (over 50% with new clients), smashed sales targets by 12%, increased client venues by 40% and maintained 100% client retention.

Ethically, Lusso also stands out from the crowd. Its inventive sustainability practices and Food Philosophy put provenance at the heart of menu development, which appeals to its discerning corporate clients and customers. The business is also very proactive and nurturing when it comes to mentoring and developing its people, an approach that has seen staff retention increase above the industry average.

A well-liked industry personality with a real love of food and people, Paul also gives back to the sector as a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and Chair of ACE (Association of Catering Excellence).

Take a look at the video below and hear what the man himself had to say on receiving the award and achieving a career ambition: