The Woburn Hotel, part of the prestigious Woburn Estate, is celebrating after two members of its kitchen staff were awarded with separate accolades for their impressive cooking skills.
Kayleigh Button, pastry chef at The Woburn Hotel since August 2015, was awarded the Gold Medal at Hotelympia for her Novelty Cake in the junior section (under 23 years old). This well respected award is organised by Salon Culinaire, the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition programme. Kayleigh’s winning cake, inspired by Roald Dahl’s stories, is currently on display in The Woburn Hotel reception, and it will be until Easter. Prior to joining the team at The Woburn Hotel, Kayleigh worked at The Grove Hotel in Watford, as demi chef de partie.
Jake Stokes, commis chef at The Woburn Hotel since June 2015, won ‘Zest Quest Asia’ 2016 as part of a team of students from Milton Keynes College, where he is currently training. Zest Quest Asia is a student chef’s competition to find those with the best knowledge and skills in Asian cuisine. As part of the challenge, the team were asked to create a four course Asian meal. They were competing against five other colleges including last year’s winners, Farnborough College. The team was awarded a 10 day culinary trip to Bangkok after winning the competition. Jake also gained a wealth of experience from spending five days doing work experience at Raymond Blanc’s award-winning hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Kayleigh Button said: “I am so proud of my achievements at Hotelympia; winning gold and best in class has been more than I could have ever hoped for, and it has made me feel much more confident about my skills and excited for the next competitions that I can take part in.”
Jake Stokes added: “During my time at Woburn I have learnt so much, in particular presenting food to a high standard, and this helped during the competition. Winning Zest Quest Asia is like a dream come true. The competition was fierce, and it was hard but winning has really boosted my confidence, and I can’t wait to enter more competitions.”
Olivier Bertho, Executive Chef at Olivier’s and The Sculpture Gallery, said: “As a team we are proud of Kayleigh and Jake. They work so hard to make sure that they are at the top of their game, and that goes to show with these impressive results.
“At Woburn we strongly believe in nurturing young talent, and pushing them to the best of their abilities. We have a number of staff members that have worked their way up through the ranks over the years, including Haylee who has been with us for 10 years, she started as a commis and is now a junior sous chef at The Woburn Hotel, and Ben, who has been with us for nine years and joined us as a chef de partie is now senior sous chef at The Sculpture Gallery.
“We believe in our staff and we want them to achieve great things; that is why we are constantly training and developing our teams to encourage growth.”
To find out more about The Woburn Hotel please visit: http://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/