BaxterStorey’s Alex Maphalala tops the hugely competitive 2023 KP awards

The search is over and Winterhalter has revealed the 2023 KP of the Year: he is Alex Maphalala, who works for BaxterStorey at Health Service Laboratories, London.  His nominator, general manager Praveen Gujra, describes him as “truly amazing. He’s vital to our team and lets us shine in a way that we wouldn’t be able to without him.”

Judges were impressed by Alex’s innovation and creativity as well as his promotion of ‘an enjoyable working environment where mental health is prioritised so everybody can thrive.’  He is very committed to sustainability, and is especially passionate when it comes to food waste.  Praveen says, “He regularly collaborates with the head chef to repurpose food waste into different soups and broths for the kitchen – and even his own special chilli sauce!  He was instrumental in reviewing our client’s waste management method, which enabled us to introduce a new recycling system that encourages waste separation.

“He has so many skills, being a KP is a fraction of what he does and he’s central to the success of our team.”

“I’m one of those people who comes into work with high energy,” says Alex. “Helping the team to get whatever needs to be done is a good feeling, and it’s lovely to hear that I’m making a real contribution. When you work in a nice environment with a supportive manager, it’s easy to enjoy what you do!”

Along with the prestigious title of Kitchen Porter of the Year 2023, Alex wins £1,000 in vouchers plus a celebratory event for family and friends.  To make his life a bit easier, he also wins a new Winterhalter machine for his kitchen.

Stephen Kinkead is managing director of Winterhalter UK, the company behind KP of the Year, and was also one of this year’s judges.  He said, “Alex is a brilliant KP – in a hugely competitive field, with many outstanding entries, he absolutely stood out.  Kitchen Porter of the Year is all about celebrating the amazing contribution that KPs throughout the UK make to our industry.  As Praveen said in the presentation, Alex is an inspiration. I’m delighted for him.”

The two runners up each receive £250-worth of vouchers.  They are Elisabetta Cenderello of 21 Hospitality Group, Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Consti Istrate, who is a KP at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.  All the KPs who were nominated this year receive an exclusive KP of the Year apron in a presentation tin.

For more information on the KP of the Year competition, visit kpoftheyear.com.