Gary Hunter, Deputy Executive Principal

Westminster Kingsway College (@westking) has scooped two prestigious Catey awards, the hospitality industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

The Cateys are run by The Caterer magazine and recognise the most talented individuals, biggest brands and strongest performers in the industry.

Gary Hunter, Deputy Executive Principal, won the Education and Training Award and WestKing received the Health and Nutrition Award at an online ceremony on 24 November.

Gary was awarded the Education and Training Award for delivering on his ambition to better the standards of culinary education in the UK.

Judges hailed Gary as a worthy winner who has “continuously adapted and changed the college's curriculum to reflect the needs of the student to meet the demands of the industry."

Gary, who is also a trained pastry chef and chocolatier with Michelin star restaurant experience, said: “The team at Westminster Kingsway are pivotal to our success with the many students that have graduated from us and gone on to make such a positive impact within the Hospitality industry. This award is just as much a reflection of their hard work as it is mine.

“I have an undiminished passion and love for this industry and working with a team that shares my vision for the future of training and education means that we can meet the needs of students and hospitality in clearly tough circumstances at the moment. My thanks go to The Caterer for continuing to highlight and celebrate such great examples of what makes this sector so innovative, vibrant and strong.”

The Health and Nutrition Award was awarded to the college for its creation of an academy in partnership with Culinary Medicine UK to educate students and clinicians on the importance of food as medicine.

Judges described the relationship as a great example of partnership working that has “the potential to change the health of the nation and reduce costs to the NHS”.

Vince Kelly, Chef Lecturer, said: “I believe chefs can play a huge role in the nation’s health and can increase awareness by adding nutritional value to each dish. I see future career pathways into healthcare for professional chefs, and it is vital we set the standard now.

“Winning this award has only added weight to this argument and endorsed the fantastic work we’ve been doing at Westminster Kingsway College.”

The Cateys were first held in 1984 and are among the most prominent and respected awards in the hospitality industry.

Past winners of the coveted Chef Award include Raymond Blanc, Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsey, Tom Kerridge, Claude Bosi and Angela Hartnett.

WestKing has 15 operational kitchens and two training restaurants, The Brasserie and The Escoffier Room at The Vincent Rooms, located at its Victoria Centre, and trains more than 2,000 students and apprentices each year.

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