After much heated debate, the judges of the 2019 KP of the Year have announced their shortlist. From their Top 10 a winner and two runners up will be chosen and unveiled later in November.
So, drum roll for the Top 10 KPs for 2019, who are:
- Edwin Ballogan, kitchen porter and maintenance manager, Cookery School at Little Portland Street, London
- Debbie Dale, kitchen porter, Beachcroft Hotels, West Sussex
- Sam Idubol, chief steward, Royal Air Force Club, London
- Dauda Issa, head kitchen porter, Hide Ground, London
- Davie Fleetham, kitchen assistant, BaxterStorey, Edinburgh
- Amanda Lunn, kitchen porter, Compass Group, Craigavon, Northern Ireland
- Henryk Miekina, senior kitchen porter, The Cavendish, London
- Cheryl Macdonald, kitchen porter, Jurys Inn, Middlesbrough
- Daniel Ndaruhutse, back of house kitchen porter, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
- John O’Connell, stable kitchen porter, The Stable, London
One of the judges this year is Elizabeth Raine, general manager of Crathorne Hall, North Yorkshire, whose kitchen porter, Aleks Riitmaa, was the 2018 KP of the Year. Raine said, “When Aleks won last year he was sincerely honoured to be recognised. Not only did he have the glory of winning, but also the very generous prize from Winterhalter and coverage in the media. Having now judged, I can see the submissions are truly inspiring examples of how some KPs go way beyond their normal call of duty. It was a very tough decision.”
Stephen Kinkead said, “Every year the entries get better and the decision gets harder. Huge congratulations to all those who made the Top 10 – the competition was stiff!”
The 2019 KP of the Year prize includes £1,000 cash for the individual winning KP and a celebratory meal for the KP and their friends and family in a casual-dining restaurant of their choice. The winner's place of work will win a prize too, in the shape of one of Winterhalter's warewash products, worth up to £8,000. The two runners up receive £250 cash. Every KP who was nominated in 2019 will receive a gift from Winterhalter, comprising a special KP of the Year apron, created by Oliver Hardy, in a presentation tin.
Alongside Raine on the 2019 judging panel were James Horler, chief executive of Ego Restaurants and director of Patisserie Valerie; Richard Davies, chef, the Calcot Hotel & Spa; Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts; Hayden Groves, executive chef, BaxterStorey; Mark Lewis, chief executive, Hospitality Action; and Stephen Kinkead, managing director, Winterhalter UK.
For more information about the Kitchen Porter of the Year awards, visit www.kpoftheyear.com