Chef Appreciation Week: Spotlight on Melissa Reynolds

Compass Group, the global leader in food and support services, this week, celebrates Chef Appreciation Week on 10 -16 September. The world’s largest global culinary celebration, we pay tribute to the thousands of trained chefs who play such an important role in our global business.

In honour of the week, we celebrate Melissa Reynolds, our Regional Executive Chef for the East Coast for her part in serving a better future for our people, communities and our planet. 

Surprise and Delight: Spotlight on Melissa Reynolds, Regional Executive Chef

Melissa Reynolds - Chef Appreciation Week

After working as a chef at Compass Group Australia for nine years, Melissa Reynolds, Regional Executive Chef of the East Coast has experienced a range of different kitchens and sites across Compass Group Australia’s portfolio.

I first started with Compass Group Australia as a line chef on Curtis Island, but when I was promoted to Functions Chef, I realised functions and events were where I really thrived,” shares Melissa. “I love giving people the ‘wow’ factor, creating grazing table styles that surprise and delight.” 

Now as Regional Executive Chef and part of our National Culinary Team, she loves learning and supporting her teams.

In her role, Melissa oversees all food operations of sites, working alongside teams in all areas of the kitchen from food presentation, food safety, team building and menu design, plus the roll-out of two of our systems, MyFood and Leanpath, to empower our people as well as protect our planet.

Recipe and menu management system, MyFood, provides data driven recipe, menu and production planning to site and suggested order quantities for all ingredients used in menus. Whilst MyFood supports menu planning, Leanpath tracks food waste through a dashboard that is equipped in kitchens to track, weigh and give immediate insight on how waste can be generated from what is ordered. These forward-thinking insights not only reduce costs but also reduce food waste, helping us to serve a better future for our planet.  

Melissa has been an integral part of the Leanpath and MyFood roll-out, singlehandedly visiting 20 remote sites across QLD, NSW and TAS from July until present, coaching on the MyFood program and spending time training chefs to progress culinary leaders on modern day systems and practices. She has also trained and deployed site management teams and frontline employees on the Leanpath program across 12 remote sites, helping to deliver on our Planet Promise and work towards our promise of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

While she has an interest in supporting sites with these systems, Melissa’s other passion, is people. “I enjoy working with people who share the same passion and drive, not only for food, but the drive to create amazing things, and also the drive to learn more and more every day.”

With a belief that the key to success is upskilling the people around you, Melissa is also seeking to shine the spotlight on her teams and give them the opportunity to grow and develop. If you invest in your people, half the challenge is won, so I believe it’s more important to support your people and help them win,” shares Melissa. “That’s what makes us better chefs and better people.”  

Thank you to Melissa and all our chefs at Compass Group Australia for being the great people who inspire the great food we enjoy every day.

Read more about our People here

Melissa Reynolds - Chef Appreciation Week


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