Compass Group, the global leader in food and support services, this week, celebrates Chef Appreciation Week on 12-18 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.
Launched in 2013 and hosted by Compass Group, Chef Appreciation Week is a global platform for customers, colleagues and local communities to come together and celebrate both the power of food and the people who dedicate their lives to feeding millions every day.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Celebrating community through food’, where we thank chefs for their ability to both connect and nourish our employees, clients and customers.
Chef Spotlight – Raquel Townsend
As a Chartwells Head Chef at ANU, Raquel Townsend oversees ANU Bruce Hall and Wright Halls production kitchen. Since starting her journey with Compass Group Australia just over a year ago, she has been an outstanding addition to the leadership of the site. Loved by many, colleagues and clients appreciate Raquel for her great food, how she uplifts and energises her team, and for being instrumental in developing systems that further enhance culinary operations.
As part of Compass Group’s Chef Appreciation Week, we asked Raquel some questions about what she loves about being a Chef, her team and the contribution she makes to Compass Group…
What do you like about working as a Chef in Compass Group?
Working directly with the team energises and inspires me! I’m proud to be a female Chef that has overcome industry challenges and is determined to get things done while adding a collaborative and nurturing touch to cooking and team development.
Compass Group recognises the importance of fostering young chefs and attracting new talent to the trade. We put ‘our safety and our team’ at the forefront of daily operations and provide support for all team members through their culinary and life journeys. By working together, my team have gained mutual understanding, learnings and positive working relationships that have created a formidable team that faces challenges with tenacity and has produced some amazing results.
Finally, the exciting addition of Compass Group’s Leanpath sustainability project raises awareness to reduce our daily wastage. We are now more conscious of how we use produce and think of new ways to safely repurpose food, rather than discarding it into the compost bin.
What is a typical workday for you?
When I arrive at ANU, I have personalised interactions with team members and continue this throughout the day. I walk around the site checking on site safety, food safety and equipment checks, empowering team members to follow procedure and ensure we are safe and compliant.
We have team briefings for breakfast, lunch and dinner where I support our team leaders and check Allergen Declaration Cards. Continuously working on team development (of future chefs, chef de parties, sous chefs and Head Chefs) is a daily focus for our team at ANU.
We have leadership team meetings twice a week where we talk about safety shares, Leanpath results, team news, team member of the month voted by peers, calendar of events, customer feedback and meal uptake. We also recognise our team members for their efforts.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
There have been so many but my proudest achievement is that we always produce delicious, beautiful food that receives such positive feedback from our residential communities, our clients and our team.
What do you see in your future…
In my future I hope to continue to develop as I learn what is possible and where I can have a positive impact. For now, I would like to continue to develop the culinary leaders of tomorrow.
Raquel is just one of the incredible chefs that work at Compass Group uniting our community through delicious food and service. Thank you Raquel for your passion and for your inspiring way of leading others.
Read more about Our People here.
PJ Brooks, Compass Group Australia Communications Manager
E: [email protected]
About Chef Appreciation Week
In 2013, Donald and Lisa Crutch of the National Pink Tie Organization “Chefs Against Cancer” division, co-founded Chef Appreciation Week to honour and recognise all those serving in the culinary industry for their dedication, love of food and willingness to serve their community.
In 2018, Compass Group USA partnered with the Crutch family to celebrate Chef Appreciation Week in its cafes and restaurants nationally. When Donald Crutch passed away unexpectedly in 2019, Compass Group pledged to carry on his legacy with a commitment to launch a worldwide Chef Appreciation Week campaign, which is now celebrated across 30+ nations globally.