For many years Steve has given up his time for the Craft Guild, in the early years helping head up National Chef of the Year as well as heading up his 2 restaurants. One of Steve’s greatest traits is his ability to just ‘get on with it’, never one to say no, always there to help the younger chefs, whether it be through training, coaching or just some plain simple advice. Steve has given up so many weeks during the summer, for in excess of 10 years he ran Summer Schools in the Berkshire area; these were designed to help young people learn how to cook, give them life skills and confidence. These would take much time, and Steve would happily do this for the satisfaction of knowing that these kids had nothing else to do and wanted to learn, much of this work often under the radar. During the years of 1999 – 2001 he was Chairman of the Craft Guild, for what was then a division of the Cookery and Food Association, again leading the Guild through tough times, but for the Guild coming out so much better for it.
Even now he actively supports the work that the Guild does, he is currently the Chairman of the Vice Presidents Council, heading up World Skills for the Guild, still taking an active role in National Chef of the Year – just where does he get his time and energy from!
Pauline can often be seen at many large chef competitions checking chefs into various competition classes, telling them where to go and how to go and basically getting them organised! Having said this, you will not meet a more focused person, someone who believes in what the Craft Guild is about and why we should be at the forefront. Pauline joined what was then the Cookery and Food Association in 1969 as a sweet 16 year old. It was then many people started to sit up and take notice, always happy to be vocal, and she still is, Pauline worked her way through the Committee of Management to finally be National Chairman in 1994-1996. I am more than sure that even in those days she will have controlled the men around the table!
Pauline has been an active member both nationally and locally within the London division, and within the London division still hosts their regular bi-monthly meetings, over the years having also chaired the division on a number of occasions. At present she is still heavily involved in the administration of the Wessex competition and along with Steve Scuffell heads up organisation of World Skills.
After entering the culinary profession in 1934, Winnie made it her life not only in cooking but being a member of the CFA and then the Craft Guild.
Winnie first started as a Wren and was posted to HMS Collingswood, she once mentioned that ‘the head cook wouldn’t take a woman in his galley; it wasn’t until all the men were drafted out to sea that they were forced to have me’. Typical Winnie, always prepared to wait her turn. But why did she join the wrens rather than one of the other services, when asked this previously her answer was really quite so simple, it had the best looking uniform!
She went onto work at Greenwich Navel College where she met Queen Mary; this was one of her many occasions with royalty, one of the others being when she prepared the Queens silver wedding anniversary dinner in 1972.
It was in 1952 that after leading a wrens team to a gold medal win at Hotelympia that Winnie joined the Cookery & Food Association, and not until 1975 that she was invited to join the Craft Guild, the reason for this was that she did not think that they ‘would take a woman’. Winnie later became the first female to be elected onto the committee.
Whilst she was at the House of Lords as Head Cook, where she remained for some 26 years until her retirement at 61, she became the National Chairman of the CFA and led the association through some great times, visiting as far afield as New Zealand and Australia to see the divisions that we had out there.
Ian has been such a keen supporter of the Guild for many years, with so much of his work going unnoticed. Working within the education sector of the industry is often seen as the less sexy and glamorous part of catering. But this is where it all begins for so many young people, their first taste of this great industry, the chance to make their mark in life and Ian encourages each and every student to fulfil their potential.
His involvement to the Craft Guild has been invaluable over many decades, often driving down from his home in Liverpool to London for a meeting, to attend an AGM, nothing is too much for Ian.
Ian was awarded a fellowship to the Craft Guild several years ago, and as ever he dedicates this all to Liverpool Community College where he still lectures. He is often seen putting on charity dinners and giving much more not just to the industry but to the Craft Guild as well. So much so that he has brought down a handful of students from Liverpool today to help cook tonight’s banquet dinner – his thought behind this as ever was to give them as much experience as he can, not just about catering but about life.
His infectious smile and laugh keep all going even during the long hours in a kitchen.
Giovanni came to England from Italy way back in 1960, and he joined the Cookery & Food Association and Craft Guild in 1976. Giovanni trained as a chef at South Sea College in Portsmouth and gained his City & Guilds 152. Giovanni was one of the youngest chefs working for what was then Trust House Forte, before moving within the group to Gardener Merchant, where he stayed from 1964 – 1986 some 22 years. Although he loved being a Chef he took a slight turn in 1986 and went to Charter House School as catering manager, where he stayed until his retirement in 1996.
Never being one to let the grass grow under him Giovanni was always a key player in the Surrey division of the CFA, and was instrumental in its success through the years, heading up the division many times. For Giovanni he wanted to do even more, he was elected onto the main committee and became National Chairman from 1996 – 1998 still carrying on with his Surrey duties as well as new National responsibilities. Added to this Giovanni acted as Senior Trustee for many years, overseeing many challenges.
Even since his retirement Giovanni has been as active as ever, still playing a major role in the activities of the Guild as a Vice President and supporting the Rotary Club of Great Britain with any food related projects.