CGC is 50 1Five chefs who have made a real mark over the past 50 years were recognised at a banquet thrown by the Craft Guild of Chefs to bring its golden anniversary year celebrations to a close.

Steven Scuffell, Pauline Tucker, the late Winnie Myers, Ian Jaundoo and Giovanni Fontabasso all won an award for their outstanding contribution to the industry for each of the decades the Guild has been running at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre event (21/10).

Each winner received a trophy and a personalised knife set courtesy of I O SHEN, presented by HRH The Countess of Wessex and Craft Guild national chairman Christopher Basten.

Attended by 260 guests made up of Craft Guild members and business partners, the glittering celebration included a ‘dine through the decades’, five-course meal designed and prepared by a brigade of the Guild’s finest and comprising 60s-inspired canapés, prawn cocktail, Babycham sorbet, shoulder of lamb with fondant potatoes and roast vegetables, and egg and soldier.

Christopher said the banquet was the most wonderful way to bring the Guild’s 50th anniversary celebrations to a close. “The night was absolutely fantastic, the chance for everyone to get together and celebrate the achievements of our association whilst having a bit of fun, dancing to the brilliant Marshall Band and even a game of pass the parcel,” he said.

“The banquet itself went down a storm, especially the surprise appearance from the singing waiters, and while the menu was simple, it reflected the last five decades to a ‘T’.

“We also got to mark the many achievements of an incredible chef from the five decades the Guild has been running. The late, great Winnie Myers is, sadly, no longer with us, however, we were delighted to have her two nieces collect her award on her behalf.”

The banquet was just one of the highlights of this year’s 50th celebrations, marking a momentous milestone for the Guild as the largest chefs’ association in the UK, staunch supporter of education and the advancement of culinary art and science across all sectors.

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Profiles of the 50th anniversary awards winners:

  • Steve Scuffell – award sponsored by Speciality Breads

For many years, Steve has given up his time for the Craft Guild, in the early years helping head up The National Chef of the Year as well as heading up his two restaurants. One of his 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.

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 and 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.

  • Pauline Tucker – award sponsored by Meiko UK

Pauline can often be seen at large chef competitions checking chefs into various competition classes, telling them where to go how to go and basically getting them organised. Pauline joined what was then the Cookery and Food Association as a sweet 16 year old, and worked her way through the Committee of Management to become National Chairman in 1994-1996.

An active member both nationally and locally within the London division, Pauline is still heavily involved in the administration of the Wessex Culinaire competition and along with Steve Scuffell, heads up the Guild’s organisation of World Skills.

  • Winnie Myers – award sponsored by Bunzl Lockhart Catering Equipment

After entering the culinary profession in 1934, Winnie made 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, going on to work at Greenwich Navel College where she met Queen Mary, going on to prepare the Queen’s silver wedding anniversary dinner in 1972.

In 1952, Winnie joined the Cookery & Food Association and in 1975, the Craft Guild, 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 out there.

  • Ian Jaundoo – award sponsored by Bidvest Foodservice

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, and Ian encourages each and every student to fulfil their every potential.

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. His infectious smile and laugh keep all going even during the long hours in a kitchen.

  • Giovanni Fontabasso – award sponsored by British Premium Meats

Giovanni came to England from Italy in 1960 and joined the Cookery & Food Association and Craft Guild in 1976. He 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 for 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. Elected onto the main committee, he was National Chairman from 1996-1998 and acted as Senior Trustee for many years, overseeing many challenges. Even after retiring, Giovanni still plays a major role in the activities of the Guild as a Vice President and supports the Rotary Club of Great Britain with any food related projects.

‘Dine through the Decades’ sponsors:

  • British Premium meats supplied the lamb for the main course
  • Bunzl Lockhart supplied the crockery and cutlery
  • Malsar Kest supplied the table linen and napkins
  • Speciality Breads supplied the bread for the tables
  • Infusions4chefs created the dessert
  • Wenlock Springs supplied the table water