Three top University caterers are celebrating after beating the region’s best chefs, housekeepers and drinks servers to prizes at a prestigious industry competition this week.

The talents of Stewart Turner, Richard Pettit and Charlie Seal from the University of Birmingham were recognised at the annual Midland Association of Restaurants, Caterers, Hotels and Entertainment (MARCHE) Awards at the International Convention Centre on Sunday night.

The winners from the University’s Hospitality and Accommodation Services team faced a number of tasks designed to prove their professional mettle in the stiff rounds of competition in the run up to the awards ceremony.

Stewart Turner won the silver award in the Chef of the Year category, after preparing, cooking and presenting a 3-course menu in 2 hours. Stewart excelled by preparing a starter of Cappuccino of Parsnip Soup with Truffle Oil, a fish course of Seared Scallops on Black Pudding with Pea Coulis, and a main course of Coq au Vin with fondant potatoes and glazed vegetables.

Richard Pettit won the silver award in the Drinks Service Assistant of the Year category, after completing a range of tests including identifying five spirits through sight and smell only, answering tough questions on licensing laws, preparing a classic Martini cocktail and presenting a varied cocktail menu. His Harvey Wallbanger obviously clinched the prize!

Charlie Seal gained a Highly Commended award in the Housekeeping Assistant of the Year category. Charlie had to fully service a very messy bedroom to top standards of cleanliness within 30 minutes, and also produce a gift to leave in the guest’s room at a cost of no more than a £1 – she chose a small gift box containing jelly beans.

Geoff Pringle, Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services at the University of Birmingham said: “I am really delighted that Stewart, Richard and Charlie’s achievements have been recognised at the MARCHE Awards this weekend. This is an endorsement of their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and shows that University Caterers can compete in the same arena as 5 star hotels and restaurants.”


Notes to Editors:

The University of Birmingham’s Hospitality and Accommodation Services team is responsible for the provision of student residential accommodation, all campus catering services, the provision of conference facilities, the commercial uses of residential accommodation and the University day nurseries. They serve a 35,000 strong campus community.

Further information:

Rachel Robson – Head of News Team, University of Birmingham

Tel: 0121 414 6681 / mob: 07789 921165 / email: