People's Choice Vote

The Craft Guild of Chef Awards People's Choice is voted for by the organisations members and other industry colleagues.  Nominations were sought for chefs from any part of the hospitality and catering industry and either for a specific achievement or for commitment over many years, the criteria for nomination were:

  • Have a proven track record
  • Be a highly professional craftsperson
  • Demonstrate true passion for food
  • Show clear examples of excellence and achievement in his or her field

The winner will be announced at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards on Thursday 6 June at the London Hilton on Park Lane, click here to book your place and see the winner revealed.

Please read the citations for the shortlisted contenders then vote for your winner below.

VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED - the winner will be revealed on 6 June at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

David Croft
Ex Chef, Disability Campaigner and Author

David’s career as a chef started in Newquay followed by a year in London for the Savoy Group. He then returned to Cornwall to work at two hotels. Another spell in London was spent at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. This was followed a job in Bermuda. David’s career as a chef was then tragically brought to an end when he broke his neck in a diving accident in 1980.

The accident occurring on the same day that David had been chosen to fight in the world karate championships and inaugural world games. In addition to being a talented chef David was a 2nd Dan black belt in Karate. On the cusp of International sporting and professional success this was truly a bodyblow. Such an accident would have held many, chefs or others, back. However, despite being paralysed from the shoulders down and often in pain this life-changing injury has not stopped David helping many others. Such work within the hospitality industry includes:

• Helping raise many thousands of pounds for various charities including Hospitality Action
• Won or helped others to win landmark Equality Act cases thereby benefitting numerous people
• Persuaded the second largest hotel chain in the UK to provide wheel in showers

• Helped a large scale restaurant implement appropriate access when not considered possible earlier
• Pioneering and setting up the first disability friendly website for hospitality establishments thus showing the way forward for others
• Advised me on building our Cyprus holiday home for disabled people which has enabled others to holiday with the benefits of relaxation, and great pleasure
• Helped many in the wider hospitality industry to win prestigious awards for their disability provision

David authored a part life story / part cookbook Food for Thought with contributions from 30 of the very best chefs the Britain, including members of the Craft Guild of Chefs, and raised money for two charities.

Whilst David is no longer technically a chef, the hospitality industry is still dear to his heart. He is involved, in some way, on a daily basis as he strives to improve the lot of others. His achievements over the years demonstrate tremendous courage and determination that would put many a chef to shame.

Murray Chapman
First Contact

Murray Chapman is a competition chef, successful businessman, tireless supporter of education and link with industry.

Murray competed in and won the Steelite International Chef of the Year competition and then later demonstrated at the Skills for Chefs conference in Sheffield.  Following on from this he worked at various conferences where he and his team assisted such names as Charlie Trotter, Marcus Waring amongst many others.

Since then he has been a tremendous supporter of many colleges and chef lecturers attending many meetings with outside agencies such as People1st, Ofsted, AA extolling the virtues of further education and our industry in his usual passionate manner.

Through him many of ex students have found employment within the industry in various establishments from local small businesses to Michelin level.

In more recent years Murray has been known for his development/instigation of competitions for students. These range from Passion to Inspire, MCGB Young Pastry Chef, Zest Quest to smaller regional competitions where students not only get to compete but also work alongside some of the country’s most celebrated chefs such as Adam Smith. Eric Snaith, Mark Pointon, Paul Foster amongst others.

Murray also stages demonstration skills days throughout the country for students and lecturers to go and be inspired but also create contacts for stages and work placements, a recent one was held at Coworth Park with a demonstration on game and chocolate and also a discussion on sustainability along with a tour and Q&A session about careers within the Dorchester Group.

In short Murray works tirelessly to promote and encourage students into our industry whilst still maintaining his own business.

Scott Whiteing
Genuine Dining Company

Every GDC site talks about the support Scott has given over the years; his dedication to the company is impressive and his food always wows, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Scott has been doing this as well as battling cancer and continuing to work whilst receiving rigorous chemo treatment but his determination to work and help the GDC sites has not wavered. In fact Scott has found a way to be just as effective whilst spending less time physically in the kitchen.  Within weeks of diagnosis he was knocking on the door to get back in and work with the teams. His passion for great food really personifies the GDC ethos of “the best people, serving the best food, having the most fun”

All the GDC chefs are so inspired by Scott’s work ethics, attitude and pure positivity they can’t help but work harder themselves and push on that little bit more. This outlook makes Scott a true asset to the company.

Scott has been an integral part of the GDC family and has applied himself to all areas of the business, seconding himself to kitchens that need a boost, some training and development plus guidance on giving the counters at GDC venues that WOW factor.

His impact is always positive, with teams taking on board the advice and knowledge Scott offers. Anyone who works with him knows his professionalism and fun nature engages clients at all stages of the process.

Scott guided and organised GenChef last year but his fight with cancer meant he had to dip out of the final stages. Again, his passion for our industry meant he signed himself out of hospital to be a part of the final and judge the best the GDC Chefs had to offer – an inspirational moment for the company.

Scott is a highly valued member of the team at GDC and is recognised in our business as a true fighter of his diagnosis. Our industry is fortunate to have someone like Scott in it, proving the never say die attitude we all have to push the boundaries of excellence.