Alex Crowned Winterhalter’s Kitchen Porter of the Year
Alex Maphalala, our kitchen porter at Health Service Laboratories, has clinched the prestigious title of Winterhalter’s 2023 Kitchen Porter of the Year.
Organised by the Caterer in collaboration with Winterhalter, the competition shines a light on the often-unsung heroes of the hospitality world. Out of ten finalists, Alex stood out as the sole kitchen porter representing a foodservice caterer.
Not only does he keep the kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, Alex is also an experienced farmer and butcher, lending a hand with lunch service and meat preparation. He also works closely with his head chef to repurpose food waste into various soups and broths, and even crafting his own signature chilli sauce! Embracing his love for art, he can always be found unleashing his creativity, be it carving pumpkins for Halloween or whipping up sweet treats for his team.
He’s not just a behind-the-scenes hero. Beyond the hustle in the kitchen, Alex is a beacon for mental health and wellbeing, recently completing his NVQ and encouraging open conversations amongst the team on stress management.
Speaking to the Caterer, Alex said: “I’m so excited to win this award – and shocked too! We’ve just had a refurbishment here at Halo Café so I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibilities and seeing what next year brings”.
Alex has had quite the year, as he was crowned Kitchen Porter of the Year at our People Awards back in July.
Praveen Gujra, Alex’s general manager said: “Alex really deserves this recognition. He’s a incredible character; wouldn’t be able to function as a team without him. For me, it’s the small things he does that are thoughtful, whether he’s baking cupcakes on International Women’s Day or bringing in avocados because he’s visited his local farmer’s market. He’s always thinking of everyone else first”.
Stephen Kinkead, Winterhalter’s managing director, added: “Without doubt, this was the toughest year yet in terms of judging, with outstanding entries from all over the UK”.
Alongside the coveted KP of the Year trophy, Alex has won some high-tech Winterhalter kit, £1000 in vouchers and a celebratory meal with friends and family.