Esther Smith Recognised as Best Chef Apprentice

Our commis chef superstar Esther Smith has been awarded Best Chef Apprentice at the 2019 Purple Umbrella Awards.

Held at Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, the annual awards celebrate the success of rising apprentice stars within the hospitality industry. Apprentices are recognised for their extraordinary commitment to their training and achievements which have added value to their company’s workforce.

Esther was one of eight nominees in the Best Chef Apprentice category. Working for British American Tobacco, Esther joined us aged sixteen and has since completed her level two commis chef standard apprenticeship with a distinction; the first ever Umbrella apprentice to achieve such excellence.

The judges were wowed by her passion and drive, as well as her ability to move through her written and practical coursework, whilst displaying incredible self-motivation. Esther was also praised for playing a main role in our social media campaign for National Apprenticeship Week.

Karren Scholes, UK Facilities Manager, British American Tobacco, added: “Esther was our first chef apprentice and has excelled in her time with us. We are immensely proud she has been recognised with this industry accolade. Esther is a bright and enthusiastic member of the team, and the incredible support she has from her head chef mentor Marco, has given her added confidence to excel in developing her skills. It’s been exhilarating to watch her achieve her goals and become a valued member of the team”.

Delighted of her win, Esther said: “I was so proud to be shortlisted, to win is an even greater step in right direction for my career.  I can’t wait for the years ahead but for now I’m grateful for the success I’ve had in my apprenticeship and support I’ve had along the way. I really hope more young people will join the catering industry because it’s an exciting environment where you grow your skills but also so much as a person”.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to expand your development and skillset. BaxterStorey offers numerous courses tailored to suit any individual within our business. Want to know more? Contact

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