Boathouse 4 chef making waves at Contract Catering Awards

Author: Joanna Flood
Date: March 19, 2024
Category: News


We’re whipping out the confetti cannons as our very own culinary superstar, head chef Charlie Becke, took the title of Unit Hero of the Year at the Contract Catering Awards.

At a swanky black-tie gala dinner hosted at the Leonardo Royal Hotel, Charlie took centre stage as she was recognised by judges for being ‘a trailblazer of the contract catering world and for making a huge contribution to the industry’.

Charlie’s journey from sous chef at B&Q to head chef at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Boathouse 4, has been nothing short of epic. She’s been stirring up a storm since 2015, leading launch parties for local press, crafting menu masterpieces for supper clubs alongside chef partner Ruth Hansom and working with the local catering college to champion the next generation of future talent.

Completing her Level 5 Chef Academy qualification in 2018, Charlie wanted to do more to encourage women into culinary roles. On a mission to make a real difference, in 2022, Charlie co-founded RISE, our Women in Hospitality Network, with the aim of creating a more inclusive culture to encourage female chefs into the business. She has seen a monumental year with the network, proudly consulting with the BaxterStorey Board on the launch of our new industry leading benefits package, which includes 24 weeks enhanced maternity pay.

In 2023 she was recognised as a finalist at the People Awards, the first female to reach the ‘Chef of the Year’ finals in its eight-year history.

Commenting on her win, Charlie humbly said: “I feel really honoured! This award isn’t just for me but for my whole team who inspire me every day; I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. It just goes to show…not all heroes wear capes – some wear aprons!”

Dan Waistell, head of food for the Southeast, couldn’t contain his pride, saying: “Charlie is not only brilliantly professional, but wonderfully personable. She is a guiding light and the rock of what has become a formidable team down at the dockyard. She is hugely deserving of this award, and I couldn’t be prouder of her”.