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ACE:- What can I sayâ€¦.Association of Catering Excellence!! Sounds pretty good doesnâ€™t it!!
I was asked to write a blog on what itâ€™s like getting involved with ACE and how the expertise throughout catering and hospitality can help you.
Iâ€™m Chris and Iâ€™m a catering manager for Blue Apple contract catering. I have been with them for 3 years now taking my tally up to 17 years of catering experience. That makes me feel old but Iâ€™m still young and fresh at 32!
I joined Blue Apple to get away from the 60+ hour weeks in restaurants so I could start a family with my wife, not really knowing what to expect. I was quickly given the opportunity to run my own unit within 3 months of being there.
My efforts were recognised by my peers at Blue Apple and as a team we won unit of the year at the company awards in 2016, which was closely followed by a nomination for the ACE Robyns award at London Zoo in July of 2017. Not knowing too much about ACE I was still very excited to be a part of what was going to be a night to remember- thereâ€™s not too many opportunities you get to spend the evening with people who have the same views and passion as I do and it was a privilege - the knowledge of some of these guys is overwhelming. You can only stand back and admire what they have achieved as individuals and what they have brought to their companies. I didnâ€™t win that year but the fact that I was nominated and got to the final 13 in the UK gave me such belief in self-achievement and to have my wife there too was also a plus.
2017 continued to be a great year with a nomination for Chef Manager of the year from the CATEYS. I got to the final 3; this was turning out to be a pretty special year for my career. I also achieved a gold award for healthy eating by the local government.
2018 came round quickly as work and home life was pretty hectic, I wanted to know what I could achieve this year, (little did I know another nomination for Chef Manager of the Year and ACE council where looming)
How could I better my career and myself? How could I get myself in to a position of something so different but still helps me with what I do day in and day out? I absorb knowledge and thrive on it. I like not knowing what is going to happen as you live for today but what you do is going to benefit you tomorrow.
I was I given a chance to put my name forward to try and get onto the ACE council, something that was absolutely unthinkable a few years ago, I had to give it a go. I was voted on to the council by my fellow council members so I must have done something right, I was shocked that I had even been asked. To be selected for the ACE council Is by far my greatest achievement to date.
Itâ€™s great to think about next generation and how you can get involved but to experience it first hand from just doing my job is a privilege. The support I have had in my career is so very well received and to get the chance to enhance my knowledge through ACE is even better received.
Networking isnâ€™t my biggest thing in life but I do like to talk about work a lot when Iâ€™m not there, itâ€™s my hobby so I could talk about it all day, this is why ACE is so good for my career not only am I learning there is someone that might be learning from me (well I hope)
Throughout the year we have so many charity events that you can get involved with from ACE Robyns to Quiz night and my personal favourite Ready Steady Cook (itâ€™s great to see all the talent out there competing against one another)