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Executive Chef Cooks Up A Storm Winning Chef Of The Year At Holroyd Howe People

Published by Brentwood School on Monday 29th of January 2024

Brentwood School’s Executive Chef Chris Pickett proved he is the crème de la crème of the culinary world clinching the prestigious Chef of the Year accolade at the 7th annual Holroyd Howe People Awards.


A seasoned professional with over two decades of culinary experience, Chris has traversed the gastronomic landscape leaving a trail of satisfied palates in his wake. From fine dining restaurants, boutique hotels, high street restaurants, gastro pubs and corporate hospitality, Chris now leads Holroyd Howe’s culinary brigade which caters to over 2.2k school staff and students every day.


Savouring his sweet victory, a delighted Chris said: "It's truly an honour to be recognised as Chef of the Year. This award is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team at Brentwood School. Together, we've elevated the dining experience, crafting culinary delights that tantalise the taste buds of staff and students alike and leave a lasting impression."


For Chris, a veteran of TV’s MasterChef: The Professionals, his culinary journey is not just about creating mouthwatering dishes. “I take great satisfaction in helping others to grow, develop and achieve more in their careers.”


The Holroyd Howe People Awards took place at Goodenough College in Mecklenburgh Square, Central London; an employee award event which recognises and rewards the achievements of 3500 staff working across the company’s 270 schools and support functions.


Nine award categories from culinary excellence through to health & wellbeing, were up for grabs and the Brentwood School Holroyd Howe seasoned catering crew were nominated as finalists in no less than four categories. Their citations:



  • Team of the Year - In recognition of the progress made by the whole team over the period post Covid to transform the delivery and quality of catering support provided to the school

  • Chef of the Year - Chris Pickett - In reflection of the progress Chris and his team have made to improve the quality of the food provided, their work to develop new menus and to deal very successfully with a period of significant food inflation

  • Manager of the Year - Debbie Mares - In recognition of the work led by Debbie to resolve the issues remaining in the running of the new Prep catering facility and her leadership of her team

  • Unsung Hero - Rita Teager - In recognition of someone most rarely seen but Rita has now been working at Brentwood School for over 50 years and has an attendance record that is second to none.


A very proud Holroyd Howe Director of Catering at Brentwood School, Mr Bruno Milin said: “The dedication and passion Chris is showing daily in ensuring that his team delivers great flavours, seasonal dishes with a creative flair and consistency makes my job a whole lot easier. This is a great achievement and a well-deserved one. This attitude towards excellence runs through the whole team, who very narrowly missed out on winning the Team of the Year award, and both Debbie and Rita only missed out marginally. I am thrilled to see the number of nominations we were finalists for and I am very proud of my hard working team’s achievements this year, who are all winners in my eyes, as we continue to develop the catering offer to cater for every taste buds, and hopefully, take the coveted Team of the Year next year.”


Brentwood School Bursar, Mr Jeremy Blunden said: “Our congratulations to Chris on his achievement and more generally to every single member of the team. The fact that the Brentwood School team were nominated as finalists in 4 categories is a very significant achievement for which they and we all should be proud. It is fitting recognition for the journey they have been on over the past two years to improve the quality of our food offering. My thanks to all of our catering team for the excellent support they provide.”

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