We are thrilled to announce that our Kitchen Porter, José Núnez has been named Kitchen Porter of the Year 2017 in a competition organised by The Caterer and Winterhalter UK, which has recognised Kitchen Porters across the UK since 2013.

José was selected as the winner by the judges from close to a 100 entries.

The seven judges, including James Horler (chief executive of Ego Restaurants and director of Patisserie Valerie), Sara Jayne Stanes (chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts) and Hayden Groves (executive chef for BaxterStorey), unanimously voted for José as the obvious winner.

José’s role as a Kitchen Porter at The Stafford is deemed particularly noteworthy because he always goes the extra mile in ensuring all areas of the hotel are maintained and well-presented.

Aside from keeping the kitchen running smoothly, José oversees the staff canteen, assists in the cooking of staff food, manages the storage areas for the hotel and regularly assists other departments. He also coordinates the night cleaners and trains new kitchen employees on the maintenance of equipment.

José is also honoured for the great amount of initiative that he shows, such as suggesting a new storage solution that reduced breakages.

‘He has a work ethic that cannot be compared. He’s always smiling, he holds himself and every member of his team to the highest standards. Nothing is ever too much for him,’ Mark Surguy, Hotel Manager, has explained.

‘Having José here for the opening of the Game Bird has ensured a smooth opening. We know we can always rely on him,’ James Durrant, Executive Chef, has added.

To pay tribute to José’s success, we organised a team meeting at our hotel, where Stephen Kinkead, Managing Director of Winterhalter UK, and Lisa Jenkins, Products and Suppliers Editor of The Caterer, surprised José with his winning trophy.

José, who was already named ‘Employee of the Year’ by The Stafford’s employees in 2016, did not see his well-deserved success coming: ‘I’m very surprised but happy to win this award and it was great to have my colleagues with me in the room.’

Aside from receiving a trophy, José receives £1,000 cash, a celebratory meal with friends and family, and Winterhalter’s warewash products worth up to £8,000 to work with.