• New Hospitality Awards to drive new recruits to sector
  • Yorkshire’s most promising chef revealed
  • Yorkshire’s most talked about chef celebrates the winners
  • Born in Algeria, made in Yorkshire, champion award goes to Tarik Abdeladim

Tommy Banks, the Michelin Star winning head chef, whose restaurant The Black Swan at Oldstead was rated *the best in the world, has fronted a new initiative to encourage more rising stars into York and Yorkshire’s hospitality sector.  Celebrating everything from the ‘Star Behind the Bar’, to ‘Top Taxi Driver’, to ‘Most Promising Chef’, these new awards are being organised by Make It York, and showcase the talent and skills of individuals working in the city.

Sponsored by Sweet P Catering, the York Hospitality Awards winners were announced last night (Wednesday 26 September) at the Everyman Cinema.  One hundred entries were whittled down to ten winners, all deemed to be stars in their chosen career path.  Tommy himself won a Visit York Tourism Award for Culinary Excellence in 2010.  Now he has put his weight behind this new venture to showcase the burgeoning talent in one of the city’s largest sectors and show just what a brilliant career choice working in hospitality can be.

The coveted ‘Hospitality Champion’ award went to Tarik Abdeladim.  As a young man growing up in Algeria, Tarik would often spend time with his uncle picking figs on land owned by the family.  On Good Friday in 2015, Los Moros, a street kitchen outlet in Shambles Food Court was born.  The name comes from the Moorish influence on North African food with its blend of herbs, spices, meat and vegetables.  Los Moros the restaurant will open on Grape Lane later this year employing around 15 people, bringing his total team to 21.  Not bad for a small business born in Algeria but very much made in Yorkshire.

At a time when hoteliers, restaurants and other businesses have been struggling to recruit staff, this new awards ceremony will shine a spotlight on the wide variety of careers on offer. 

Paul Whiting, Head of Visit York, said: “I’d like to congratulate all our deserving winners.  Our aim is to make York the number one destination to start and grow your hospitality career.  There are some brilliant opportunities out there if you are keen to progress.  The sky really is the limit and Tommy is such a fabulous example of what can be achieved.”

Graham Usher, Chair of York Hoteliers, and Manager of the Double Tree By Hilton, York, said: “I’m thrilled to see our first cohort of Hospitality Awards Winners celebrate their success.  The sector is facing one of its most challenging recruitment periods yet and we need to get the word out about what a skilled and rewarding career hospitality can be.”

The ten award categories are: Warm Welcome, Serving Superstar, Star Behind the Bar, Sparkle Award, Most Promising Chef, Top Taxi Driver, Unsung Hero, Lifetime Achievement, Career Catapult and the 2018 Hospitality Champion.  At the event Tommy held a Q and A session with Minster FM breakfast presenter Ben Fry, sharing some of his own inspirational career path, leading to his latest venture; the opening this month of his second restaurant, Roots York. 

Tommy said: “Hospitality is a wonderful industry that has been very kind to me.   After winning a culinary excellence award eight years ago, I’m now part of the thriving restaurant scene in York. 

“I’m delighted to be part of this new awards ceremony recognising all of the great people in our sector.  I hope being a winner (and a finalist) will inspire our next generation of talent and make sure we keep on attracting more of it.  I can’t imagine a better place than York and Yorkshire to live and run my business.”

Earlier in the year a new ‘JobsinYork.com’ website was launched by the city’s destination marketing organisation, Make It York, to match people to hospitality jobs across the city. Paul added: “We are committed to putting York in the spotlight as the best place in the UK to train, work and progress your hospitality career. 


The Winners Are:

Hospitality Champion – sponsored by Sweet P Catering

Winner – Tarik Abdeladim
As a young man growing up in Algeria, Tarik would often spend time with his uncle picking figs on land owned by the family.  His love of food developed there and grew during the summers he spent with his cousins, working in restaurants on the French Riviera.
London was to be the next destination for Tarik when he moved here over 20 years ago.  After working in restaurants for a couple of years he headed to York and has been here ever since.  On
Good Friday in 2015, Los Moros was born, and what a good Friday it turned out to be.  The name comes from the Moorish influence on North African food with its blend of herbs, spices, meat and vegetables.  Tarik is committed to using local suppliers as much as possible for his meat and spice purchases.  In 2015 he reached the top spot on TripAdvisor for food in York and is consistently in the top five.
Time marches on and the closure of El Piano provided the perfect opportunity for Tarik to venture back into the restaurant business.  Los Moros the restaurant will open on Grape Lane later this year employing around 15 people, bringing his total team to 21.  Not bad for a small business born in Algeria but very much made in Yorkshire.

Warm Welcome Award - Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: Matthew Cressey- Manager at Studford Luxury Lodges
The boss said: Matthew has been with the lodges since it opened in 2004 and has since become one of the most respected, reliable and competent members of staff. He is the first point of contact and the last for guests and will make sure that everything is functioning correctly. With brilliant Trip Advisor reviews and returning guests he should be proud of what he has achieved.

Alex Rudd- Front of House Retail Supervisor at Castle Howard
Brandon Young – Receptionist at The Principal York
Daniel Weaver- Concierge at The Grand Hotel & Spa
Frank Caulfield- Front of House Hall Porter at Dean Court Hotel

Star Behind The Bar Award – sponsored by Matthew Clark

Winner: Kuba Bartosiewicz- Assistant Manager at The White Swan, Ampleforth
The boss said: If there is a job to be done or sorted - ask Kuba.
Not only does he run the bar but is known to take orders, serve on tables and take bookings and he enters into the general running of the business.  Kuba Bartosiewicz, 41, came to England from Poland 14 years ago. He travels back to see his mother from time to time and brings chocolate treats and other delicacies back for the locals to try.  Kuba has a good knowledge of cocktails and sometimes produces special drinks he brings back from Poland when people can’t decide what they fancy. An apricot vodka apparently goes down very well.  He is a dab hand at pulling the best pint and locals will wait until he is in earshot to ask him to pull their pint.

Joe Hancher- Bar Tender at The Principal York
Peter Madden- Bar Supervisor at The Grand Hotel & Spa

Most Promising Chef – sponsored by Nisbets

Winner: Harvey Maher - Chef de Partie at Melton’s Restaurant 
The boss said: Harvey came to us as an apprentice chef at the age of 15, and has grown strength to strength since his training began.  Now, at 17, Harvey is a Chef de Partie and excelling in his role. He can confidently run all sections, serving a fine dining menu to our 40 seater restaurant with skill that takes some chefs years to hone. Harvey is also trusted with running shifts in the kitchen when senior chefs are away.  Harvey’s passion for food started at a young age, when he was influenced by his Granddad, who was also a chef.
At aged only 14, Harvey entered The Junior Young Chef of the Year East Coast competition and came first place, winning him a gold medal and a £100 cash prize.  Joining a fine dining kitchen at a young age can be very intimidating, but his personality helped him forge relationships with the other chefs and excel at what he does.  As a young chef successfully running sections in a fine dining restaurant, rated in the top 10 in York on TripAdvisor, his skill speaks for itself.  Harvey is a dedicated and confident young chef, who is very popular within the Melton’s team

Ellie Ramsey- Commis Chef at Castle Howard
John Sandey- Senior Chef de Partie at The Drovers Arms

Sparkle Award - Sponsored by Crams

Winner: Jo Skelton- Housekeeper at Studford Luxury Lodges
The boss said: Windows sparkle - this is Jo’s passion the lodge windows have a huge amount of glass in them. She says that she wants every guest to feel as if it is all brand new and that no one has been in it before.  With Studford Lodges now open since 2014 within this last year all 6 lodges have been awards 5 star gold by Visit England inspection body. Always thinking of ways exceeding expectations and still looking to go that extra mile to make people go Wow.
She said this is the way she was brought up if you have to do a job do it right - it is no good doing half a job. She is very trustworthy and honest and we are very pleased she is part of our team.

Ewelina Chudy- Housekeeping Supervisor at No. 21 York
Sarah Casey- Housekeeper at the Fairfax Arms
Susan Chappell - Housekeeper at Stableside, York Racecourse
Teresa Ellis- Head Housekeeper at Castle Howard

Serving Superstar – sponsored by RotaCloud

Winner: Anna Bialochleb- Front of House Server at The Whippet Inn
One TripAdvisor Review said: Went last week, ten of us from work celebrating an anniversary. We had been once before three months earlier and Anna the waitress remembered us. She has to be the best waitress that I have ever had the pleasure to be served by. Her knowledge of steaks is fantastic. 
The boss said: Her knowledge of guests, who they are, where they work, what they like & what they don't allows her to provide a tailored service that is quite frankly almost unparalleled.  Anna or ‘Anna Banana’ as she is known lovingly to guests and friends alike is the perfect blend of personality, passion and professionalism.
Anna is an outstanding spokesperson for our business and really has York’s future as place to live and visit at her heart- a true advocate for all things York and Yorkshire

Highly Commended: Katy Wraith - Operations Manager at York Pavilion Hotel

Andrea Green -Food and Beverage Assistant at the Holiday Inn Express York
Roxana Vasai - Manager at Scott’s Fish and Chips
Isaac Woodward - Service Champion at Taco Bell

Top Taxi Driver – sponsored by Kashing

Winner: Wendy Loveday- Taxi Driver for Fleetways
One customer said: Wendy is calm and confident at all times and has an exhaustive knowledge of the city and district, even the newest businesses. Her love of York means that she can give honest recommendations for any anywhere you may need.  She will ‘go the extra mile’ (quite literally) to help anyone.  Wendy promotes the company behind the scenes as well as in work. She has built a partnership with Grand Central Rail and the Rose Theatre.   She works to maintain the highest standard at all times and will do all she can to ensure her customers feel confident and at ease.

Simon Rhodes - Driver for Streamline Taxis
Martin Brown - Driver for 659 Taxis

Unsung Hero – sponsored by Studford Luxury Lodges

Winner: Amy Cadywold - General Assistant at Walmgate Ale House and Chopping Block 
The boss said: Amy has lived and worked in the city all her life.  Anyone who has met Amy will tell you she is never seen without a smile, and is always willing to go the extra mile both at work and in her own time. This has been demonstrated in many ways, from her help with the clean-up from the floods in 2015 to her training in butchery to help the chefs.  In August of 2017, our friend and colleague Jon was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sadly passed away in May this year. We have been working to raise awareness and funds for charity since getting the news. Amy has been there throughout supporting our customers and staff and helping us with fund raising efforts. The enthusiasm she has shown in being involved with this has been motivating to us all.

Dave Lake - Care Taker at Castle Howard
Derek Coyne - Night Porter at the Dean Court Hotel

Career Catapult  - sponsored by Anna Lupton Marketing

Winner: Alexandra Kew- People Development Manager at The Principal York
The boss said: As People Development Manager Alexandra ensures that the people strategy is alive and operational across all departments in the hotel.
Alex has a warm and engaging personality able to communicate at all levels and put people at ease.  Alex always has a positive disposition, she’s never too busy, always has time for people and takes a genuine interest in what the team has to say.
Straying away from the typical death by PowerPoint style induction, Alex provides fun and interactive overviews of the purpose of the function while providing the new colleagues with vital information about the hotel and facilities.  For example whilst conveying the importance of attention to detail with the Executive Housekeeper, colleagues take part in a bed making competition! There has also been a treasure hunt around York to build local knowledge.

Highly Commended: Mike Sweeting - General Manager at the Mercure York Fairfield Manor

Natalie Lambert- Member and Visitor Welcome Supervisor at the Treasurer’s House, York
Philip Bolson- General Manager at The Grand Hotel & Spa

Lifetime Achievement – sponsored by York Science Park

Winner: Christine Bedford- Accounts and HR Manager at the Dean Court Hotel
The boss said: Christine started her career in 1978 as a Junior Receptionist.   A few years later she took on the job of Accounts and HR Manager which along with her many other duties she is responsible for the payroll and the setting up of NEST, the government’s new workplace pension scheme.  Christine reached the milestone of 40 years employment at the Dean Court 24 July 2018.  In 1984 She was here after the York Minster fire and was one of the many members of staff making cups of tea for the firemen on duty.   To pick out an achievement over the last twelve months would be impossible from someone who has given her all to the job she loves.

Highly Commended: Irene Cossins- Proprietor at York Pavilion Hotel


Mandy Fogg - Manager at Hedley House Hotel and Apartments
David Bingham - Kitchen Porter at Middletons York
Bryan Heeley – Veteran Actor at the York Dungeon
Mark Morgan-Huntley, Managing Director at Sweet P Catering said, “We’re delighted to be the headline sponsor of York hospitality awards. Our ethos at Sweet P Catering is to celebrate talent within the industry and this fits with what the awards strive to achieve."  


For further information please contact:
Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852
Email: kay.hyde@makeityork.com

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436
Email: katie.parsons@makeityork.com

Notes to the Editor

Tommy Banks - Tommy heads the kitchen at The Black Swan at Oldstead, which he and his family have owned and run for the past 10 years. They have lived and farmed around Oldstead for many generations; it’s very much their creation, and very much Tommy’s passion. With his farming background naturally he wanted to grow his own produce in Oldstead, so over the past 3 years a 2 acre kitchen garden has taken shape in the feld next to the restaurant. Both kitchen and front of house are now very closely involved in the incredibly short journey from feld to plate.  Tommy has achieved great attention and national recognition. At the age of twenty-four, he became the youngest Michelin-starred chef in Britain when The Black Swan retained its star in September 2013. The Black Swan also gained a 4th AA Rosette in January 2016, making it unique as the only restaurant in North Yorkshire to hold a Michelin Star and 4 AA Rosettes. Tommy competed on Great British Menu in October 2016 and June 2017, with both his Mackerel fish dish (in 2016) and his Turbot, Strawberries & Cream fish dish (in 2017) making it through to the Banquet.  In October 2017 The Black Swan Oldstead was named the world’s best rated restaurant, in the annual TripAdvisor Awards.  The Black Swan Oldstead ranked no.20 in the Restaurant Awards Estrella Top 100 restaurants in the country in June 2018.  Tommy Banks’ debut book ‘Roots’ was published by The Orion Publishing Group 5 April 2018.  Tommy and The Banks family opened their second restaurant ‘Roots’ in York in September 2018.

The York Hospitality Awards Judging Panel:

  • Chair – Sarah Czarnecki, Business Development Manager, Grays Court
  • Mark Morgan-Huntley, Managing Director at Sweet P Catering
  • Graham Harris, Manager, Roman Bath Museum
  • John Gallery, Owner, Great Potential
  • Mark Mattinson, Sales and Marketing Manager, City Cruises York
  • Paul Vinsen, Consultant and Chair of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitality Association

About Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts: 6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs.