Kent-based distributor KCCJ took both the overall winning Sir Donald Thomson Cup and the Design Project over £500k title at yesterday’s CEDA Grand Prix Awards.
The ceremony, postponed from 2020, was held as part of the association’s virtual Digital Event and honoured commercial kitchen fitout projects completed in 2019.
KCCJ triumphed thanks to its mammoth project at Tottenham Hotspur FC’s new stadium. The Grand Prix Awards presenter, Commercial Kitchen’s group event director Chris Brazier, reported that judges Ron Neville and John Savage were impressed with the scheme on many levels, including its vast scale, diversity, design, project managing and installing, all to the customer’s satisfaction.
The distributor’s MD Kevin Slatter said of the win: “I’m extremely proud of my team and what they achieved, especially when you look at the other projects that were shortlisted, it’s a fantastic honour.
“Tottenham is certainly one of those projects that I will remember for many years, having spent nearly 11 years on and off through the design phase, nearly 3 years onsite installing, and at the peak having nearly 200 installers and subcontractors working for us. It’s something I won’t forget.”
TAG Catering Equipment also had a good night, scooping two accolades. The Stevenage-based kitchen design house won the Project Management Excellence category for its Studley Castle Hotel scheme, with the judges saying it was a difficult project with many late changes successfully delivered.
The distributor was also one of two joint winners in the Design Project £50k-£200k category, for its Brother Marcus scheme in Spitalfields, London. The judges commented that it was high calibre of versatile design with a tight budget.
Following the reveal, TAG project and creative director, Tyron Stephens-Smith commented: “We’re so happy to receive the award. It was a really tight budget project, and to achieve what we did was absolutely fantastic. We did the design ahead of the interior designer coming onboard, so it was a good opportunity to really make the kitchen a priority.”
The other joint winner in the £50k-£200k category was Caterware, for the Cottage at Fulham FC which the judges said was a great kitchen in a listed building and delivered a delighted customer.
The Blackpool distributor’s contracts director, Simon Mallett, dedicated the win to the company’s founder, Bernard Drazen, who tragically passed away this week. Bernard’s son Mark is Caterware’s MD and he designed the Cottage’s kitchen. Mallett said: “Bernard would have been very pleased. Thanks to CEDA and the judges for this award, it’s special to us this year. Everyone in Caterware, all the team who’ve put the work into it, will be very pleased too.”
In the Design Project 200k-500k category, Vision Commercial Kitchens’ Lu Ban restaurant project triumphed. The judges were impressed with the design and install of an original contemporary kitchen featuring all the complications of a heritage site.
Vision Commercial Kitchens accounts manager Andrew Burns was on hand to react to the win, saying: “I’m absolutely lost for words, but I couldn’t have done it without a good team behind me, so this is for the team – well done Vision.”
The Design Project under £50k winner was Hatherley Commercial Services for The Griffin Inn. The judges said it was a kitchen designed and installed in a tight space within a very challenging timeframe and that it represented great value for money.
Kirstin Hatherley, MD of the Newark-headquartered dealer, said: “We are pretty excited and surprised to win. It was a challenging project, we had a few problems with planning permission on this one, so thank you very much.”
While the Outstanding Customer Service category saw Tailor Made Catering Equipment Services win for its Loungers’ Cosy Club brand partnership. The judges praised the 15 years of the distributor working with the customer, from small beginnings to the current multi-project rollout, and offering exceptional customer service.
The Portishead-based distributor’s MD, Jim Stevens, said: “We’re all delighted, the award means a lot to us. A huge thank you to everyone at Tailor Made for their absolute dedication and hard work. I can honestly say the last 15 years it hasn’t been easy but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and let’s look forward now to the next 15 years.”
Earlier in the ceremony, FSW Catering Equipment & Gas Services’ trainee service engineer, Katie Brierley, was victorious in this year’s Rising Star Award, which is presented to any CEDA member employees with under 5 years of experience in their current role.
Darren Lockley, head of region UK and Ireland at Electrolux Professional, joined the other two judges for the Rising Star shortlist interviews. He said: “It was an honour to see firsthand the number of passionate, hardworking and bright stars in our industry. I was shocked and delighted by the calibre of the nominees.
“From every corner of the industry, and from so many varying departments, the one thing that shone through was the level of passion for what they do. Equally enjoyable was seeing their colleagues’ pride in their performances and recognition of their achievements in their young careers already. With talented people like these, we are sure that their passion to put customers first will continue to push everyone to do great things in their organisation and indeed as an industry. I wish them all the very best in their long careers in the sector, congratulations.”
Summing up the Grand Prix Awards, CEDA director general Adam Mason said: “The final shortlists covered a wide range of projects that our talented members had carried out in 2019. The common theme among all was excellence. Congratulations to the winners of all the categories and to KCCJ for the overall winner accolade. My personal thanks too to John and Ron for their commitment to judging the awards.”