Education and Training Award
Sponsored by HIT Training
2014 Winner - Geoff Booth
Lauded by colleague and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Sara Jayne Stanes, as an inspiration, with a highly intelligent perspective, Geoff Booth has been widely congratulated for his contribution to the hospitality sector.
Having worked at the prestigious School of Hospitality at Westminster Kingsway College since 2004, Booth has expert knowledge on the culinary education sector, and has worked tirelessly to promote it. He is a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a member of the Institute of Directors, the Tourism Society and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks, and spent seven years as head of hospitality, catering, leisure and tourism at Brooklands College, Weybridge.
He also sits on the RACA Education Committee. As CEO of PACE, he represents almost 300 hospitality colleges around the UK, and has helped the group to grow into a key organisation, with links to bodies such as the BHA, People 1st, the RACA, the Craft Guild of Chefs, the Academy of Food and Wine Service and the Worshipful Company of Cooks.
Booth has also been praised by head of culinary arts and hospitality at the college, Gary Hunter, who highlighted his key role both at the college, and in the various organisations he supports. Hunter said: "Our work is about challenging students, and Geoff has led this attribute both at Westminster Kingsway College and through his extensive work at PACE."
His work and support in the industry and at the college has enabled it to grow at a time of economic cuts, and Booth has played a key role in the development of qualifications for waste management and sustainable procurement, in partnership with People 1st, City & Guilds, WRAP and the University of West London.
Together with Jayne Stanes, he also worked to deliver the UK's first science-based foundation degree in culinary arts, fostering and nurturing the course's partnership with London South Bank University.
He plays an integral part in connecting the college to trade associations, employers and graduate alumni, and has supported the recent BritCa initiative, which partners UK and US universities for competitions on topics such as agriculture, entrepreneurial skills and culinary arts. Last but not least, he has helped the college's intake triple in light of his support of the new Young Chef's Academy, which was built with funding from Harrison Catering.
What the judges said
"He has made a huge contribution to the professionalism and successes at the college and is a perfect ambassador for the industry's education sector."
"We had some amazing candidates; however, Geoff shone, and is a great ambassador of education within our industry, looking forward to prepare the next generation."
"He deserves to win not just because he does his job so well, but for his commitment to furthering the standard of hospitality education in other ways. His tireless work driving PACE is a great example of this."
"Geoff Booth has become an important voice standing up for hospitality education and has challenged many of the new initiatives and policies that are not in the best interest of the industry or students."
Shortlisted Geoff Booth, Westminster Kingsway College
David McKown, The University of Sheffield
Sue Parfett, The Brookwood Partnership
John Campbell, chef/director, The Woodspeen, Berkshire
David Cochrane, chief executive, HIT Scotland
John Cousins, director, The Food and Beverage Training Company
Alberto Crisci, founder/trustee, The Clink
Peter Ducker, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality
David Foskett, head of school, University of West London
Julia Sibley, chief executive, Savoy Educational Trust
Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
John Williams, executive chef, The Ritz, London