Acorns 2021: Spencer Metzger, 28
Head chef, the Ritz London
Nominator Katrina Brandt, learning and development manager, the Ritz London
Spencer Metzger is an excellent example of what can be achieved through apprenticeships. He realised he wanted to be a chef when he was 15, after completing a two-week work experience at the Ritz London under John Williams. Soon afterwards, he joined as a commis chef apprentice, where his strong work ethic and skill laid the groundwork for his career to flourish.
Having worked his way through the kitchen, he became sous chef in 2015 and, following a brief stint in 2017 as chef de partie at two-Michelin-starred L'Enclume in Cumbria, he returned to the Ritz London as premier sous chef, overseeing a brigade of 75. He is now credited as being a key player in maintaining the restaurant's Michelin star and has recently been promoted to head chef.
Early on, Metzger displayed a rare talent for both managing food costs and using quality ingredients with flair. He has used this knowledge to train his team, resulting in a higher understanding of food waste and a reduction in food cost.
Among his many attributes, he has a thirst for learning, and in 2019 he was awarded the coveted Roux Scholarship. He uses his story and experience to coach new apprentices and manages their progression and wellbeing.
As an ambassador for the profession, he is also active on social media, using his platform to engage with industry professionals and charities and to elevate the craft of hospitality.
What is the most positive people change you see for your sector post-restrictions?
"People have taken a step back and looked after themselves both physically and mentally during lockdown. It's great to see people putting their wellbeing first and incorporating that into their daily lives once returning to work."
Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin