AAA Senior Award

Claire Barrell 200x315Three chefs from Welsh pub operator S.A Brain and Co Ltd have become the first in the UK to complete the third and final level on the AAA (Applied Ability Awards) career ladder.

Claire Barrell (pictured left) and Matthew Lewis, both chefs at the Lamb and Flag in Abergavenny, and Development Chef Doug Field, were nominated by Brains to take part in the Triple A Senior Chef pilot programme, which is running over 2011 with support from the Welsh Assembly.

The Triple A scheme was developed by the UK chef’s bodies, including the Welsh Culinary Association, coming together in 2008 with the aim of raising the skills of chefs through on-the-job training and mentorship. It is fast becoming the benchmark by which chefs are measured and some of the best restaurants in the UK, including Claridges Hotel and The Ritz, have put their chefs through the scheme.

Arwyn Watkins, representing Wales on the AAA National Committee, said: "As the first Chefs to step up to the mark in pursuit of the Senior Chef Award, Doug, Matthew and Claire have set the standard for all future senior chefs. Not only are they passionate about achieving excellence but also have the skills and the ability to coach, mentor and manage members of their team."

Scott Antony, the Committee’s Development Director, added: "The enthusiasm and commitment of the Brains chefs to achieve the AAA Senior Chef standard has led to full testing for this third and final level to the Triple A, which Welsh chefs have pioneered over the last three years. Thanks must go to Brains for the foresight and support they have shown in partnering this drive to equip staff to meet their customers' rising expectations."

Jill Matthews, head of catering at Brains said: "We’ve been involved with the Triple AAA since its inception and to date 13 of our chefs have secured 21 awards. Not only has the scheme helped us develop our chefs and raise standards, it has also contributed to the growth of our food business."

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