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Corey scoops accolade in Food and Drinks Awards

Many congratulations to cookery apprentice, Corey Elliott, who won the title of Apprentice of the Year in the Chesterfield Food and Drinks Awards last night!

Corey was among a list of esteemed apprentices, employees and employers who received special recognition at the awards ceremony at Chesterfield College, which was organised by Destination Chesterfield to celebrate the contributions made by those working in the food and drink industry and hosted by celebrity chef Lesley Waters.

Corey Elliott is awarded Apprentice of the Year title at the Food and Drinks Awards
Corey Elliott is awarded Apprentice of the Year title at the Food and Drinks Awards 2018.

The 18-year-old apprentice who works at The Lilypad Café and Restaurant in Chesterfield, beat off tough competition to take the top accolade in his category and took to the stage to collect his award.

It was Corey’s commitment to his job that prompted his bosses to nominate him for the title. Head chef at The Lilypad, Ryan Purrington, said: “We have seen Corey steadily develop since joining us and he has become an essential part of our team. He puts so much into his job and you can tell instantly that he enjoys his work. It’s more than just a job to him.”

As a Learning Unlimited apprentice, Corey has learned skills through a combination of on the job training and a day release course at Chesterfield College, where he has learned skills specific to his role at the town centre café. He’s now coming to the end of his Level 3 Professional Cookery apprenticeship and is set to move into a permanent role with the café and restaurant.

Said Corey: “It feels amazing to win Apprentice of the Year. The Lilypad Café is the best place to work and, with the team pushing me as well as me pushing myself, I think I really can be the best I can be. The big plan is to someday have a restaurant of my own of that quality,”

During the evening. awards were also presented to Apprentice Employer of the Year, sponsored by Learning Unlimited, went to Stephenson’s Tea and Coffee House. Other categories during the night included Restaurant of the Year, Café and Tea Room of the Year, Pub of the Year, Gastro Pub of the Year, Best Customer Service, Food Producer of the Year, Family Friendly Award, Conference Venue of the Year.

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of Chesterfield College Group, said: “I would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners of the Chesterfield Food and Drinks Awards. I am delighted that the role of apprenticeships in the industry was celebrated for the first time this year, alongside the achievements of the Young Chef of the Year finalists. We are training the next generation of catering and hospitality experts in our classrooms and working with employers through apprenticeships. It is fantastic to be able to inspire them by helping to showcase successful businesses in the sector.”

Hear more about his story on our YouTube channel.