Following a protracted period of ill-health, Gary has retired from his post at CCCG, which includes Westminster Kingsway College, which is hailed as one of the most prestigious hospitality and culinary schools in the world.
CCCG is the third largest college group in the UK and also comprises City and Islington College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training.
Previously called Westminster College when Gary joined the college 27 years ago, he started his journey as a Lecturer in Patisserie and Confectionery, employed by then Head of School Bev Puxley who he regarded as one of his greatest mentors.
He progressed to become Head of Faculty for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, working alongside Geoff Booth, before taking promotion to Deputy Principal, and eventually Principal at WestKing.
Gary said: “I feel tremendously lucky and privileged to have worked alongside so many great chefs and leading hospitality professionals, not just at Westminster Kingsway College, but within the industry itself, throughout my career.
“I especially want to salute those, both past and present, who have worked so tirelessly alongside me to create such a strong educational legacy for the profession. It always gives me a feeling of great pride to reflect upon the many talented Westminster Kingsway alumni, too numerous to mention, that we have helped to develop, nurture and succeed in the industry.
“The history of the college creates a heavy expectation like no other culinary school in further education within the UK, but I have no doubt that we are in safe hands with Paul Jervis, Sharon Barry and Terry Tinton leading the way from here forward.”
In addition to his role an as educator, Gary is the author of nine hospitality and catering books student, trainee, apprentice and professional chefs, which have been published and distributed internationally.
The Level 2 Professional Chef book has won a PACE award for innovation and forewords for this, and the Advanced Professional Chef Level 3 Diploma book, have been written by Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal respectively. Both books are endorsed by the Master Chefs of Great Britain, Craft Guild of Chefs, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and the British Culinary Federation.
Gary also wrote a non-academic book In a Class of its Own, detailing the history of the School of Hospitality and Culinary Artsl at Westminster Kingsway College.
Passionate about chocolate since his days as a student at a catering college in Norwich, Gary is also a UK Chocolate Ambassador for Barry Callebaut and has worked extensively on the UK World Chocolate Masters Competition developing UK candidates to compete in the World Chocolate Masters.
Among his many accolades Gary has been awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts for his contribution to culinary and hospitality education, he has received a prestigious Catey award in recognition for services to hospitality and culinary training and education. In 2017, Gary received the Queen’s Anniversary Award on behalf of the WestKing, awarded for the outstanding work of the culinary arts and hospitality provision at the college.
Gary has also been awarded the Education Chef Award by the Craft Guild of Chefs for services and contribution to culinary education, a City & Guilds Medal for Excellence in recognition of his work writing the VRQ series of professional chef qualifications and for outstanding performance in teaching and training in hospitality and catering.
He is also a Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and a Director/Trustee of the PM Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting young people into the hospitality industry in London.
Kurt Hintz, Executive Principal for CCCG, said: “We express our heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation to Gary for his outstanding contributions to culinary and hospitality education throughout his illustrious career. From his role as a lecturer to his position as Deputy Executive Principal at CCCG.
“Gary’s leadership, passion, and dedication have left an indelible mark on the industry. His authored books, international recognition, and numerous accolades are a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence.
“We commend Gary for his remarkable achievements and extend our warmest wishes as he enters retirement, knowing that his legacy will continue to inspire and shape the future of hospitality education.”