WestKing Nominated for Two Prestigious Awards

Westminster Kingsway College’s award-winning School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Victoria has been nominated in two categories at the coveted Cateys Awards 2020.

The Cateys are the ‘Oscars’ of the hospitality industry, and are run by the leading industry magazine The Caterer. The awards are one of the biggest events in the hospitality calendar and recognise the “most talented individuals, the biggest brands and strongest performers in the hospitality industry.”

WestKing has been shortlisted in two categories:

  • Deputy Executive Principal (and Master Chocolatier) Gary Hunter, is shortlisted for the Education and Training Award;
  • The college’s unique and innovative Culinary Medicine programme and degree course in Culinary Health and Nutrition, have been nominated for the Health and Nutrition Award.

Speaking about his nomination, Gary Hunter said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been shortlisted for this year’s Cateys, alongside three other great culinary educators.

“I am fortunate to lead a wonderful team of professionals at Westminster Kingsway College, who inspire and educate our culinary students every day. This nomination is very much a recognition of their hard work, dedication and expertise.”

Westminster Kingsway College has over 100 years’ culinary expertise and we are at the forefront of the emerging science of culinary medicine. We help to run a culinary medicine course for NHS clinicians (in partnership with Culinary Medicine UK), and running our own Degree course in Culinary Health and Nutrition.

The culinary medicine course gives doctors and medical students a greater understanding of the vital role that nutrition plays in health, and enables them to speak to their patients about the dietary changes they could make based on their medical condition.

The course has recently been adapted to educate students about nutrition challenges that have been exacerbated by COVID-19, for example the difficulties that some – especially those from poorer households – have in getting good-quality and nutritious food to help them fight infection.

Our degree course in Culinary Health and Nutrition is the only one of its kind. It’s designed for trained chefs and gives them an in-depth understanding of the medical effects of food on health and wellbeing, and a grounding in the scientific principles of clinical nutrition. The degree is a stepping-stone into many careers in nutrition, including in commercial product development, corporate wellness, working with the health sector, public health, the supplementation industry and sports nutrition.

WestKing Chef Lecturer Vince Kelly tutors on both courses. He told us:
“It’s fantastic that the college has been recognised for our Culinary Medicine programme and our new Culinary Health and Nutrition Degree course. The link between nutrition and health is – thankfully – becoming better understood in both the hospitality and clinical worlds, and I am really pleased to be able to pass on my knowledge, passion and expertise to clinicians and my fellow professional chefs.”

The winners of the Cateys will be revealed in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday 24 November.

Find out more about all our culinary arts and hospitality courses.

Unique Culinary Medicine Programme aims to Transform the Nation’s Health

Westminster Kingsway College is at the heart of an ambitious partnership between the culinary industry and healthcare professionals, that seeks to transform the health of thousands of people every year – and which officially launched on Wednesday 26 February, at a star-studded event held at the college’s Victoria Centre.

A host of culinary and clinical luminaries, including Chef Albert Roux OBE; restaurateur, chef and broadcaster Prue Leith CBE; Dr Sophie Park from UCL Medical School; and the crossbench Peer, Lord Bilimoria, came to the college’s Victoria campus – home to its highly-regarded School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts – to celebrate the success of the programme so far and to urge others to adopt it.

The programme, called Culinary Medicine, is a unique partnership between Culinary Medicine UK (a non-profit organisation) and Westminster Kingsway College. The programme teaches doctors and medical students the foundations of nutrition in the context of a patient’s case history, as well as how to cook. By educating medical professionals in this way, clinicians gain a much greater understanding of the vital role that nutrition plays in general health, as well as enabling them to speak to their patients about changes they can make to their diet based on their medical condition – be that obesity, gut health, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

The programme has been running for the past two years and following a small scale pilot with Bristol University students, has trained over 400 medical students of the UCL Medical School in London. According to Dr Sophie Park (Director of Medical Education at UCL Medical School), the programme is hugely useful. The students, in the 5th year of their studies, have overwhelmingly enjoyed and valued the course, and Culinary Medicine UK hope to get more teaching hospitals and universities on board in the near future.

Westminster Kingsway College provides vital culinary expertise to the programme, as well as the top-quality kitchen facilities that are essential to provide meaningful training to the course’s participants. WestKing Chef Lecturer Vince Kelly tutors the course’s students – many of whom have no previous cooking or nutrition experience – in cooking skills and works with a dietitian and nutritionist on modules covering weight management and portion control, protein and veg diets, and fats.

Gary Hunter, Deputy Principal of Westminster Kingsway College said: “We are delighted to have been the first UK Culinary Medicine Academy and work with the Culinary Medicine programme for the last two years. It has been an inspiration to work with Dr Rupy Aujla and his team to deliver such a unique programme of education and inspiration to the next generation of GPs, Doctors and Chefs. We look forward to continuing this unique partnership, so that the programme can expand and benefit thousands more people across the country.”

The college’s involvement in the programme began when Professor David Foskett – the internationally-renowned hospitality educator and author – connected the college with Dr Rupy Aujla – an NHS GP and the founder of Culinary Medicine UK.  Dr Rupy, who has long been an advocate of better nutrition and its impact on health, had been working with Dr Timothy Harlan and the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans whose Culinary Medicine programme started in 2012.

As Dr Rupy explained: “The UK has been exceptionally slow to adopt this idea. So I decided to use some of the materials from the USA and bring it to the UK and introduce it into a programme with the help of Gary Hunter from the college and Professor Foskett. The programme brings different disciplines together, such as professional chefs, dietitians, and registered nutritionists, and when you get this incredible mixture of specialists, incredible things can happen. I really hope to see Culinary Medicine becoming the standard across all medical schools.”

Elaine Macaninch, a Registered Clinical Dietitian, works for both the NHS (with women who have diabetes in pregnancy) and for Culinary Medicine UK as their Lead Dietitian and Educator. She explained “As health professionals we have an enormous influence over the health of our nation, but research is telling us that, within everyday practice, there are hardly any conversations about food.  That’s a real missed opportunity. For example, diabetes, blood pressure, gut health and general health, there’s so much opportunity for good nutrition to support people’s health and for doctors to have the confidence to have conversations about food with their patients in a way that is sensitive to their background, their culture and their medical condition.

Also at the launch event was the chef, restaurateur and Great British Bake-Off judge Prue Leith. She has followed the Culinary Medicine programme since its launch, is a great advocate of it and has recently been tasked by the Government with overhauling hospital food.  She was very dismissive of the current food offer in many hospitals (where she feels that food is just seen as a drain on budgets, rather a vital input for patients that must be invested in) and wants them to place a much greater priority on the provision of high-quality, delicious and nutritious food, that “really lifts patients’ spirits”.

Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, is the founder of Cobra Beer and a crossbench Peer in the House of Lords, Lord Bilimoria is also the Patron of Culinary Medicine UK and has been instrumental in raising awareness of the programme among Government departments, as well as securing vital funding for the programme, including from Charles Wilson, the CEO of Tesco’s Booker business. Celebrating the partnerships that have enabled the programme to prosper, he said: “This programme would not be happening without the collaboration between the college, academics, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists – all of us making it happen. This great initiative is going to save lives and make us a healthier country.”

To find out more about the Culinary Medicine Programme, visit the Culinary Medicine UK website.

Queen's Award for Enterprise