Last night, The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) announced the winners of its prestigious awards to more than 400 industry guests during their three-day summer conference.

The event took place at The University of York during TUCO’s gala dinner. Only in its third year, the awards include a rising star award, innovation award, sustainability award, team of the year, member of the year and outstanding achievement award.

The awards were established to recognise members commitment and dedication.

Matt White, TUCO Chair said:

“Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. It’s such an exhilarating night and I was delighted to recognise so many of my colleagues for the great work they have been doing at their institutions up and down the country.”

The TUCO Outstanding Achievement award was won by Bill Brogan, Catering and Conference Manager of St John’s College, The University of Cambridge. He was awarded this merit for his commercial success at St John’s College as well as his dedication to innovation and sustainability. He was also recognised for his dedication and support to TUCO in organising and hosting several study tours.

Bill Brogan and Matt WhiteBrogan comments:

“I’m absolutely delighted to win. TUCO is a great organisation which has grown in leaps and bounds over the last six years, from the procurement side to the support side including the academy and study tours. Its been wonderful to be involved with them.”

The Innovation Award was awarded to The University of Manchester, for its trailblazing project to turn a catering outlet into an indoor street food market. The former canteen was transformed into an open space with fixed trading points and local independent traders were invited to use the space.

The team from the University of Manchester said;

“The street food market initiative was influenced by the Manchester street food scene which is extremely vibrant right now. It’s fantastic to be part of the TUCO family it’s very supportive.”

The Rising Star Award went to Gary Daly of Queen’s University, Belfast. Gary joined the university as a casual worker in 2009 whilst still a student, before progressing through the ranks and playing a pivotal role in the opening of a newly renovated Grade2 listed conference facility on a 13-acre site.

Gary comments:

“Wow, this was not expected at all, I’m flabbergasted. It’s only my second conference and the other nominees were so strong I really thought I had no chance. I’m so excited and surprised to win this.”

The TUCO Sustainability Award was won by The University of Chester. The university clearly demonstrated and recognised its responsibility to function with due concern for the environment and to minimise its impact upon the planet.

Ian White, Director of Hospitality and Residential Services & Domestic Bursar, and Paula Martindale who picked up the award said:

“This award means everything, it’s all for the team. Its amazing to be recognised for the work we have been doing. TUCO is fantastic organisation, it opens doors for people at all levels of university catering.”

Team of the Year went to the [email protected] Catering Team from Liverpool Hope University. Working against two main objectives, that of providing on-trend food and drink with a focus on healthy eating, and to provide exceptional conference facilities to generate a cash surplus for the university. By working as a team and making some changes across pricing, renovation and sustainability customer satisfaction was improved and Liverpool Hope University rose 23 places in the latest Guardian University League Tables 2019 to number 33 nationally.

And finally, TUCO Member of the Year was awarded to The University of Kent, who said of the award;

“Its high praise indeed to win a TUCO award, were delighted and speechless.”

Full list of winners

Rising Star Award                            Gary Daly, Queen’s University Belfast        

Innovation Award                             University of Manchester      

Sustainability Award                        University of Chester  

Team of the Year                             [email protected] Team, Liverpool Hope University        

Member of the Year                         University of Kent  

Outstanding Achievement Award Bill Brogan, St John’s College, The University of Cambridge