River Cottage chef tutor awarded Prince Philip Medal
The winner of the 2015 Prince Philip Medal is announced
18 May 2015
Gary Richmond, a Chef Tutor at the River Cottage Chefs’ School, has received this year's Prince Philip Medal.
He was presented with the award at St. James's Palace on 14 May by HRH The Princess Royal, who is President of the Institute.
The Prince Philip Medal, which is the highest recognition that the City and Guilds of London Institute offers, was given to Gary in honour of his skill as a chef and his commitment to helping the next generation of talent.
The Medal has been given for more than 50 years, and honours those who, in The Duke of Edinburgh’s own words, have ‘travelled the City & Guilds path’ and made the most of their talents.
From apprentice to head chef
Gary joined River Cottage Chefs’ School in 2013 after a significant culinary career. He began his training with the DeVere Academy, gaining City & Guilds Professional Cookery Qualifications.
It helped him work his way up from apprentice to Head Chef at a 4* hotel and leisure complex.
He then moved to Compass Group where he spent 10 years as Group Head Chef for IBM. A promotion required him to train and mentor a team – his first taste of teaching.
In his role as Chef Development Trainer, he supported dozens of professional cookery students to gain qualifications in the first 18 months. He decided to continue his career in training by moving to River Cottage Chef’s School, of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fame.
Gary is currently responsible for teaching more than 100 students about all facets of cookery, including sustainability and animal welfare.
In addition to his tutoring and assessment role, he looks after a consultancy that helps companies of all sizes to develop menus.
He’s also in-demand as a judge, ambassador and demonstrator, having won a number of medals at both the Culinary World Cup and the Culinary Olympics.
Not just a job
Gary said receiving the award was quite unexpected.
‘I feel incredibly proud and honoured to be chosen for this prestigious award,' he said.
'I am lucky to have worked in a hugely diverse industry which has given me fantastic training, great opportunities, memories I will never forget and friends for life. Being a chef is not just a job it is a passion; the buzz for me now is training chefs of the future and watching them succeed and grow as chefs.’
He was an obviously choice, said Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group.
‘Gary’s passion for the culinary arts is evident in all he does. Not only is he an acclaimed chef in his own right, he genuinely cares about helping budding chefs find their own success.
'He is a very deserving winner of the Prince Philip Medal, and I’m sure he will continue to inspire those he teaches.’