Culinary Ability Awards asks for industry support

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

L-R: Gavin Cuthbertson of Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery with Chris Sandford CEO and founder Culinary Ability Awards and Two Fat Ladies restaurant owner Ryan James
L-R: Gavin Cuthbertson of Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery with Chris Sandford CEO and founder Culinary Ability Awards and Two Fat Ladies restaurant owner Ryan James

Related tags: Disability

The organiser of an initiative which gives people with disabilities the chance to test their hospitality skills in a commercial setting is looking for support from more independent restaurants following the success of its pilot event. 

The Culinary Ability Awards, a not-for-profit social enterprise which runs a competition for individuals with a variety of disabilities at trainee level, is looking for more restaurants to host takeover fundraisers after its first event at Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery in Glasgow last month. 

The event saw three chefs and four front-of-house staff with disabilities work alongside the restaurant's existing team for one night with guests providing payment for their meals in the form of donations.

Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery commercial director Gavin Cuthbertson said the night, which served 50 covers on a weekday evening, had proved such a success he was now looking at ways to incorporate the young charges into the day-to-day operation. 

He said: “The participants were absolutely outstanding on the night; the food and service was excellent. We had guests from hotels, restaurants and colleges alongside regulars. It was a fantastic way of giving back to the community. 

“We raised a lot for a great cause, but it’s not just about the money, it’s about giving people with disabilities the opportunity to show that they can thrive in hospitality and change perceptions. For one night they absolutely ran the show, we were simply the support act.” 

Culinary Ability Awards founder and chef Chris Sandford, said he and his team were looking to work with more restaurants as a way to not only fundraise for the charity, but also make it easier for disabled people to get experience in the industry. 

“This is just the beginning for us – our long term goal is to raise funds to become an official training provider and create pathways that make it much easier for people with disabilities to work in the industry," he said. "We’re calling on UK restaurants to let us take over the running of the establishment for one night. Giving people a chance is one of the greatest aspects of hospitality – the Glasgow event proved that doing this doesn’t just help populate the dining room on a quieter night, it creates a noise in the local community and means so much more to everyone involved.” 

Restaurants looking to work with The Culinary Ability Awards should email uryyb@phyvanelnovyvglnjneqf.pbz​.

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