'A brave man and inspiration to so many of us'

The Staff Canteen

On Saturday we woke up to the news that Andrew Bennett, former chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs, has died aged 63.

Andrew, who retired from his position last year as he continued to fight an almost three year-long battle against prostate cancer, passed away on Saturday, "peacefully and with all his family around him," according to a statement issued by the organisation. 

His contribution to the industry was huge, attracting many young people to careers in hospitality through numerous endeavours, such as the Guild Lunch Clubs, the Mentoring Scheme, the Membership Engagement Programme and its College Accreditation Scheme. 

In 2009, he received an MBE for services to hospitality and developing talent.

In a statement, Steve Munkley, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: "Andrew was not only a giant in stature but also one of the giants in our industry, he has sadly been taken from us at such a young age and he'll be sorely missed.

"Having enjoyed his friendship for over 20 years, Andrew was someone you could rely upon 100%, his sharp wit and great sense of humour had everyone gripped. He spent all his life developing young chefs and when he wasn't doing this, he was raising funds for various charities close to his heart.

"A true professional in our industry, when I asked him four years ago to think about standing for the chairmanship of the Craft Guild of Chefs, he was truly humbled. Like everything Andrew did in life, he stepped forward and made an amazing success of this role. My wife, Michele and I are sending our love to his wife Liz and his three boys at this sad time."

Culinary director for Soxedo and longtiime friend of Andrew shared his condolences on social media, calling Andrew 'A brave man and inspiration to so many of us'

John Williams MBE, executive chef at The Ritz, called him 'a gentleman of our industry,' a title seconded by chef Alyn Williams:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st February 2021

'A brave man and inspiration to so many of us'