Karen Poynter, the Executive Chef of CH&Co Group’s commercial business, has been made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London.
The honour has been bestowed upon Karen for her achievements in catering and her links to the City of London.
In 2000, Karen was appointed sous chef at Chester Boyd, CH&Co Group’s specialist business that caters at many of the capital’s most prestigious venues and eight of the most highly esteemed London livery halls. Since joining the business, she has risen through the ranks and established an enviable culinary reputation. She is known for her exceptional skills, impeccable standards and the ability to blend creativity and innovation with the precise formal traditions that catering for London’s Livery Halls demands. Earlier this year, Karen was awarded the Banqueting and Event Chef Award at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2017.
Today, as executive chef of CH&Co Group’s commercial division, she oversees Chester Boyd and Ampersand, which caters at well-known British venues and visitor attractions.
Karen is also respected for her investment in nurturing chef talent. She gives her team the benefit of her time and expertise, mentoring and developing them to reach their goals. She also supports the industry through her work with the Craft Guild of Chefs, the Worshipful Company of Cooks, the Academy of Culinary Arts and Springboard.
Karen said of her achievement: “It’s a great honour to be made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London. Its support of the catering industry and charitable activities is inspiring and I’m grateful for this opportunity to get more involved in the excellent work being done to raise the profile of our industry and to attract new young talent.”
Robin Bidgood, managing director of CH&Co Group Commercial, said: “Karen absolutely deserves this honour and the entire team is very proud of her. She’s very humble about her incredible talent and it’s great that she’s been recognised in such a prestigious way. Her dedication to her craft and to the industry is second to none and she’ll add tremendous value to the work of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London.”
The Worshipful Company of Cooks comments: “We are delighted to welcome Karen Poynter as a new Freeman. She brings with her a wealth of professional experience, wisdom and talent that will help us in pursuing our primary objective, to promote the craft of cookery within the City of London. We operate our own Apprentice scheme and expect that Karen’s background and stature within the industry will not only serve to inspire our apprentices but also reinforce the Company’s own standing within the City.”
Karen was officially admitted to the esteemed livery company, which is the smallest of London’s livery companies and one of the oldest, at a special ceremony held at Innholders Hall.