TASTE Kitchen welcomes leading new chefs

HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) is marking the opening of its new TASTE Kitchen at Origins, Shrewsbury College with the announcement that it has appointed two new Executive Chefs who bring a wealth of prestigious experience with them.

Originally planning to appoint a single Executive Chef, the standard of applications was so high that it was decided to make two appointments.  Mark Riding has taken on the role of Group Executive Chef, whilst Paul Maders will become the new Executive Chef based at the TASTE Kitchen.  Their roles will be distinguished based on the skills that they each bring to the roles.

Mark Riding, 28 and originally from Chorley, Lancashire, has 13 years’ experience working extensively on the food development side of the catering sector.  In addition to large, well-known catering and hospitality businesses, he can count Michelin rated establishments and the prestigious Jersey market amongst his experience.

His move to HEFF will, however, see him work in a college environment for the first time and this was the real appeal for him, as he explains: “Working with young people at the outset of their careers is important to me as I want to inspire them and demonstrate what is possible if you’re prepared to work hard.  We’ll also be able to provide them with genuine business experience as we’ll be employing some of them in real roles in the TASTE Kitchen.

“Providing this experience and exposing them to the importance of purchasing decisions will mean that we’re able to equip them with a head start when they complete their studies and head off to continue their careers.”

Paul Maders, 50 and originally from Manchester, meanwhile made the leap in to the kitchen 12 years ago when he decided to give up his photographic studio in pursuit of the adrenaline rush that a leading kitchen would provide him with.  Starting off as a commis chef, Paul was determined to only work with the best of the best and over the coming years spent time working with leading names including Aiden Byrne and Michael Caines before arriving in Shrewsbury in 2011 to take up the role of Executive Chef at the Lion Hotel.

In his new role he will spend the majority of his time working with the students in the kitchen, as well as fronting many of the demonstration events for which HEFF’s TASTE Kitchen has become known.  Like Mark he is a big supporter of the importance of food provenance and he has built relationships with many local suppliers which he plans to take with him in to his new role: “Having spent the last three years in Shropshire, I am only too aware of the quality of so much of the produce available in the region and am lucky enough to have got to know many of the suppliers really well.

“I intend to continue working with many of these in my new role and to demonstrating to the students how exciting it can be to discover the best of the best locally available produce.”

HEFF officially opened its TASTE Kitchen at Origins on February 3, and HEFF Chief Executive, Karen Davies MBE, is delighted that Mark and Paul have joined at such an exciting time in the regional food group’s development: “Mark and Paul are both outstanding chefs and so the decision to re-structure the kitchen in such a way as to split the Executive Chef role was easily made given the skills they each bring.

“HEFF is entering an exciting and ground-breaking new era and our move to Shrewsbury College will not only benefit our food producers, but also the future generation of ‘foodies’.  Being able to work alongside Mark and Paul will enable them to not only learn about high end food preparation, but also business development, retailing and management, amongst other skills, and this will undoubtedly enhance their future careers.”

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Pete White Pete White

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