Club chef claims industry award
Manchester United’s executive head chef, James Tagg, collected the Chef of the Year prize at the prestigious Foodservice Catey Awards.
Through nominations by industry peers, the Foodservice Catey Awards celebrate and recognise those working in the catering industry who deliver exceptional service day in, day out.
Chef Tagg is normally responsible for the creation of food and beverage offerings across the club, covering everything from sports bars, street food and our Red Cafe, through to fine dining and VIP hospitality in each of our 27 restaurants. He also oversees the creation of tailored meal and nutrition plans for all United players.
But as the pandemic struck last year, he shifted his focus from fine dining and matchday meals to using his skills to support the local community.
Spearheading a catering team of over 100 staff, Chef Tagg designed and implemented an industrial-scale operation to produce 60,000 meals for hard-working NHS staff in local hospitals and 85,000 meals for locals families, distributed through our partner school network. By harnessing the resources at hand, Chef Tagg fed thousands of local families providing high quality food when they needed it most.
Separately, Chef Tagg produced recipe cards for distribution at schools to help the pupils get a better understanding of good nutrition in an accessible way. His recipes were also sent to the homes of every club employee to lift spirits and offer some inspiration to them during lockdown.
Upon winning the award Chef Tagg, unsurprisingly for those who know him, was quick to recognise the role of the broader catering team at United. “I’m humbled, overwhelmed, and grateful for the support of the brigade, my fellow working colleagues, line manager and the company."
He heaped praise on his club colleagues, particularly for their drive and work ethic. “I could not have achieved this recognition without the entire department’s assistance and support, I am fortunate to be surrounded by individuals that are driven to deliver.”
Head of catering & event delivery at Manchester United, Stephen Cooper, could not have been prouder to see Chef Tagg’s leadership rewarded. “In normal times, Chef Tagg has a huge responsibility for the delivery of our food and drink offerings across 27 outlets in the stadium, a spectrum of best-in-class food offers at volume, while looking after the players’ meal plans. When the pandemic arrived, Chef was both extremely nimble and driven. He shifted at pace into support mode from his normal regime. By winning this award, Chef will receive a knowing respectful nod from all that have worked with him.”
Well done Chef Tagg!