Congratulations to our Graduates for 2019!

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We celebrated the achievements of 287 of our people at our 2019 Graduation, hosted at Twickenham Stadium on 28 November. The ceremony was followed by an afterparty with food stalls manned by our current chef scholars and service coaches, games and dancing. 

Fuller's training and development programmes included Five Star Impact Programme, Learning to Lead Programme, Management Training Programme, Fuller’s Chefs’ Guild Level 3 Scholarship, and Chefs’ Guild Commis Chef and Chef de Partie Apprenticeships.

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium

Speakers at the event included Simon Rogan, Michelin Star Chef and Honorary President of Fuller’s Chefs’ Guild, who shared his own training and development journey, and Fuller’s Chief Executive Simon Emeny [pictured below] told graduates and guests how he went from flipping burgers at McDonald’s to becoming Chief Executive of Fuller’s.

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium Simon Emeny

Celebrating our people

Dawn Browne, Fuller’s People and Talent Director, said: “This is my favourite night of the Fuller’s calendar. Everyone made a decision to develop themselves and persevered through their training to be here tonight, and I think that’s really special. No matter how bumpy the road has been, it’s that sense of achievement that comes with graduating. We’re really proud of our graduates and congratulate them on their wonderful achievements.”

Paul Dickinson, Fuller’s Director of Food, added: “Tonight is about celebrating one step in a journey. What I’ve always wanted to do is create a journey for Chefs, with the right training, learning and opportunities to practice – to get it wrong, learn from it and share that learning with the team. That’s my pride.

“We have 54 Head Chefs who have been through our Chef Apprenticeship and Scholarship programmes and our Chef Apprenticeship Programme was just recognised as being the best in the industry at the British Institute of Innkeeping’s National Innovation and Training Awards. We have a winning formula for development and I’ve never known a business to invest in training like we do.” 

Read more: Fuller’s wins ‘Best Apprenticeship Training Programme’ at BII NITAs

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Training & Development Team.

Special Mentions

This year’s graduation included three special awards, Chef Scholar of the Year, Chef Apprentice of the Year and Outstanding Recognition of the Year, recognising graduates that consistently went above and beyond in their studies.

Chef Scholar of the Year: Marco Pieri

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Chef Scholar of the Year: Marco Pieri, middle, with Director of Food Paul Dickinson and Simon Rogan.

Marco Pieri, Head Chef at The Banker, near Cannon Street, was awarded Chef Scholar for 2019 and will be working in one of Simon Rogan’s restaurants for a week as his prize.

Marco said: “I can’t believe I won the award, I’m very proud. I sacrifice a lot of my free time and it’s nice to be recognised. I’m thankful to all the people who believed in me.”

Having joined Fuller’s in 2015 as a Grill Chef, Marco is now the Head Chef at The Banker and said Fuller’s Chefs’ Scholarship gave him the tools to progress in his career. 

“I had never studied cooking in my life and I learned how to become a chef through Fuller’s. If you’re passionate about cooking and want to become a chef, Fuller’s will give you everything you need to be able to do it,” he said.

Chef Apprentice of the Year: Thomas Featherstone

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Chef Apprentice of the Year: Thomas Featherstone, middle, with Director of Food Paul Dickinson and Simon Rogan.

Thomas Featherstone, Fuller’s Commis Chef Apprenticeship Graduate and Pastry Chef at The Holly Bush in Hampstead, won this year’s Chef Apprentice of the Year Award and will be spending a week learning from the Pastry Chefs at The Ritz as his prize.

Commenting on Fuller’s Chef Apprenticeship Programme and his win, Thomas said: “The first year was really difficult. Every single lesson was hard because it was all new. This year, because of the pubs I have worked at and what I’ve learned, things are easier and I’ve been learning a much higher level of cooking and creativity.

“I think I won the award because of the amount I do outside of work – I tried to prove myself as much as I could. I love making desserts – I want to be a Pastry Chef, so I’m looking forward to spending a week at The Ritz.”

Outstanding Recognition of the Year: Manuela Grassi

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Outstanding Recognition of the Year: Manuela Grassi collects her award from Fuller's Retail Director Fred Turner.

Manuela Grassi, Fuller’s Five Star Impact Graduate and Assistant Manager at The Ship Inn, Langstone, won Fuller’s Outstanding Recognition of the Year Award for consistently going ‘above and beyond’ for customers.

Manuela said: “I was so surprised to win, but I think it’s because of the energy I bring. I love my job and I like inspiring others to love their jobs too. It’s about going the extra mile for the customers by doing little things to improve their experience without asking. I do that on a daily basis.”

Manuela, who has been with Fuller’s since 2017, said she has been making the most of the training and development programmes offered by Fuller’s.

“I did the Five Star Impact programme because I want to become a general manager. I’ve done almost 10 different courses and training programmes with Fuller’s over the past two years. I love learning new things and I like that Fuller’s encourages you to do so.”

The After Party

After the graduation ceremony, graduates and their guests enjoyed the fabulous food, drinks and enterinament on offer. Here are a few snaps of the celebrations...

Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium Simon Rogan book signing
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium
Fuller's Graduation Ceremony 2019, Twickenham Stadium

Develop with Fuller's

Our award-winning training and development programmes have been recognised as some of best in the industry, giving our chefs, front of house staff, managers and support centre workers the opportunity to grow and progress in their careers.

Find out more about the training and development opportunities available at Fuller’s: Fuller’s Training & Development.

Find out more about Fuller’s Chef Apprenticeship Programmes: Chef Apprenticeships.

Browse Fuller’s jobs

Do you want an exciting career in hospitality? Browse available jobs in Fuller’s pubs – from kitchen porter and chef roles to front of house positions.

Browse Pub & Hotel Jobs.

Adam Sykes

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