Jason joined Compass Group UK & Ireland in 2004 as Executive Chef, providing hospitality to 2,000 employees on-site for one of our clients, a large telecommunications company. In 2010, he joined Compass’s Business Excellence division as a Development Chef and was involved in delivering sales presentations and mobilising new contract wins. After a successful two years with Business Excellence, Jason became Group Executive Chef, looking after the food operation in fifteen sites across the UK, for a large energy company.
It was during this time that Jason joined the Compass culinary team, winning gold and silver at the Birmingham Hospitality Show and Hotelympia. In 2012, Jason competed at the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt Germany, winning a silver medal; in 2013 he was a finalist in the Senior Chef of the Year competition; and in 2014, Jason was asked to join the English Culinary team at Hotelympia, going on to gain a silver medal in the Team Buffet class. Competing again in 2016 as part of the Compass buffet team, he gained another silver medal.
In 2015 Jason became Executive Chef for the National Channel within Eurest. As part of this role, Jason is passionate about motivating chef teams to deliver fantastic and consistent food across the Eurest business. And he’s proud to lead a National Chef’s forum, creating a network that promotes talent and innovation across all of Eurest.
Oliver Baker previously worked for DHL, starting as a Contract Manager and working his way up to Vice President. He knows exactly what it takes to run national operations and manage complex contracts with multinational businesses. He also has extensive experience of working to deliver transformational deals.
In his role as Eurest’s Managing Director, he identifies new sales opportunities — driving growth by disrupting the market and staying ahead of the latest trends to meet growing consumer demand.
“It’s a privilege to be leading such an ambitious part of Compass Group UK & Ireland. Eurest is such a progressive and welcoming organisation, the people have amazing experience and are so passionate about what they do.”
James Larkins’ Eurest career journey began as a sous chef, working in a large B&I head office team. And over a four-year period, he took every opportunity to hone his talent and flair for innovation by progressing through a variety of roles and acquiring new skills as he went.
Following a break from Eurest, working at a variety of locations, including a top independent hotel (where James won three golden rosettes), the Leander Rowing Club in Henley-upon-Thames and a spell for the competition, James returned to Eurest in June 2010 to head up an aviation welfare and innovation site, before taking on the role of Regional Executive Chef for London and South East.
James is a brilliant chef, whose innovation never fails to impress. This was on clear display when he was part of the gold-medal-winning Team England in the 2016 Culinary Olympics. As well as being an integral part of the team effort, he brought home an individual bronze medal — simply underlining the quality of his food.
HR Business Partner
Kerry started her career in Operational Management, leading the delivery of soft service solutions into various industries. But she had always been interested in people — recruiting the best, developing their skills and retaining the talent — so her career naturally progressed into the specialism of Human Resources. Initially working in recruitment and HSE, Kerry developed her skills into more generalist areas, such as Employee Relations and Employment Law.
Because of its diverse nature and well-established brand within the outsourcing marketplace, Compass Group UK & Ireland was always an employer of choice for Kerry. So when the right opportunity came along, she was pleased to accept a role within Eurest.
As an HR Business Partner, Kerry is now on the Regional Executive committee and has responsibility for the delivery and support of people-focused initiatives and strategic direction. The role gives her everything she needs for job satisfaction — people, pace, culture, diversity and endless opportunities.
“I’m a relationship builder — knowledgeable in my specialism, motivated and analytical.
I always like to take an operational viewpoint while supporting the people strategies of the business."
Business Development Director
With over 23 years of B2B experience in sales retention and business development, the majority of Marks working career has been with global blue chip organisations — including with HSBC, Mars UK, GE Capital and Regus UK. So joining Compass in 2014 wasn’t too much of a shock to his system.
Mark joined Compass Group UK & Ireland as a Strategic Partner, but moved into a sales role as Business Development Director in November 2015.
In this role, Mark is solely responsible for increasing the Compass conference centre portfolio within the UK.
“Anyone who knows me will vouch that I’m very much a team player. I’m a relationship person — and that has helped me no end throughout my career so far.”
Before coming to work at Eurest, James held senior posts in operations — with a varied portfolio of sectors, including: Business & Industry (B&I), Healthcare, Education and Defence.
Client relationships and business retention have always been a high priority to James, so his current role as Strategic Partner for Eurest was an obvious next step.
As a Strategic Partner, James works with the managing directors to support the operational team in keeping hold of the business’s key contracts. He also makes sure that Eurest constantly evaluates its service and challenges the status quo, so that the operational team are specifically aligned to the exacting service levels that clients expect.
“Having spent many years on the other side as an operator, I feel I have found my home at Eurest.”
Director of Business Development
Matthew’s career in hospitality started in the licensed retail sector (washing up in his local pub). And he moved into kitchen and pub management while studying for his degree in Hospitality Business Management. Matthew joined Compass Group UK & Ireland in September 2011.
In May 2013 he joined Chartwells, the education catering side of Compass Group UK & Ireland. Then, wanting the challenge of working in a new sector, he joined Eurest in October 2015.
Working in Business Development, Matthew’s role is to develop and grow Eurest’s business —gaining new contracts by creating tailored solutions for clients.
“I’m a passionate sales professional with a track record of delivering significant sales growth in existing and developing markets. With a meticulous eye for detail and a background in operations, I ensure proposed solutions are practical and achievable.”
Nicki is a qualified chartered accountant who qualified with Pricewaterhouse Coopers before leaving to join a leading international recruitment firm for accounting and finance staff.
After taking some time out to start a family, Nicki joined Compass Group UK & Ireland in January 2012 — initially working for ICM, the specialised cleaning division. At the time, Compass Group UK & Ireland had only recently acquired ICM. This presented a great opportunity for Nicki to help her new employer to become a key member of the Compass family.
In January 2015, Nicki joined Eurest, taking a role in the management team as Strategic Retention Partner — supporting the development and retention of our key contracts. In the role, Nicki now makes sure that Eurest constantly evaluates its service, ensuring its operational team are delivering the best service possible. On top of this, Nicki oversees the development of contracts and helps to create relationships with clients across all levels of management.
“I’m an outgoing, motivational and spontaneous professional, I apply my outlook to life to my work and to those around me. I strive to always deliver the desired outcome. I love to be part of a team, but also take great pride in my own work.”
Head of Customer Experience
Andrew started his career with Sutcliffe Catering, where he managed several high-profile contracts across Wales and the West. From there, his passion for great food and service took him into a specialist role, heading up the UK ‘Energy Team’ at Compass Group UK & Ireland.
Today, Andrew is Head of Customer Experience here at Eurest. In this role, Andrew and his team develop the tools and training that our unit teams need to produce great food and deliver a fantastic customer experience. In doing this, Andrew and his team support and drive growth, through consistency and service excellence, across more than 1,500 sites.
“I’m passionate about great food, obsessive about service. I’m not afraid to work hard to deliver success. And, no matter what, I always have the interests of my team at heart, and take every opportunity to help them develop —after all, success for them is success for me.”