May 21, 2018

Just months after joining Wilson Vale as a relief chef manager, Jessica Simmons has been promoted to the operations team as an area manager.

Founder and head chef of Beef & Brew in Kentish Town, Jessica moved into the contract catering sector on 2nd October 2017 to join Wilson Vale, following a career in Michelin-starred restaurants.

She continues to oversee menu development and remains a food director of her critically acclaimed restaurant, which she runs with her partner, Dan Nathan.

Jessica also previously worked under Angela Hartnett at Murano and at the Whitechapel Dining Room.

She is now responsible for two Wilson Vale clients initially, but this is expected to grow in the coming months.

Jessica said: “I view this move to Wilson Vale’s operational team as an exciting opportunity to develop my culinary and leadership skills while sharing my knowledge and industry experience. Training and development is a huge part of the Wilson Vale ethos so I am loving the many opportunities I am being given to mentor and support my teams.”

Carolyne Vale, co-founder of Wilson Vale said: “It was clear from the outset that Jessica had much to offer and we knew that we simply had to invite her to become part of our ops team. Her superb culinary skills, her bubbly personality and business acumen make her a welcome addition to our team.

“Over the next few months as Jess settles into her role she will gain more business and more responsibility. However, our aim is always to provide our new area managers with high levels of support to allow for sustained growth. Training, development and mentoring underline everything we do.”

With an average of just seven clients per area manager, this is far below the industry average, as Carolyne Vale explained: “It’s all about relationships and ensuring that we give our teams and clients sufficient time together to build strong, lasting and supportive relationships. Another unique aspect of our business is that all of our operational managers are craft-skilled chefs so that helps too as they understand the daily challenges of a busy commercial kitchen.

“Having Jessica as the latest addition to our operations team offers many of our young chefs and aspiring chefs a brilliant female role model and we are delighted to have her on board.”

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