Edge Hill University appoints new chef to lead catering and commercial hospitality servicesWritten by Anjali Dattani
Edge Hill University has appointed top Lancashire chef, Tom Wells, to lead a refreshed and rejuvenated catering offer for the 12,000 students and 2,000 staff on campus.
The focus of Tom’s role is delivering high standards within the university catering service and driving excellent customer service. He’ll also be raising the profile of the commercial hospitality opportunities to the wider business and local community.
A former student at Runshaw College and originally from the Parbold, Tom’s formative catering career includes work as sous chef in luxury hotels in the French Alps and Austria. He ran his own outside catering company before spending nearly a decade as the dining driving force in the re-launch of two local gastro-pubs where he demonstrated culinary expertise and strategic direction as Head Chef across the two locations.
“This is a perfect position - blending my skills and experience in fine dining and event hospitality to deliver something fresh and progressive at the University,” said Tom. “I’ll be looking to drive new markets, updating our menus to reflect the tastes, needs and budgets of our diverse range of customers. But this is more than just feeding students and staff – alongside physical health and nutrition we will be focussing on encouraging social inclusion and the mental health benefits of good food options.”
The chef’s appointment as Kitchen Manager reflects the ambition and vision of the multi-award-winning Facilities Management Team, strengthening its reputation within the university sector and the local community as a location for quality and value for money. This enhanced role is at the forefront of the University’s commitment to delivering highly professional and sustainable catering services. It follows a recent customer insights programme which is shaping increased diversity in the food offering.
“We’re delighted and excited by Tom’s appointment,” said Helen Connolly, Edge Hill’s Commercial Services Manager. “He brings vision, energy and flair and is bursting with fresh and innovative ideas to enhance and drive a diverse, first-class service providing healthy food options and promoting nutrition and wellbeing across our catering services.”
A few weeks into his role, Tom is looking to develop more vegan, vegetarian and allergy conscious offerings and expand the international flavours on offer – all which will be underpinned by a commitment to provide a range of nutritious meals which are good value. He’s also keen that the work at the campus isn’t seen in isolation and is looking to strengthen links with regional suppliers, businesses and local communities, showcasing what’s on offer at Edge Hill.