University’s fond farewell to Buxton catering ‘legend’ Rob

Rob Stordy (right) in the kitchen with students.
Rob Stordy (right) in the kitchen with students.

Colleagues and students from the University of Derby have said goodbye to a legendary figure in the UK culinary arts world after Rob Stordy retired from their Buxton campus hospitality department.

Rob, who has taught there since the campus opened in 2005, won his first award as best craft student in his first year at the college – and has not stopped winning them since.

And as well as winning accolades himself he has also guided his students on to their own competition successes, including the national finals of the Nestlé Toque d’Or Competition.

Tony Clodd, deputy head of the department of hotel, resort and spa management and head of culinary and hospitality management, said: “To us, he’ll always be the legend that is Rob Stordy.

“Rob represents all the very best in professionalism in our sector. He has dedication, passion, uncompromising standards and a gift for supporting other people in developing their skills.”

Before starting work in education, Rob trained in Manchester and got his first job at The Savoy in London as a commis chef.

He then worked at one of the world’s great restaurants, Madame Prunier, before holding posts with a host of great names including the Grand Metropolitan and Gleneagles.

Among the national competitions he has won are University Chef of the Year, British Turkey Chef of the Year and the Heinz Best of British Challenge.

Rob is also a Salon Culinaire Gold and Silver Medal winner, a Fellow of the World Master Chefs Society, a member of the Craft Guild of Chefs with master craftsman status and a Licentiate of City and Guilds London Institute.

And as a result of his legendary status within the industry he was this year even asked to be a judge its most prestigious competition, Hotelympia.

As he left he told colleagues that when he started at Buxton - a year before its official opening – the new equipment in the training kitchens hadn’t even been unwrapped.

“I really have had 11 happy years here, and worked with some great people,” he said.