Nurturing Culinary Excellence: Angel Hill’s ‘Culinary Classroom’ Programme

For the Love of Food

At Angel Hill, we know that the heart of exceptional catering lies in the passion and skill of our chefs. That’s why we’ve established the ‘Culinary Classroom,’ an internal chef training program designed to harness and elevate the culinary talents within our ranks.

The Culinary Classroom is a year-long journey that offers chefs from across our organisation the unique opportunity to hone their craft and delve deeper into the intricacies of the culinary world. With a strong focus on essential skills and a deep understanding of our supply chain, this program equips our chefs with the tools they need to excel in the dynamic catering industry.

Module Diversity

The heart of the Culinary Classroom lies in its diverse curriculum. Our chefs embark on a thrilling educational journey that encompasses various facets of their profession:

  • Kitchen Management: Chefs learn the art of efficient kitchen management, ensuring every culinary operation runs smoothly.
  • Seasonality: Understanding the ebb and flow of seasonal ingredients is crucial in crafting menus that showcase the best of each season.
  • Menu Planning: Chefs master the art of menu creation, crafting dishes that delight the palate and meet the highest culinary standards.
  • Practical Cookery Skills: Hands-on training ensures our chefs excel in practical culinary techniques, bringing their creations to life.
Beyond the Kitchen

The Culinary Classroom is more than just classroom learning. It’s an interactive, practical, and enjoyable experience. It encourages our chefs to break away from the routine of their daily tasks and venture out to explore the broader food chain.

Farm Visits: Our chefs first-hand see where our ingredients originate. These visits foster a deep appreciation for the quality and origin of our produce.

Workshops: Specialised workshops led by industry experts expand our chefs’ horizons and expose them to new culinary perspectives.

Trade Shows: The program includes visits to trade shows and culinary events, keeping our chefs up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in the catering world.

A Path to Leadership

The Culinary Classroom is not just about enhancing skills; it’s also about nurturing leaders. We’re proud that many of our senior chefs have come through the ranks, starting their culinary journey with Angel Hill and rising to lead our ever-growing catering division.

In conclusion, the ‘Culinary Classroom program is a testament to our commitment to culinary excellence and the growth of our talented chefs. Through this initiative, we aim to ensure that every dish we serve reflects our team’s passion, dedication, and expertise. Angel Hill is not just a catering company; it’s a culinary journey filled with love and dedication to the art of food.

“Since its launch in 2015, we’ve had over 60 colleagues progress through their journeys in the class, and it’s been an absolute privilege of mine to mentor and guide our people. Giving our people the opportunity to have new experiences and gain knowledge, skills and confidence in their profession gives me immense pride; it’s a true pleasure to behold each year’s class bond over their shared passion, a love for food.”

“Over the year, our Culinary Classroom has paved the way for our aspiring chefs to achieve their goals and aspirations, taking them to places they never thought possible within the industry. It’s been an absolute privilege to be a part of it; I can’t wait to see and meet the new chefs we take onto the Culinary Classroom in the future.”


Matt Vernon

Executive Development Chef

Best Experience: The Role of Amika Guest Services in Creating Outstanding Moments

Delivering the best experiences

In the world of hospitality, the role of guest services and concierge teams is pivotal. Amika Guest Services, with its unwavering commitment to excellence, stands at the forefront, bearing the responsibility of delivering the best experiences possible. These experiences can make all the difference, not only for guests but also for businesses, presentations, and overall productivity. Amika Guest Services plays a crucial role in ensuring that every interaction is exceptional and how these interactions contribute to the success of various endeavours.

Amika Guest Services understands that the little things matter. From when guests arrive to their departure, our dedicated team ensures that every detail is thoughtfully taken care of.

Our mission is to make people and places the best they can be, focusing on creating an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome, and secure.

The Impact on Return Guests

Exceptional guest experiences are more than just a warm welcome. They are the foundation for building lasting relationships. A memorable stay can differ between guests choosing to return or seeking alternatives. At Amika Guest Services, we aim to win hearts and minds, creating customers and advocates for our brand.

Boosting Business Success

In today’s competitive business world, presentations and meetings are critical. The quality of the guest experience can significantly impact the outcome. Amika Guest Services ensures business meetings run smoothly, presentations go well, and teams are optimised for success. Our attention to detail and commitment to excellence contribute to the overall productivity of your organisation.

Operational Resilience and Safety

Amika Guest Services goes beyond hospitality; we are also dedicated to operational resilience and safety. We follow proper procedures and best practices to keep everyone safe. Leveraging the support of our other FM divisions, such as catering, hard services, and security and access controls, we provide comprehensive solutions to ensure the security and well-being of all.

First impressions that last

Amika Guest Services is about creating outstanding moments that leave a lasting impression. Whether for guests, business endeavours, or safety measures, our team’s mission is to make people and places the best they can be. We understand the significance of providing every essential service our customers might require. It’s a responsibility we take seriously; ensuring the satisfaction and well-being of our customers is always our top priority.

“We understand the significance of providing every essential service our customers might require. It’s a responsibility we take seriously; ensuring the satisfaction and well-being of our clients is always our top priority.”

Huanita Wallace

OCS Front of House Ambassador

OCS: Pioneers of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

Now Globally Recognised: Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, initially launched at Gatwick Airport by OCS Group to assist passengers with hidden disabilities, has been successfully adopted in airports globally. This innovative initiative, which began as a trial over the summer, has significantly enhanced the travel experience for thousands of passengers and their families worldwide with hidden disabilities such as dementia, autism, or hearing loss.

Discreet recognition

Introducing these distinctive lanyards lets travellers discreetly inform airport teams of their need for tailored assistance. The lanyard ensures they receive the proper support throughout their journey, such as extra time for processing information or preparing belongings before security screening. OCS assistance teams across the UK and globally have undergone specialised training to recognise and appropriately respond to these lanyards.

This scheme is part of a broader initiative by OCS Group, which provides assistance services at multiple airports across the UK & Ireland and globally. The initiative was informed by the “Challenging for Change” report, which captured the experiences of passengers with disabilities and suggested improvements. Follow-up workshops facilitated dialogue and idea exchange among airlines, airport operators, baggage handlers, disability groups, and support service providers.

Charity Partnership & Collaboration

Key UK charities like the Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society, and Action on Hearing Loss have collaborated with Gatwick Airport and OCS Group in this endeavour. At launch, Nikki Barton, Head of Terminals and Passenger Assistance at Gatwick, highlighted the scheme’s role in reducing travel stress for passengers with hidden disabilities and the importance of training for frontline teams in enhancing passenger experiences.

OCS Group has 60 years of expertise in the aviation sector and their commitment to excellence for passengers needing additional assistance. The lanyard scheme, born from extensive consultations with disability groups, aims to minimise misinterpretations of the specific needs associated with hidden disabilities.

Specialist Colleague Training

The lanyard scheme’s rollout was supported by comprehensive training, with NVQ Level 2 training in dementia care now standard for OCS teams in the departure lounges. Numerous Dementia Friends Champions have been trained across the airports to further the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme.

Sue Rennie, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for West Sussex North, said, “People with dementia and their family carers often find travelling daunting when faced with unfamiliar and busy airports. The lanyard scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities introduced at Gatwick offers reassurance to those who use it. It also helps airport teams know that they may require additional support, which can improve the passengers’ travel experience at the airport.”

Merger Completes Between Atalian Servest’s and OCS’s UK, Ireland and Asia Operations.

Atalian UK, Ireland and Asia operations to merge with OCS Group to create new, leading international FM provider

Following the recent acquisition of OCS Group by Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Atalian confirms the sale of its operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Asia to the private investment firm

In a move that will create one of the world’s largest international facilities service providers, Atalian Global Services has confirmed the sale of its UK, Ireland and Asia operations, along with its specialist automotive division Aktrion, to Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), the private investment firm that recently acquired OCS Group, with the intention that the businesses be merged over the next twelve months, opening a new chapter for the two firms.

Atalian’s Group CEO Rob Legge will become Group CEO of the newly merged businesses.

Further communication on this exciting news, including the company’s ambition and vision will be shared in the coming weeks ahead.



Sean Fisher’s OCS Journey to Cleaning CEO


  • Sean joined Servest UK in 2003, and his first role saw him become a regular at Sheffield’s famous Gatecrasher nightclub
  • Treating the business as your own is an important mindset for success, Sean believes
  • Success for Sean is OCS becoming synonymous with being the best
OCS’s newly appointed CEO of Cleaning, Sean Fisher, has a long association with both the legacy OCS business and cleaning as a profession.

It was back in 2003 that Sean, who originally hails from South Africa, began working for what was then Servest UK as a site supervisor, after studying IT in his homeland.

Over the two decades that followed, Sean led retail and cleaning divisions, and served as Chief Operating Officer at Atalian Servest, before being appointed to head up the new OCS cleaning division.

“To take on that first role with Servest, I needed to move to Sheffield – so I moved in with our cleaners,” says Sean.

“I moved into the house they were sharing, and they taught me how to clean. I started with Gatecrasher nightclub and Bed nightclub, before moving into an area management role, and then moving to the head office in Bury St Edmunds.”

The attributes for success

Since then, Sean’s played a key role in a business that’s experienced sizeable organic growth, but those early experiences cemented in his mind the attributes that are needed to succeed.

“People need to be passionate about what they do, believe in what they do, and treat the business as if it was their own.”

Sean Fisher

CEO of Cleaning

“You’ve got to have the energy and the edge – the pace at which we operate is relentless, but at the same time, it’s good fun.”

The new OCS TRUE values – Trust, Respect, Unity and Empowerment – sit well with Sean, who believes when you find the right people, it makes everything else significantly easier.

“That’s everything we stand for, as a business, as a cleaning business, and myself as an individual,” he says.

“When you get the right people, who are true to those values, you have a successful business – and I think those values suit us perfectly.”

Putting values into practice

In practice, for Sean, those values look fairly simple – but the impact they can have is seismic.

“You’ve got to be professional, polite and well-mannered – that’s a given,” he says.

“At the start of every shift, you’ve got to be on site before the shift starts. I expect all of my operators to be visible on site, engaging with customers, and making sure they’re getting the best out of their team in terms of productivity and standards.”

And that engagement with customers – which builds unity and trust, as well as demonstrating respect – is essential to building partnerships that truly help people and places be their best.

“It’s important to build those relationships because, together, we’ll achieve significantly better outcomes,” says Sean.

“We do a lot of relationship mapping, from site level all the way to procurement and CEOs, and if you get that right, you can have the right conversations with the right people – you’re not forcing a relationship, but building something that will be beneficial for both parties in the longer term.”

Building solid foundations for OCS

A successful relationship can deliver a number of strong outcomes,  made possible by the successful day-to-day delivery of services. Those longer-term outcomes are something Sean is focused on in his new role as CEO of Cleaning.

First, however, comes a period of building the foundations that will serve the new OCS business well over the decades to come.

“My main objective this year is to get things like budgets, succession plans and performance management right, ensuring we have the right people in the right roles, and are giving the right opportunities to those people, too,” he says.

“That will create an incredibly solid foundation from which we can build upon and deliver on our overall business mission.”

That mission is, of course, to be the best facilities management business in the world, making people and places the best they can be – and it’s a mission that enthuses Sean as looks ahead to the coming months and years.

He says, “OCS needs to stand for quality, and I want to help OCS become synonymous with being the best.”