The Great Room at Mayfair’s resplendent Grosvenor House Hotel was the venue for last night’s Craft Guild of Chefs Awards – the opulent surrounds more than matching the gravitas of an evening that saw royalty rub shoulders with the kings and queens of the industry. This was the 20th rotation of the association’s annual chef ‘Oscars’ and over 900 guests – including the Countess of Wessex – came out in force for an evening of fantastic food and honours spanning every aspect of the cheffing oeuvre from contract catering to the cost sector and pubs to pastry.
All in all, 19 accolades were awarded with a special twentieth being reserved for Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin. The highly popular Yorkshireman joins a glittering cabal of chefs to be honoured for their contributions to the industry including Heston Blumenthal, Anton Mosimann, the Roux brothers, Pru Leith and Cyrus Todiwola OBE. Many of the previous winners were in attendance, and were presented, amid much appreciative noise, to the room at the very beginning of the night.
A night, then, for the heroes behind the pass – well known or otherwise – and a celebration of the craft, courtesy of the Craft Guild.
Of all the things this industry does well, it certainly knows how to celebrate; Albert Roux had the room in fits when speaking of his own experience of winning in 2005: “After the awards I went to the pub, eventually when they had run out of things to drink, I went home.”
Congratulations to all of the winners, the accolades and celebrations are richly deserved.
Apprentice Chef Award – Ruth Hansom, Boundary Restaurant
Armed Services Chef Award – Cpl Alun Davies, Catering Team RAF Squadron
Banqueting & Event Chef Award – Michael Bullard, West Bromwich Albion FC
Chef Lecturer Award – Patricia Paskins, University of West London
Competition Chef Award – Javier Mercado, Le Cordon Bleu
Contract Catering Chef Award – Darren Thompson, Sodexo
Cost Sector Chef Award – Rob Bean, University of Leicester
Development Chef Award – Andy Twells, Eurest Instore
Ethnic Chef Award – Giorgio Locatelli, Locanda Locatelli
New Restaurant of the Year Award – Lima
Pastry Chef Award – Andrew Ditchfield, House of Commons
People’s Choice Award – Simon Boyle, Brigade/Beyond Food Foundation
Pub Restaurant Chef Award – Stosie Madi, Parkers Arms
Restaurant Chef Award – Pascal Aussignac, Gascon Connection
Young Chef Award – April Partridge, The Ivy Restaurant
Special Award – James Martin
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