The Cateys is, and will always be, the Oscars of the hospitality industry. On the 4th July this year, anyone who is anyone in our industry could be found in the Great Ballroom at the Grosvenor House Hotel and this year they numbered at an impressive 1,250. Nominees, suppliers, sponsors, restaurateurs, hoteliers, contract caterers, food marketing, chefs (including Tom Kerridge, Jason Atherton, Tom Aitkens and many more) and even the odd marketer (some odder than others!) from the world of foodservice and hospitality were in attendance, catching-up with industry friends and contacts. This year the great and the good gathered once again to see who would walk away with the iconic awards and were greeted by stunning table displays from The Pig. The boutique hotel group which started off in the New Forest, not only made the Great Ballroom look amazing, bringing their rustic contemporary styling to bear on this traditional setting, but also; in conjunction with the Grosvenor’s team; pulled together a show-stopping menu for the night.
And what a menu it was…from the ‘Piggy Bits’ – gourmet mini scotch eggs and black pudding sausage rolls – to the super fresh beetroot and Dorset Blue Vinney starter, Braised leg of lamb with fresh spring vegetables main and the Pig’s signature dessert – garden mint mouse with bitter chocolate – all the way through to the super cute ‘Piggie Fours’ (Pig shaped biscuits and homemade rhubarb marshmallows – too cute). As a complete Pig obsessive (the hotel group, not the animal – although I have nothing against them) I couldn’t have been more excited and the food was outstanding. It was made even more so as we were treated to a video of the back story behind the menu, as The Pig source locally and grow the large majority of ingredients in their kitchen gardens. With a great company, great wine and fabulous food the bar was set very high, so the comedy turn for the evening had a lot to live up to. However, the night only managed to get better when it was announced that Katherine Ryan would be our compère for the evening. Her set was as ever acerbic and well observed, as you would expect and had the audience in stiches, referencing her hospitality experience at Hooters the infamous US chain from which she was relieved of her duties (their loss was our gain).
Then it was on to the main business of the night, the awards. Considered to the be highest accolade the hospitality industry has to offer, the room was ripe with expectation and the excitement palpable. Of course, as with any awards ceremony there are winners and losers, but merely to be nominated speaks volumes and everyone involved should be hugely proud of what they have achieved. For the full list of winners you can visit The Caterer’s website here but special mention must go to John Williams Executive Head Chef of the Ritz on taking home the Special Award and Sir Terence Conran on his Lifetime Achievement Award. It was, as ever, a stela night and congratulations are due not only to all the worthy nominees and winners but to the sponsors including headline sponsor Bunzl and our clients Hotelympia, Hobart, Schwartz and Melitta as well as of course the amazing team at Caterer.