In previous years, the night of the Cateys would see me dashing home from the office to quickly get changed into my glad rags and ‘doll myself up’ as best I could on a quick turn-around. Then I’d head up to town by train and cab, arriving in time to enjoy some pre-dinner bubbles and mingle with the gathered throng at The Grosvenor House Hotel, whilst admiring the always stunning ballroom below. This year however was (as most things have been) somewhat different. Rather than a little black dress I was in my working from home uniform of smartish top and gym gear below the waist. Instead of bubbles I had my trusty water bottle and instead of The Grosvenor House I was sat at my kitchen table-come-office in front of my laptop.
As you may have gathered, this year for obvious reasons The Cateys decamped to a virtual event live-streamed by The Caterer. The plus side, it meant that for one year everyone was invited, so nominees could share the excitement with their whole team. On the down side, it meant I was cooking again and wouldn’t get to see everyone (outside of a chat box). That said however, I applaud The Caterer for adapting to the times and making sure that not even a pandemic could stop The Cateys which have been going every year since 1984.
With guest host the brilliant Tom Allen, the ‘evening’ (4 – 5.30pm) flew by, recognising the great work of the hospitality sector at a time when, goodness only knows, they need some positive news and a boost to morale. The full list of winners can be found here with highlights including the special achievement award which went to Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality for her tireless work representing the sector through Brexit and Covid. As well as Robin Hutson, the leading hotelier known for Hotel du Vin, Lime Wood, Soho House and, my personal fave, The Pig who received a lifetime achievement award.
It’s safe to say that most will welcome a return to the usual format in 2021, but hats off to The Caterer to keep The Cateys going in the midst of a second lockdown – if ever the industry needed a cheerleader and some praise it’s now!