Leading hospitality names such as chefs Simon Rogan, Adam Handling and Tom Shepherd were among those who received a prestigious accolade at the 2023 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards.
Held on Thursday 1st June at the Park Plaza, Westminster in London, the event was attended by 700 of hospitality’s leading lights including Clare Smyth – three Michelin Stars Core, Matt Abe and team – Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, Atul Kochhar, Vivek Singh, Cyrus Todiwala and many more.
Chef Clare Smyth: “It’s great to here tonight and see lots of familiar faces celebrating the industry with some well deserving recipients. The Craft Guild of Chefs is an amazing organisation, it’s fundamental to the hospitality industry. All the work they do with the younger generations, inspiring the chefs coming through. It keeps us all together.”
The annual Craft Guild of Chefs Awards aim to celebrate culinary excellence across the UK and beyond.
Chef Cyrus Todiwala added: “Coming to a Craft Guild of Chefs event is fantastic, its all about the industry coming together from entry level to Michelin star.”
Chef Simon Rogan was awarded the highest accolade of the night, that of the Special Award which is presented in recognition of going above and beyond during their career. Previous winners of this award include Angela Hartnett MBE, James Martin, Cyrus Todiwala, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Michel Roux OBE & Albert Roux OBE, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc to name a few.
David Mulcahy, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, commented: “Simon’s sustainable gastronomy ethos and focus on flavour has been an inspiration to many for more than 20 years. In 2022 his restaurant L’Enclume received a much deserved third Michelin Star and were delighted to recognise his life work by awarding him this year’s Special Award.”
Other notable awards went to Adam Handling, chef owner of Adam Handling Restaurant Group, who was awarded the Restaurant Chef Award, and New Restaurant of the Year Award went to Upstairs by Tom Shepherd. The 36-cover restaurant is Staffordshire’s first and only one Michelin-starred restaurant, and offers a 7-course tasting menu or 4-course lunch menu.
The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards is seen as the chefs’ Oscars recognising the exceptional talent across the whole of the hospitality industry – from apprentice and young chefs just starting out to chefs who are established in their careers in hospitality, pubs and restaurants.
The full list of winners:
• Accredited College Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by Lumina: Westminster Kingsway College
• Apprentice Chef Award, sponsored by Compass Group: Eimear McCarthy, Student, South Eastern Regional College
• Armed Services Chef Award, sponsored by Bidfood: SSgt Grahame Wickham, Unit Catering Manager, British Army
• Banqueting and Events Chef Award, sponsored by Daregal Gourmet: Ian Page, Executive Chef, Payne & Gunter
• Chef Lecturer Award, sponsored by Lakeland Dairies: Len Unwin, Curriculum Team Leader, Sheffield College
• Chef’s Favourite Branded Chain Restaurant, sponsored by Unox: Prezzo
• Competition Chef Award, sponsored by HRC 2024: Adam Thomason, Culinary Director, Absolute Taste
• Contract Catering Chef Award, sponsored by PizzaSi: Wayne Corbett, Executive Chef, National Grid
• Culinary Hero Award, sponsored by Williams Refrigeration: Darren Passmore, Compass Group & Co Owner Rustic Rhubarb
• Development Chef Award, sponsored by Essential Cuisine: Terry O’Riordan, Owner and Development Chef, Keto Chefs
• New Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by Marsh Commercial: Upstairs by Tom Shepherd
• Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Carpigiani: Mark Perkins, Executive Pastry Chef, Rosewood London
• Pub Restaurant Chef Award, sponsored by Bonemasters: Phil Mason, Chef Patron, The Rat Inn
• Public Sector Catering Chef Award, sponsored Middleton Foods: Scott Freeman, Culinary Director, ESS Defence
• Restaurant Chef Award, sponsored by Wrapmaster: Adam Handling, Chef Owner, Adam Handling Restaurant Group
• Sustainability Excellence Award, sponsored by Rational UK: Adnams PLC
• Young Chef Award, sponsored by McCormick UK: Nathan Johnson, Senior Chef de Partie, Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa
• Special Award winner, sponsored by Sodexo: Simon Rogan