Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Pioneer in catering education Arthur Simms remembered in biography

Written by:
Pioneer in catering education Arthur Simms remembered in biography
Written by:

The life and times of one of the UK’s pioneering catering educationalists, Arthur Simms, has been recorded in a new biography.

Retired university lecturer Michael Flagg tells the story of how Simms, who assisted his father performing Punch and Judy for the royal children at Buckingham Palace, went on to train as a chef, work in several prestigious hotels in London and Paris, and found the British Army Catering Corps before becoming head chef at the Potsdam Conference in 1945.

After the Second World War, he became a member of the City and Guilds examining body for the newly emerging qualifications in professional cookery. Simms then headed the catering departments at Brighton Municipal College and Portsmouth Municipal College, before being seconded in the 1960s as principal of the Pusa Institute in New Delhi, India. He died in 2003.

Flagg, who was one of Simms’ students in Portsmouth and who went onto lecture at Westminster Kingsway College and the London Metropolitan University, said that Simms was a champion for improved training standards in the post-war period.

“He is remembered today by hundreds of former students, colleagues and friends worldwide and his life story is enriched through a background of social history,” he explained.

* From Punch and Judy to Haute Cuisine – A Biography of the Life and Times of Arthur Edwin Simms 1915-2003 is published by AuthorHouse, priced £33.99. Further details are available at:

Chefs lament the end of City & Guilds exams >>

Victor Ceserani profile >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

TabletalkIf you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk – Caterer’s new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

Blogs on

Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer’s blogs


For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters


Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free