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Lifetime Achievement Award

What’s a lifetime achievement? Arguably something that will go down in history, won’t be forgotten and will appear as remarkable 10 years from now as it does today.

The same is true with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Perhaps the most coveted Catey of them all, it’s awarded only once every three years to retain that element of being truly different.

The criteria are hard to define. Many operators do a good job, but that alone isn’t enough to win this Catey, which recognises sustained success and those who consistently break new ground.

Veteran restaurant critic Egon Ronay, who received the accolade in 2001, is a legendary name in the hospitality industry. He has always demanded quality and never compromised on his values, earning the respect of consumers and industry heavyweights alike. He has never been afraid to ask questions in areas that others would just accept, such as the quality and value for money of food in motorway service stations.

Francis Coulson and Brian Sack received the award (Coulson posthumously) in 1998. Sack, who has also since died, said he was extremely proud to receive the recognition and knew that Coulson would have felt the same. The pair were the force behind all country house hotels in this country, starting the legendary Sharrow Bay back in the 1950s when running hotels wasn’t remotely sexy.

Albert and Michel Roux, who received their award at the 1995 Cateys, are two of the most influential chefs in post-war Britain, synonymous with the very highest of standards, most notably at the Waterside Inn at Bray, Berkshire, and Le Gavroche in London. In addition they have always shown a strong commitment to training and developing young chefs, epitomised by the launch of the Roux Diners Scholarship in 1983.

Inspirational stories, but there are plenty of others. If you know of someone who deserves to join this very select group, complete the attached nomination form (see below). Think hard before choosing, and remember that he or she must really stand out from the crowd. Closing date for entries is Friday 6 February. The judging will take place on Wednesday 12 May at Caterer’s office in Sutton, Surrey.

Judges’ criteria

  • There are no formal criteria for this award,which is presented every three years. The winner is likely to have enjoyed success over a prolonged period. 
  • All past winners have worked in the industry for more than 40 years, but in addition to their core business have contributed to the industry in a considerable way. Theirs is a legacy that will stand the test of time.

Don’t forget: All nominations in this category MUST be accompanied by a supporting statement.

NB: nominations for this award have now closed.

If you have a query about the Cateys 2004, please e-mail

Sponsored by Chess Partnership

Sponsor’s message:

It was once written: “During the course of our lives, we all come across a wide variety of characters that can be classified as stars – people who command our respect and admiration in one form or another. However, the brightest star is the one that lasts the longest. Not the fifteen-minute wonder or the idol of the moment, but the one that burns consistently bright year after year.”

The Lifetime Achievement award exists to celebrate the achievements of a unique type of person that has displayed a passion and commitment to the industry as well as commanding our respect over a long period. One only needs to look at the list of past winners to illustrate this point – Lord Forte of Ripley, Douglas Barrington, Albert and Michel Roux, Victor Ceserani, Francis Coulson and Brian Sack, and Egon Ronay.

Chess Partnership is delighted to sponsor this award as it is truly reflective of the work that the company undertakes on a daily basis. Chess Partnership, one of the industry’s leading recruitment consultancies, plays an active role in working with and supporting the industry’s developing talent as they build their own careers. It is natural, therefore, for Chess to be supportive of an award that seeks to celebrate a career that has reached the greatest of heights within the hospitality industry. It is these award winners that many of tomorrow’s directors wish to emulate. They have set the benchmark for the future.

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