Chef, restaurateur and TV personality Rick Stein and Scottish hotelier Patrick Crerar headed a select number of hospitality industry figures to be featured in the New Year’s Honours List 2018.
Stein (pictured)has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the economy. He will add the honour to the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), which he received in the New Year’s Honours List 2003 for services to West Country tourism.
Also a recipient of a CBE was Crerar, chief executive of Crerar Hotels, who was honoured for services to the hospitality industry in Scotland and charity work.
Ian Harris, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the wine and spirit, while Ellen Wiles, chef at Oak Field School in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, was named as a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire, for services to children with special dietary requirements.
This year’s list, which marked the centenary year of the OBE, honoured 1,123 people.
Stein is one of the most well-known names in the hospitality industry having built up – with his ex-wife Jill Stein – a restaurant business into a global brand, fuelled by a successful television and book career.
The original eatery in Padstow, Cornwall, which opened in 1975, has since been joined by a further 12 food and beverage outlets, four shops, 40 bedrooms, a pub and a cookery school. Four of the restaurants are now located outside Cornwall in Winchester, Hampshire; Sandbanks, Dorset; Marlborough, Wiltshire; and Barnes, London.
Stein remains one of Britain’s most identifiable chefs, a highly respected restaurateur and a hugely popular television presenter. He was the winner of the Catey Chef Award in 1999 and, with Jill, the Catey Special Award in 2016 (pictured).
His influence among chefs and consumers alike is immense. With more than 20 years on television screens in the UK and around the globe, and as the author of two dozen books – no doubt buoyed by his degree in English from Oxford University – his contribution to raising the profile of the British seafood industry has been colossal.
Stein, who is currently in Australia, said: “I am so proud to receive a CBE for services to the economy. I think that the hospitality industry, that I so much enjoy working in, is a force for good not only in the UK but everywhere. To be able to travel the world as a British man, fascinated by the food and culture wherever I go and bringing it back home is a dream job, but also reinforces the importance of everyone sitting down and enjoying good food together.”
Crerar continues to head up Crerar Hotels, which has 12 properties across Scotland and one in West Yorkshire, after plans to sell the company last year to Thai-backed Fico Castle were halted.. The business also operates www.easy-breaks.com, a short-break operator specialising in dinner-inclusive breaks in the UK.
Over the past 10 years, the Crerar Trust, which Crerar heads as chairman and trustee, has donated around £7m to charities and worthy causes in Scotland and Yorkshire through the receipt of more than half of the company’s distributable profits.
Crerar said he was “flabbergasted” to become a CBE, having started his career as “a boy from Oban, without qualifications of any sort.”
He added: “I was delighted on a personal family level, more importantly delighted to accept the honour knowing that although it’s a reward bestowed individually, it is reflective of all of our collective work at Crerar Hotels. Finally, it’s important that our industry is recognised on the widest stage possible.”
Crerar explained that after taking the business off the market, Crerar Hotels was now “fully focused on the future” and aimed “to raise the already high standard of the hotels to a new level” with a £5m efurbishment programme.
This year’s New Year’s Honours List recognised only half the number of hospitality individuals, compared with last year, when hotelier Nick Jones, and chef-restaurateurs Mark Hix and Tony Singh were among the six personalities to receive awards.
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