Esteemed chef and restaurateur Raymond Blanc and foodservice giant Bill Toner carried off the top gongs at the 2023 Cateys.
The Ruby Catey, a one-off award marking the Cateys' 40th anniversary, was presented to Blanc during a stunning ceremony at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London, attended by some of the country's top hospitality operators.
It recognised an individual who has redefined British hospitality during a stellar career spanning more than five decades.
Toner received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a career spent at leading contract caterers and that has seen him drive CH&Co Group to grow at a staggering rate, while maintaining its people-focused credentials.
The 2023 Chef Award was won by Gareth Ward of Ynyshir, who was described by judges as a "maverick" who had transformed fine dining, while Clare Smyth, of three-Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth, was named Restaurateur of the Year – Independent.
The Special Award was presented to Jeremy Goring, who through the Hotel School charity has supported those who have experienced homelessness into roles in hospitality, transforming lives and providing a means for people to build a better future.
The International Award was given to chef Jason Atherton, who has built a global portfolio stretching as far as Shanghai, Dubai, Mykonos and St Moritz, while also running his seven critically acclaimed sites in London.
Yorebridge House in the Yorkshire Dales was named Hotel of the Year – Independent, while Pan Pacific London took home the Hotel of the Year – Group Catey.
Red Carnation Hotel Collection was the only business to take home two Cateys, winning both the Best Employer and Sustainable Business Awards, while Morag Freathy of Eurest won the Foodservice Caterer Award.
The Pub and Bar Award was run by Chestnut Group; the Lowry hotel, Manchester, was awarded the Best Use of Technology Catey, and the Big Mamma Group – which is behind restaurants including Gloria in London's Shoreditch and Ave Mario in Covent Garden – was presented with the Restaurateur of the Year – Group Catey.
Editor of The Caterer James Stagg said: "This was a real milestone evening in the long history of the Cateys. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of excellence in hospitality has given us the chance to appreciate the outstanding talent in the industry and those who have set the standards that are continually built upon.
"What's so special is that 40 years on, the names of those personalities that we recognised in the very first Cateys still resonate with importance. Back in 1984 chef Michel Bourdin won the Chef Award, while the Waterside Inn won Menu of the Year, Grosvenor House was Hotel of the Year and industry giant Richard Shepherd, credited with being the first British chef to win a Michelin star, won Restaurateur of the Year.
"This year we also presented a one-off award to an outstanding individual in the hospitality industry. Raymond Blanc was honoured with a unique Ruby Catey to mark our 40th anniversary and his stellar career that has spanned the lifetime of the awards."
Cateys 2023 winners
Foodservice Caterer Award, sponsored by Umbrella Training
Hotel of the Year – Group, sponsored by Caterer.com
Best Employer, sponsored by mapal os
Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by Violife Professional
Education and Training Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines
**Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award, sponsored by Matthew Clark
Accessibility Award, sponsored by Blue Badge Access Awards
Public Sector Caterer Award, sponsored by Bidfood
Restaurateur of the Year – Group, sponsored by Entegra
Pub and Bar Award, sponsored by Britvic
Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Hotel, Restaurant & Catering
Restaurateur of the Year – Independent, sponsored by Venners
Newcomer Award, sponsored by MPLC
Menu of the Year Award, sponsored by Commercial Kitchen
Best Marketing Campaign Award, sponsored by Amadeus
Best Use of Technology Award, Sponsored by Enhance Hospitality/Logit
Health and Nutrition Award, sponsored by Brakes
*Chef Award, sponsored by Brakes
Hotel of the Year – Independent, sponsored by Miele
International Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by harri
Special Award, sponsored by CH&Co
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Britvic
Ruby Award, sponsored by P&O Cruises