Who do you think is the most powerful person in the hospitality industry? In this week's Caterer, we've compiled our second CatererSearch100 - a rundown of the 100 most important figures in hospitality, those whose actions we believe are having the most impact in 2006.
It's not an easy task, and it's taken a huge amount of work to compile this list and write 100 individual profiles. The judging process, though, was rigorous and extensive.
To compile the list, Caterer‘s journalists have pooled all their experience to debate, analyse, judge and assemble industry personalities into our top 100 power players, and at the end of the process, one person is named most influential individual in hospitality in the past year.
I'm sure there are many rankings you won't agree with, but that's the intention: to provide food for thought when you're next enjoying a drink with your colleagues.
So, is Gordon Ramsay really the most influential person in the hospitality industry? More so than Jamie Oliver, who topped last year's CatererSearch100, and Grant Hearn, who has spearheaded the industry's campaign against a bed tax?
We think so. He may swear more than most. His face may be emblazoned across a different newspaper every day. But at the moment the public and the media can't get enough of him. It's Ramsay who stands out in this fame-obsessed era, not just because of the volume of column inches and TV airtime devoted to him, but also because of his passion for the industry and his desire and success in growing his business, both in the UK and abroad.
You can read more about CatererSearch100 on page 6, and our feature starts on page 26. For the full list, plus in-depth profiles of everyone in the top 100, visit our website, www.caterersearch .com/caterersearch100.
Finally, while we're celebrating influential players, we'd like to remind readers that the closing date for the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2006 is soon. These awards recognise the most inspiring people, organisations and initiatives in hospitality and tourism, which raise the industry's profile as an employer of choice. For more details, see page 11.
James Garner Managing Editor
Caterer & Hotelkeeper