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Awards for Jill Stein and Clare Smyth in Queen's Birthday Honours List

15 June 2013 by
Awards for Jill Stein and Clare Smyth in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Jill Stein, founder and director of the Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall, headed hospitality personalities celebrated in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, with the award of an OBE.

She was joined by Clare Smyth, chef patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay; Jillian MacLean, founder of Drake & Morgan; and Geoffrey Acott, retired army captain and national treasurer of the Craft Guild of Chefs; who were all made MBEs.

Stein, who was honoured for her services to the restaurant industry, opened the Seafood Restaurant with her business partner and former husband, Rick Stein, in 1975. Together they went on to create an empire that today comprises six restaurants, a pub, cookery school 40 bedrooms, four shops and a mail order business.

While her ex-husband is known worldwide and was himself awarded an OBE in 2003, Jill Stein has continuously worked behind the scenes driving the business forward. Last year she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women 1st's Shine Awards.

Jill Stein
Jill Stein
Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth, who originally joined the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea in 2002 as chef de partie, was recognized for services to the hospitality industry. She left the restaurant three years later as senior sous chef to train with some of the world's most celebrated chefs, including Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Monaco, returning in 2007 as head chef.

Earlier this year, the celebrated establishment closed for a major refurbishment, reopening with Smyth as chef patron and as a partner to Ramsay, who at the time described her as "an amazingly talented chef".

Also recognized for her services to the hospitality industry, entrepreneur Jillian MacLean launched Drake & Morgan in 2008. Today the company operates five bar restaurants in London with a sixth due to open next month. A £30m management buoyout of the company, backed by Bowmark Capital, in May will help fund the future expansion of the group, with a further seven sites already identified.

Maclean branched out on her own after working for 20 years in the Bass pubs division, which became Mitchells & Butlers, as well as spending time with the Spirit Group and Novus Leisure. In 2010 she was awarded the Pub and Bar Catey.

Jillian MacLean
Jillian MacLean

For Geoffrey Acott, the announcement of the MBE for services to the catering industry marks a double celebration for his family as his son gets married in Edinburgh today.

After starting his career as a chef in London, where he worked at several establishments including the Ritz hotel, he joined the Army Catering Corps as a private in 1968.

Throughout a 50-year career he has been extensively involved in catering competitions, both as a judge and competitor and was involved in the launch of the Craft Guild's Armed Services Chef Award last year.

Acott said hearing the news of the accolade had "hit me straight between the eyes". He is most proud, he explained, of raising awareness of the important role military chefs play.

"There is this misconception that they are simply banging out stuff in the barracks, but the reality is there is no difference between trained military chefs and chefs in in a swanky hotel in the West End, whether they work in the Army, Royal Navy or RAF."

Paul Gayler, Patrick Dempsey and Kellie Rixon represent hospitality industry in Queen's Birthday Honours List >>

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