Keith Stewart, who recently stepped down as managing director of CGC Event Caterers, has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Piper Heidsieck Racecourse Catering Awards.
CGC provides the catering at nine Yorkshire and North East Racecourses, including York Racecourse.
Stewart's career started in 1968, initially in the steel industry, then moving into retail with a career spanning over 20 years from trainee to operations director. He moved into hospitality when he joined Granada in 1989, where his retail skills were employed to develop its motorway services business.
In 2003 Keith he invested in a management buy-in of Craven Gilpin, now CGC Event Caterers. In the last 10 years he has transformed CGC into a leading sporting event caterer, not only at racecourses but also at football and rugby stadia and various exhibition centres.
William Derby, chief executive of York Racecourse said: "Keith is an exceptional person with a passion for service, sales and innovation. It has been a pleasure to work with him since 2003 while he has quietly but thoroughly modernised, developed and expanded CGC Events into a progressive and much admired catering operation.
"He is steadfast in his belief that the key to success is great service, great food and great value to the customer. Who else would return from family holiday in France having helped blend a new house wine? He combines a strategic position and approach with an eye for detail which involves him personally reviewing every customer comment form and virtually knowing every member of staff, whether permanent, seasonal or casual, as an individual. As well as being an exceptional caterer, he is a thoroughly nice guy with a humanity and sparkle to light up any meeting or race day."
Stewart said: "It's a tremendous honour to have your achievements recognised by your peers and clients. I owe a great deal to the CGC Events team who in my experience is second to none."
By Neil Gerrard
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