Chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay has been named 2006's most powerful and influential person in UK hospitality.
Ramsay has leapfrogged fellow celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in the second CatererSearch 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in hospitality.
The CatererSearch 100 recognises key players whose actions are having the greatest impact, and ranks candidates on criteria ranging from direct power, success, innovation, future potential, and their wider influence across the industry.
Ramsay clinched the top spot because of his high-octane year, which has seen him garner more column inches than any other personality in the industry. He has also successfully opened La Noisette in London and has new sites launching in New York and Florida this autumn.
With his global reach increasing and a second series of the F Word under his belt, Ramsay has overtaken Oliver to become the most influential player in the industry.
"I am delighted with this award. I've tried never to take anything for granted and any success along the way has always been very much a credit to the team," Ramsay told Caterer.
Oliver's media profile still has plenty of impact, as shown by his latest TV programme on school meals, which helped win another Government concession with three extra years' funding, worth £240m for the sector.
In at three on the list is the highest-ranked hotelier, Grant Hearn, from budget hotel company Travelodge.
Hearn's dynamic leadership of Travelodge saw him jump from number 31 in last year's list to number three. In 2006, he has led the industry's fight against a bed tax, stepped up Travelodge's hard-hitting marketing campaign and brokered an effective sale of the business.
Tim Clarke, boss of Mitchells & Butlers, the pub, restaurant and budget hotel business, is ranked fourth. Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of the InterContinental Hotel Group, comes in at number five.
The CatererSearch 100 is compiled by senior journalists from Caterer and Hotelkeeper.
CatererSearch 100 - key facts
- 30 restaurateurs
- 24 hoteliers
- 22 chefs
- 17 contract caterers
- 7 pub executives
- 31 new entrants