Chefs Pierre Koffmann and Simon Rogan were among the big winners at the AA Hospitality Awards 2016, which also saw four restaurants promoted to five AA rosettes.
Held at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on Monday, 26 September, the awards were handed out to winners in 23 categories.
Already one of Britain's most celebrated chefs, Rogan, won AA Chef of the Year 2016. It has been another successful year for Rogan, who owns L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, and also runs Fera in London and the French at the Midland hotel in Manchester.
Koffmann was honoured with the AA Lifetime Achievement Award. Koffmann, who was born in Tarbes in France in 1948, arrived on the British culinary scene in the early 1970s and has been a heavyweight in his field ever since. Having planned to stay in the UK for only six months when he first came to these shores aged 22, Koffmann found a job working for Michel and Albert Roux at Le Gavroche. Within six months he had been promoted to sous chef and was soon appointed head chef at the Roux Brothers' Waterside Inn at Bray, where he stayed for five years. In 1977, he opened La Tante Claire in London, and it quickly gained a reputation as one of the best dining experiences in London. Two decades later, he took up residency in the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, where he continued to cook until he decided to hang up his apron in 2003. In 2009, he made a comeback running a pop-up version of La Tante Claire on the roof of Selfridges and that pop-up inspired him to make an unexpected return to The Berkeley Hotel.
Meanwhile, five rosettes were awarded to Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London, Casamia restaurant in Bristol, Restaurant Story in London and Jason Atherton's flagship restaurant Pollen Street Social, also in London.
Restaurants to pick up four rosettes on the night were the Whitebrook in Monmouth, Winteringham Fields in Lincolnshire, Number One the Balmoral, Edinburgh, Hampton Manor, Solihull, Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow, the Black Swan at Oldstead, Five Fields in London, and Orwells, Henley-on-Thames.
Five new five red star hotels were also announced and were the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath, South Lodge, Lower Beeding, the Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, Bath, Rosewood London, and Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo.
The full list of winners were:
AA Hotel of the Year
AA Hotel of the Year for Wales - The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
AA Hotel of the Year for Scotland - Cromlix Hotel, Dunblane
AA Hotel of the Year for London - The Beaumont
AA Hotel of the Year for Northern Ireland - Manor House Country Hotel, Enniskillen
AA Restaurant of the Year
AA Restaurant of the Year for England - Lumière, Cheltenham
AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales - Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth
AA Restaurant of the Year for Scotland - Inver Restaurant, Strachur
AA Restaurant of the Year for London - Sosharu, London
AA Wine Award
AA Wine Award for England and Overall Winner - Sketch (Lecture Room and Library), London
AA Wine Award for Scotland - The Kitchin, Edinburgh
AA Wine Award for Wales - The Whitebrook, Whitebrook
AA Pub of the Year
AA Pub of the Year for England - The Boot, Repton
AA Pub of the Year for Wales - Penhelig Arms, Aberdyfi
AA Pub of the Year for Scotland - The Ship Inn, Elie
AA Hotel Group of the Year
Winner - Thwaites Shire Hotels
AA Eco Hotel and Eco Hotel Group of the Year
Winner AA Eco Hotel - Battlesteads Hotel, Hexham
Winner AA Eco Hotel Group - AccorHotels
AA Food Service Award
Winner - The Ritz London
AA Housekeeper of the Year Award
Winner - Nan McDowall, Crewe Hall, Crewe
AA College Restaurant Award
Winner - Foxholes Restaurant, Runshaw College
Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of the AA inspectorate and other industry professionals involved in the judging process, the winners of the awards were selected in recognition of excellence and success within their chosen category, having shown a significant improvement in the preceding 12 - 18 months and proving their dedication to raising industry standards and enhancing both their guest and diner experiences. All the winners appear in the latest edition of the 2017 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event.
Guests at the awards, hosted by Hugh Dennis, were treated to a gastronomic menu created by the 2015 AA Chefs' Chef, Daniel Clifford.
In addition to the awards, details of the new five- and four-AA-rosette restaurants, and the new five red star hotels were also announced.
The new five rosette restaurants were:
•Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, London
•Casamia Restaurant, Bristol
•Restaurant Story, London
•Pollen Street Social, London
The new four rosette restaurants were:
•The Whitebrook, Whitebrook
• Winteringham Fields, Winteringham
• Number One The Balmoral, Edinburgh
• Hampton Manor, Solihull
• Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow
• Orwells, Henley-on-Thames
The new Five Red Star hotels were:
•The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath
•South Lodge, Lower Beeding
• The Bath Priory Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, Bath
• Rosewood London
• Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, ROI
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