Pierre Koffmann was named the Chefs' Chef of the Year at the AA Hospitality Awards 2012 held this evening at the London Hilton Park Lane.
The iconic chef, who runs his eponymous restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel, beat industry heavyweights including Michel Roux Jnr, Sat Bains and Claude Bosi to win the award, which is voted for by all UK establishments holding AA Rosettes.
Koffmann said he was delighted with the award. "I am thrilled to have won this," he said. "It means so much to me as it was voted for by fellow chefs."
After working with the Roux brothers both at Le Gavroche and the Waterside Inn, Koffmann ran his famous La Tante Claire in London for 25 years, where he not only gained three Michelin stars but also mentored countless other chefs - among them Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Aikens, Bruno Loubet and Eric Chavot.
After a hiatus of more than seven years following the closure of La Tante Claire in December 2002, Koffmann returned to stove with the opening of Koffmann's in 2010, where he serves a relaxed, provincial French menu.
Meanwhile fellow chef, Antonio Carluccio OBE, celebrity chef-restaurateur, mushroom enthusiast and co-founder of Italian restaurant chain Carluccio's, won the AA's Lifetime Achievement award.
Hand Picked Hotels, which has a portfolio of 17 country house hotels from Edinburgh to Jersey, won the AA Hotel Group of the Year award. Chairman and chief executive Julia Hands said: "This award is a wonderful accolade following our 10th anniversary celebrations last year.
"We have invested more than £100m in restoring and developing the hotels and have created new spa/health club facilities and state of the art conference facilities with the latest technology, within a heritage setting."
The AA's Small Hotel Group of the Year award went to Cotswolds Inns and Hotels, which runs seven hotels in the Cotswolds, including the Hare and Hounds Hotel at Westonbirt near Tetbury, the Bay Tree hotel in Burford, the Broadway hotel and the Manor House Hotel in Moreton-in-Marsh.
The AA awarded the Dorchester Collection's newest London property 45 Park Lane five red stars with its restaurant Cut by Wolfgang Puck gaining three rosettes. Duke's in London was also awarded five red stars.
Among new AA rosette winners was Claude and Claire Bosi's two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus restaurant in London, which was the only establishment to gain the AA's top accolade of five rosettes. Other winners included the Michelin-starred Pass at South Lodge hotel in Sussex, Casamia in Bristol, Pollen Street Social and Seven Park Place by William Drabble in London, which all won four AA rosettes.
List of AA Hospitality Award Winners in full:
Chefs' Chef of the Year: Pierre Koffmann
Lifetime Achievement Award: Antonio Carluccio OBE
Hotel of the Year (England): Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
Hotel of the Year (Scotland): The Torridon, Torridon, Highlands
Hotel of the Year (Wales): Bodysgallen Hotel, Llandudno
Hotel of the Year (London): Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane
Restaurant of the Year (England): The Church Green British Grill, Lymm, Cheshire
Restaurant of the Year (Scotland): Rogano, Glasgow
Restaurant of the Year (Wales): Sosban, Llanelli
Restaurant of the Year (London): Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge
Pub of the Year (England): The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale, Cumbria
Pub of the Year (Scotland): West Brewery, Glasgow
Pub of the Year (Wales): The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Wales
Small Hotel Group of the Year: Cotswolds Inns and Hotels
Hotel Group of the Year: Hand Picked Hotels
Eco Hotel of the Year: The Green House, Bournemouth
Eco Hotel Group of the Year: Macdonald Hotels and Resorts
Wine Award (England and overall): L'Etranger, London
Wine Award (Scotland): Castle Terrace, Edinburgh.
Wine Award (Wales): The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
New AA Red Star Hotels in full:
Five AA Red Stars
45 Park Lane, London
Dukes London, London
Four AA Red Stars
Macdonald Windsor, Berkshire
Three AA Red Stars
Lower Slaughter Manor, Gloucestershire
The Samling, Cumbria
New AA Rosette Restaurants in full:
Five AA Rosettes:
Four AA Rosettes:
The Pass Restaurant @ South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding
Pollen Street Social, London
Seven Park Place by William Drabble, London
Three AA Rosettes:
Orwells, Henley on Thames
Roger Hickman's Restaurant, Norwich
Stoke Place, Stoke Poges
Rib Room @ Jumeirah Carlton Towers, London
Wolfgang Puck@ 45 Park Lane, London
Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Cringletie House, Peebles
Alyn Williams @ The Westbury, London
The Dining Room @ Hilbark, Frankby
Thirty Six by Nigel Mendham @ Dukes Hotel, London
One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow
The Old Inn, Drewsteignton
The James Miller Room @ Turnberry
Hipping Hall, Kirby Lonsdale
Rocca Bar & Grill @ Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, St Andrews
Mount Juliet, ROI
The Longridge Restaurant, Longridge
Airds, Port Apin
Isle of Eriska, Eriska
Plas Ynyshir Hall Hotel
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs