The life and times of one of the UK's pioneering catering educationalists, Arthur Simms, has been recorded in a new biography.
Retired university lecturer Michael Flagg tells the story of how Simms, who assisted his father performing Punch and Judy for the royal children at Buckingham Palace, went on to train as a chef, work in several prestigious hotels in London and Paris, and found the British Army Catering Corps before becoming head chef at the Potsdam Conference in 1945.
After the Second World War, he became a member of the City and Guilds examining body for the newly emerging qualifications in professional cookery. Simms then headed the catering departments at Brighton Municipal College and Portsmouth Municipal College, before being seconded in the 1960s as principal of the Pusa Institute in New Delhi, India. He died in 2003.
Flagg, who was one of Simms' students in Portsmouth and who went onto lecture at Westminster Kingsway College and the London Metropolitan University, said that Simms was a champion for improved training standards in the post-war period.
"He is remembered today by hundreds of former students, colleagues and friends worldwide and his life story is enriched through a background of social history," he explained.
\ From Punch and Judy to Haute Cuisine - A Biography of the Life and Times of Arthur Edwin Simms 1915-2003* is published by AuthorHouse, priced £33.99. Further details are available at: www.arthursimmspioneer.com
By Janet Harmer
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