Chef Frances Atkins has been invested as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA), recognising her significant contribution to the academy and its activities.
The announcement was made at RACA's annual general meeting, which took place on Monday via Zoom. The investitures not only recognise the dedication of the chosen academicians, but also remember and acknowledge the importance of previous fellows whose chairs they take. Atkins was invested in the chair of food writer Jane Grigson.
Atkins has spent 40 years as a chef and spent the last 22 of those at the Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, which had held a Michelin star for 16 years until last year. Following lockdown this year, owner Jonathan Turner decided the 17-bedroom property was "not financially viable" to reopen as a restaurant while following government guidelines around Covid-19, and instead relaunched the business as a private hire country house.
Atkins has since launched Paradise Food with former Yorke Arms colleagues Roger Olive and John Tullett which, as well as operating from a food wagon at Daleside Nurseries in Harrogate, offers catering services.
She has hosted guest chef dinners to raise funds for the academy's Adopt a School programme and works closely with several schools and colleges in Yorkshire and the North East.