John Williams, executive head chef of the Ritz in London and executive chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, received the Special Award at the 2017 Catey Awards, in association with Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division, earlier this week, while Sir Terence Conran was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
News of Williams' award provoked a warm reception from the audience of 1,250 people at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, in London on 4 July.
Presenting the award to Williams, Clive Jacobs, chairman of The Caterer's parent company Jacobs Media Group, praised Williams' "enduring support of the industry and his unwavering passion for his craft, not to mention his unbelievable raw talent as a chef".
Chef Claude Bosi, who recently went into business with Conran as chef-patron of Bibendum restaurant in London, appeared on stage to collect the award for Sir Terence Conran, who is 85 years old.
Conran was chosen for this award for the exceptional mark he has made on the restaurant and wider hospitality sector for more than 64 years. The designer, who has directly impacted the way in which so many of today's restaurants look, opened his first restaurant in 1953. He launched Bibendum in the iconic Michelin building in 1987 before going on to co-found Conran Restaurants, which became home to some of London's most-celebrated restaurants, including Quaglino's, the Butlers Wharf gastrodome and Coq d'Argent.
Meanwhile, another high-profile Catey went to Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Sharp, also 85, started his business with just a single hotel in Toronto in 1960. The company now runs 105 properties in 43 countries, and enjoys annual revenues of more than $4b (£3.1b).
Andrew Foulkes of the Abbey hotel in Bath won Manager of the Year, while Hotel of the Year - Group went to Rosewood London, and the Beaumont in London won Hotel of the Year - Independent.
Paul Hurren, managing director of Lusso Catering, won the Foodservice Caterer Award, while Mark Jarvis of Anglo in London picked up the Newcomer Award. Tom Kerridge, chef-owner of the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, collected the Chef Award.
The full list of winners:
Best Marketing Campaign, sponsored by Amadeus
Manager of the Year, sponsored by Melitta
Andrew Foulkes, Abbey Bath
Best Use of Technology, sponsored by Sky
Accessibility Award, sponsored by Bespoke Hotels
Todsworthy Farm Holidays
Newcomer Award, sponsored by Hotelympia
Mark Jarvis, Anglo, London
Menu of the Year, sponsored by Quorn
The Ninth, London
Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by Nestlé Professional
The Oakley Court, Windsor, Berkshire
Pub and Bar Award, sponsored by Britvic
Chris Hill, the New World Trading Company
Restaurateur of the Year - Independent, sponsored by OpenTable
Restaurateur of the Year - Group, sponsored by Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division
Jason Atherton, the Social Company
International Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Castello Del Nero
Isadore Sharp, founder, Four Seasons
Best Employer Award, sponsored by Amadeus
Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award, sponsored by Searcys
Craig Bancroft, Northcote
Health and Nutrition Award, sponsored by Charlton House
Food Cardiff, Education Catering, Cardiff Council
Public Sector Award, sponsored by Premier Foods
Vic Laws, director, AVL Consultancy
Education and Training Award, sponsored by Bidfood
Kulsum Hussin, Welcome Skills
Hotel of the Year - Group, sponsored by Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division
Hotel of the Year - Independent, sponsored by Sky
The Beaumont, London
Foodservice Caterer Award, sponsored by Zenith Hygiene
Paul Hurren, Lusso Catering
Chef Award, sponsored by Craft Guild of Chefs
Special Award, sponsored by Johnsons Stalbridge
John Williams, Ritz London
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by PSL - Your Food Solutions Partner
Sir Terence Conran
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