John Williams and Mark Birchall win top honours at AA Awards 2022

26 September 2022 by
John Williams and Mark Birchall win top honours at AA Awards 2022

John Williams MBE, executive chef of the Ritz London, and Mark Birchall, chef patron of Moor Hall in Lancashire, led the list of winners at the AA Hospitality Awards 2022.

The first in-person AA awards ceremony in three years was held at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel in London on 26 September.

Awards were presented by former BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan to winners in 26 categories, and to the recipients of newly bestowed AA rosettes and red stars.

Williams received the AA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the hospitality industry over the past 40 years.

He joined the Ritz as executive chef in 2004 and continues to head a team of 64 chefs at the luxury hotel restaurant.

He said: "It is truly the greatest honour to have been recognized by the AA, the leading authority in the hospitality industry, thank you! I'm over the moon.

"I'm very lucky to have a brilliant brigade of chefs working with me, whose passion is to deliver the very best experience to every guest who comes into the Ritz Restaurant, every day. It's been a challenging couple of years, but I really believe the entire experience that we are offering in the Restaurant is the best it has ever been."

Birchall was named the Chef's Chef of the Year, an award voted for by chefs at restaurants which hold AA rosettes.

Simon Numphud, managing director of AA Media, said: "We are delighted to honour Mark Birchall with the AA Chef's Chef award at the AA Hospitality Awards this year. We would like to congratulate Mark for his hard work and determination over this year, and the last 20 years of his career."

The full list of AA award winners for 2022 were:

Chefs' Chef

Mark Birchall, chef Patron of Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire

Restaurant of the Year

England – Socius, Burnham Market, Norfolk

London – Chez Bruce, London SW17

Wales – Gem 42, Newport

Scotland – the Cellar, Anstruther, Fife

Hotel of the Year

England – Grantley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire

London – Pan Pacific London, London EC3

Wales – Llanerch Vineyard, Hensol, South Wales

Scotland – the Balmoral, Edinburgh

Northern Ireland – the Rabbit Hotel & Retreat, Templepatrick, County Antrim

Restaurant with Rooms

England – the Angel at Hetton, North Yorkshire

Wales – Crug Glâs Country House, Solva, Pembrokeshire

Scotland – the Bonnie Badger, Gullane, East Lothian

Spa Hotel of the Year

Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

Hotel Group of the Year

The Pig Group

Small Hotel Group of the Year

Iconic Luxury Hotels

Accessible Award

Rudding Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Sustainable Award

Swinton Estate, Masham, North Yorkshire

Food Service Award

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London W1

Wine Award

England – the Vineyard, Newbury, Berkshire

Wales – the Grove, Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Scotland – Unalome by Graeme Cheevers, Glasgow

College Restaurant of the Year

Senara Restaurant, Truro & Penwith College

Lifetime Achievement Award

John Williams MBE

Outstanding Contribution Award

Northcote: Obsession, Langho, Lancashire

Housekeeper of the Year

Diane Payne from Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, County Durham

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