Nathan Outlaw has been named the AA's Chefs' Chef of the Year 2014 and Ruth Rogers MBE received the AA Lifetime Achievement Award, as 24 individuals and business were recognised at the AA Hospitality Awards this week.
The awards, which were handed out a the Grosvenor House hotel on London's Park Lane on Monday 22 September, were judged by the AA's inspectors and other industry professionals in recognition of excellence and success in their chosen category.
The AA said Outlaw had come a long way from his childhood helping his chef father with breakfast service in Kent. The award recognised the fact that since opening his first restaurant, in Cornwall, at the age of 24, he has become a firm fixture in the restaurant world as well as on TV screens, and is now helping chefs of the future at the Academy Nathan Outlaw.
Meanwhile Ruth Rogers, who was recognised for her immense contribution to the restaurant world, having launched the River Café in London 25 years ago with the late Rose Gray and has since sold over a million cookery books and helped to launch the careers of protégés Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver said:
"It is a great honour to be recognised for the work we all do at The River Café. I accept this award on behalf of my team and late partner Rose Gray."
The title of Hotel of the Year in England went to Dormy House in Broadway, Worcestershire, while the winner in Wales was Ynyshir Hall in Machynlleth, Powys. Mendrum House country hotel in Aberdeen picked up the title for Scotland, with the Bushmills Inn hotel in Bushmills winning in Northern Ireland. The Rosewood won in London.
Joan and Rob Reen, who ran Ynyshir Hall since 1989 until it was taken over by Von Essen group, and then again took over in 2012 following Von Essen's demise said: "We are delighted to win such a prestigious accolade! After the trauma of the last few years, this is a triumph to establish that Ynyshir is firmly back on the map. It is just reward for our wonderful staff who worked above and beyond the call of duty to help us through the difficult times."
The title of AA Restaurant of the Year went to Sticky Walnut in Chester, with Bully's in Cardiff winning for Wales, and Timberyard in Edinburgh for Scotland. The London winner was Berners Tavern.
Speaking of the award in England, Sticky Walnut chef/proprietor Gary Usher said: "Knowing how prestigious the award is, we still can't believe it. Our efforts have remained consistent over the last three and a half years and it is an honour to be recognised for them."
Berners Tavern executive chef, Jason Atherton added: "I couldn't be happier right now for the team at Berners Tavern. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved in such a competitive market and long may that continue."
AA Hotel of the Year
Winner, Wales - Ynyshir Hall, Eglwys Fach
Winner, Scotland - Meldrum House Country Hotel, Aberdeen
Winner, London - Rosewood London, London
Winner, Northern Ireland - The Bushmills Inn Hotel, Bushmills
AA Restaurant of the Year
Winner, England - Sticky Walnut, Chester
Winner, Wales - Bully's, Cardiff
Winner, Scotland - Timberyard, Edinburgh
Winner, London - Berners Tavern, London
AA Wine Award
Winner, England and Overall - The Queensberry Hotel, Bath
Winner, Wales - The Grove, Narbeth
Winner, Scotland - The Peat Inn, St Andrews
AA Pub of the Year
Winner, England - The Pheasant, Gestingthorpe
Winner, Wales - Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd
Winner, Scotland - The Bridge Inn, Ratho
AA Small Hotel Group of the Year
Winner - Eden Hotel Collection
AA Hotel Group of the Year
Winner - QHotels
AA Eco Hotel and Eco Hotel Group of the Year
Winner, Eco Hotel - Waterton Park Hotel
Winner, Eco Hotel Group - Red Carnation Hotels
AA Food Service Award
Winner - Galvin at Windows
AA Housekeeper of the Year Award
Winner - Geraldine Maursy - The Landmark
AA Spirit Award
Winner - The Merchant Hotel, Belfast