Michelin-starred chef Andreas Antona has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University College Birmingham (UCB) in recognition of his contribution to hospitality education.
With a career spanning stints at The Dorchester, The Ritz and now at the Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston, near Birmingham, the chef-patron and restaurateur has played a key role in developing UCB's hospitality training provision.
Most prestigiously, earlier this year he spearheaded the UK team's entry into global cookery competition the Bocuse D'or, placing fourth, the highest position ever achieved by the UK. He also helped UBS to develop a replica Bocuse kitchen and released his own head chef and commis for six months to help prepare for the contest.
The award also highlighted Antona's work in shaping UCB courses to make sure they meet industry requirements, advising on equipment, developing strong relationships with key industry players, and helping students with work placements or jobs at the end of their courses.
Antona is also Chair of the Culinary Alliance of Birmingham, a group of leading Birmingham chefs aiming to nurture young culinary talent and raise the city's profile as a top food destination.
Commenting on Antona's award, Professor Ray Linforth, vice-chancellor & principal, University College Birmingham, said: "Andreas Antona has made an immense contribution to UCB and the lives and careers of many young hospitality and chef students. For him to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate is a fitting tribute to his sheer dedication and commitment to ‘give something back' and nurture the talents and skills of young people. We offer many congratulations to him at this very special time."
This is not the first time Antona's work in this area has been recognised with an award: in 2012 he won the BCF Special Award for his role in creating the Bocuse kitchen at UCB.