Raymond Blanc was one of the big winners at last night's Cateys, picking up the Lifetime Achievement award at the hospitality industry Oscars.
Blanc, proprietor of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, was honoured not only for turning the two-Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel in Oxfordshire into an institution but also for nurturing some of the industry's brightest talent over the years.
Chefs including Marco Pierre White, Michael Caines and Eric Chavot have passed through Blanc's kitchen, a man who can be said to be responsible for many of the vast improvements in the UK's eating out scene over the past quarter of a century.
More than 1,000 senior decision-makers were witness to the occasion at London's Grosvenor House. They also saw Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft pick up the Special award for their long-term championing of the use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients as well as their continued business success.
Elsewhere, Angela Hartnett, chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Murano in London, became the first female chef to receive the prestigious Chef award in the Cateys 26-year history.
CATEYS 2009: FULL LIST OF WINNERS
The True Lovers Knot, Dorset
Sustainable Business Award
Best Group Marketing Campaign
Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Services
Best Independent Marketing Campaign
The Swan, West Malling
Best Use of Technology
Angela Hartnett, chef-patron, Murano
Education and Training Award
Julia Sibley, chief executive, the Savoy Educational Trust
Food Service Caterer Award
Noel Mahony, managing director, BaxterStorey
Hotel of the Year - Group
South Lodge, Lower Beeding, West Sussex
Hotel of the Year - Independent
The Goring Hotel, London
Manager of the Year
Carrie Wicks, director of operations, Firmdale Hotels
The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott, Oxfordshire
Pub and Bar Award
Tom and Ed Martin, ETM Group
Public Sector Caterer Award
Richard Ware, head of services, Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Services
Restaurateur of the Year - Group
Eren Ali, managing director, Las Iguanas
Restaurateur of the Year - Independent
James Thomson, proprietor, The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh
Menu of the Year
Harwood Arms, London
By Kerstin Kühn
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