The Caterer

Hotel Cateys 2019: Hotel Restaurant Chef of the Year

29 November 2019
Hotel Cateys 2019: Hotel Restaurant Chef of the Year

2019 winner: Calum Franklin, Holborn Dining Room

Sponsored by Umbrella Training

Calum Franklin has made a name for himself in the UK – and further afield, thanks to a burgeoning media profile – by reviving the art of traditional pie-making at the Holborn Dining Room at the Rosewood London.

The story began back in July 2016 when he discovered a cache of antique pie moulds in a basement store in the Rosewood. Finding scarcely any information online about making classic recipes such as pâté en croûte – as chefs closely guard their recipes – he set about plugging the gaps in his knowledge. Having subsequently developed a cult following and received high-profile press coverage, he consistently fills the enormous 236-cover Holborn Dining Room.

A dedicated pie room followed in 2018, which is used for private events, including masterclasses where Franklin teaches the crafting of beef Wellingtons and pork pies. This year has seen the introduction of a fivecourse pie tasting menu.

As the accolades and glowing reviews flowed, Franklin smashed all revenue targets. Even more impressively, he has kept costs on a tight rein by working with suppliers and implementing waste-reduction initiatives. He achieved a food cost figure of 28.6% in 2018 – a record low – compared with a rate of 31.4% in 2017 and 32.2% in 2016.

Franklin's leadership has resulted in consistently high team engagement scores, while constant training and mentoring has slashed labour turnover from 97% in 2014 to the current 40%. An avid champion of British produce, he arranges educational visits for his chefs to suppliers, farmers, fishermen and butchers.

His championing of diversity has created an environment where over 40% of the chefs in Holborn Dining Room are female. He promotes the equal treatment of women in the industry and maintains a strict anti-bullying policy in his kitchens.

As a committed supporter of sustainability, he worked with the F&B team on the complete elimination of single-use plastics within all the hotel's F&B outlets, and switched to energy-efficient appliances in his kitchen.

The very first winner of the Hotel Restaurant Chef Hotel Catey is an inspiration to future generations. Franklin's passion for excellence and technique, and his development and equal treatment of his team, is admired not just by our judges, but the entire industry.


"Calum is an inspiring figure within hotel restaurants, championing British produce in an interesting way. His dedication to the team and equal opportunities is inspiring."

Sarah Williams, F&B manager, Ham Yard hotel

"Calum has taken a hotel restaurant to a new level of leadership, care, innovation and excellent technique."

Nuno César de Sá, hotel manager, Rudding Park

"He clearly demonstrates a passion for creativity and dynamism in an increasingly competitive marketplace, as well as being an inspiration to future generations and an ambassador for hotel restaurants."

Peter Bradley, director of F&B, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London


  • Calum Franklin Holborn Dining Room, Rosewood London
  • Chris Harrod The Whitebrook Restaurant with Rooms, Monmouth
  • Adam Reid Adam Reid at the French, the Midland hotel, Manchester
  • Simon Shand Corner Room, Town Hall hotel, London


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