Photo: (L to R) Malcolm Harling - Williams Sales & Marketing Director; Ben Murphy collecting the Young Chef Award; Craft Guild chairman Andrew Green.
Williams Refrigeration were proud sponsors at the recently held Craft Guild of Chefs Awards. Malcolm Harling, Marketing & Sales Director for Williams presented the coveted Young Chef of the Year award to Ben Murphy of Koffmann’s (Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge).
In the year of the London Olympics, it was fitting that the Craft Guild of Chefs chose Wembley Stadium – home of many of the biggest sporting events in history – as the venue for its ‘Going for Gold’ themed 2012 awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 13.
The Craft Guild Awards continue to bring together key people in the industry and this year there were more than 680 attending the special event to see 17 chefs being presented with the Guild’s ‘culinary Oscars’.
Among them was the Special Award winner, Cyrus Todiwala OBE, one of the most admired and respected chefs in the industry, and holder of numerous citations and awards.
Past winners have included Raymond Blanc, the Roux Brothers, Heston Blumenthal, Pierre Koffmann and last year Philip Howard, and Todiwala now joins this illustrious roll call.
David Mulcahy, Craft Guild vice president and craft development director of sponsor Sodexo UK & Ireland, said he captured the very essence of being the chefs’ chef.
“He is someone to look up to, who has the respect of this industry and is to many a true hero. As a chef, a successful restaurateur, an entrepreneur, a writer, a TV personality, a huge supporter of industry charities, a husband and a father, our Special Award winner is a man with seemingly endless energy and passion.”
This year there was a surprise award – particularly to the recipient. The very rare Honorary Award was presented to the Craft Guild of Chefs’ CEO Martin Bates for his unstinting service to the Guild.
Other awards included the new Armed Services Award to recognise the outstanding chefs in the Army, Navy and RAF and this was won by the RAF’s Mark Sweeney, who is considered by his peers to be one of the most gifted chefs in the Armed Forces.
The People’s Choice Award, now in its second year, flags up the industry’s unsung heroes and this year there were four very strong candidates. However after the online votes were cast and checked, Michael “Mick” Kitts, executive chef and senior lecturer at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai, was declared the winner.
The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2012 - The winners
Young Chef Award
Ben Murphy Koffmann’s at the Berkeley Hotel
Apprentice Chef Award
Lyndsay Michie Le Gavroche
Armed Services Chef
Mark Sweeney Royal Air Force
Banqueting & Event Chef
Phil Herd Levy Restaurants
Competition Chef Award
Mark Hill House of Commons
Contract Catering Chef Award
Mark Crowe Elior UK
Cost Sector Chef Award
Mark Hancock University of Sussex
Development Chef Award
Robin Turner Sodexo
Education Chef Award
Gary Hunter Westminster Kingsway College
Ethnic Chef Award
Mehernosh Mody La Porte des Indes
New Restaurant Of The Year Award
Pollen Street Social, London
Pastry Chef Award
Cherish Finden The Langham Hotel
People’s Choice Award
Michael Kitts Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai
Pub Restaurant Chef Award
Rob Hartwell The Rose & Crown
Restaurant Chef Award
Richard Allen Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa
Cyrus Todiwala Café Spice Namasté
Martin Bates CEO of the Craft Guild of Chefs