images%5B1%5D.jpgAfter a week defined by the Cateys, it’s nice to be able to sit back and enjoy a couple of bashes laid on by other organisations this week. Last night saw the Craft Guild of Chefs’ annual awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London; tonight, it’s the turn of the Academy of Culinary Arts, at Claridge’s. Tomorrow, I diet …
The Guild put on their usual uptempo evening. Host with the most Alan Dewberry, who MC-ed as energetically as ever, introduced Guild stalwarts David Mulcahy and Steve Munkley as the Ant and Dec of the chef world when he invited them on stage to run through the shortlist. Later, Lilia and Darren from Strictly Come Dancing lent a little Latin pizzazz to the evening.
The Guild has a lovely tradition of giving winners a dinner jacket with its motif on the left lapel, when they go on stage to receive their award – a nice bit of theatre that reminds me of the moment the winner of the US Masters dons the green jacket.
I was thrilled to see Simon Young of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower pick up the conference and banqueting award – he did such a sterling job for us when he hosted our Chef Conference a couple of months back.
All the winners were present except Marco Pierre White, who picked up the Special award at the end of the night. There to receive the trophy for him was Marco’s group exec chef, Callum “I get free psychoanalysis as part of my salary” Watson.