UKHospitality and The Nth Degree Global joined together to host the third annual The Restaurant Association Gala Dinner, Celebrating Excellence in Food & Wine Service on Monday 24 February 2020.
The prestigious event was held at The Savoy Hotel in the heart of London with title sponsors Mercedes, Arla Pro, Cayman Islands, Unilever Food Solutions.
The Restaurant Association Award for Services to Hospitality for 2020, was designed and sponsored by Fabergé, was presented to Brian Turner CBE by James Martin. The event raised £25,000 for Hospitality Action, which works to provide hospitality workers with financial, physical and psychological support to help them overcome adversity and get back to work as quickly as possible.
Brian Turner CBE said: “It has just been such an exciting night and what a privilege to hold this award. I hold this award for lots of people, it is all about the hospitality industry and looking after people with food and drink. I’ve had such a good time in the industry, and I can’t tell you how lucky I’ve been. Thank you to everyone at the Restaurant Association for the award for Services to Hospitality and to my friend James for coming to present it.”
James Martin said: “If anybody knows service, it’s Brian. I actually first met Brian Turner when I was nine years old in a kitchen. Brian was doing a dinner at a place called The Mallyan Spout in Goathland. As a young nine-year-old chef, keen as mustard, with a brand new starch jacket on, that’s when I walked into a professional kitchen for the very first time. He’s taught me a lot about life ever since then, and he deserves this award for Services to Hospitality big time.”
The award, presented on stage by James Martin was designed by Sarah Faberge and Joey Richardson.
Sarah Faberge said: “This unique egg objet award, created by Joey Richardson for Fabergé, represents many elements of Brian’s life. If we look closely, amongst the many symbols and illustrations, we can see references to the Yorkshire Rose, his father’s cafe, fish and chips, the Tuba, the Salvation Army, rugby, cricket, the London Marathon and Brian’s charitable interests including the Anthony Nolan Trust. Joey has paid homage to the opening of Turners of Walton St, his many TV appearances and books and of course his Michelin star and Presidency of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
The colourful butterfly (the artists’ symbol) here represents Brian, and the smaller butterflies are his trainees. The base of the egg references both Yorkshire’s sandy coast and woodlands. The emeralds (kindly donated by Gemfields) not only represent the green forests of Yorkshire but the “Emerald” Headingley Stadium. A look inside the egg reveals one of Brian’s legendary recipes, a stack of Yorkshire puddings! Brian’s career and his many interests, documented on this bespoke egg objet are “crowned” by a chef’s hat.”
The Restaurant Association Gala Dinner raised £25,000 through a live auction hosted by Brian Turner CBE plus a Heads or Tails competition with a prize from the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands provided provide the flights and accommodation for a coveted holiday to the Cayman Islands for two lucky winners. Diners paid £30 for their entry which went directly to the Hospitality Action Charity.
It was also announced that the awards for Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 would be held in the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai in November, in partnership with the Department for International Trade. Expo 2020 provides a global platform to showcase British innovation, creativity and collaboration to over 15 million visitors across the six months, from students and families to celebrities and heads of Government.
Under the UK’s participation theme ‘Innovating for a shared future’ the topic of how we grow, consume and provide food sustainably will be a key point of discussion across the six months. Previous UK pavilions at World Expos have featured curated menus from some of the UK’s top chefs including Tom Kitchin, Angela Hartnett, Ken Hom and Tom Aikens.
Top chefs and hospitality leaders attended the event including James Martin, Tom Aikens, Brian Turner CBE, Antony Worrall Thompson, Ainsley Harriott MBE, Nigel Haworth, Claude Bosi, Matt Tebbutt, Ben Tish, Ruth Hansom, Chris Galvin, Ashley Palmer Watts, Adam Simmonds, John Williams MBE, Sabrina Ghayour and Atul Kochhar. Entertainment was provided by singer Wayne Woodward.
Brian Turner CBE was excited to reunite with famous faces exclaiming: “Lots of old friends, some great chefs and the old Ready Steady Cook team– we’re almost all here. Can’t wait. Come on, Green Peppers!”
Ainsley Harriott MBE said: “I’m excited about tonight because it’s an opportunity to get together with lots of old faces, supporting some really good charities too and people who care passionately about what they’re doing. That sort of transcends right across the board. We’re talking about passionate cooks, passionate women that are married and passionate men that are married to passionate women, that are all cooking together! We’re in for a fabulous treat this evening.
Also coming to an event like this, the real beauty of it is that you get together with old friends. I’m talking about the Ready Steady Cook days, which started, believe it or not, in 1994. It’s about to come back, and we wish it all the success in the world. But for me, the success I had was with the likes of Britain Turner, Anthony Warrell Thompson and James Martin, who are here this evening. It’s just lovely to see them, get a bit pally and just say hello, reunite that bond, reunite that energy!”
Lisa Snowdon said: “I’m here at The Savoy, one of the most exquisite hotels in London and celebrating the Restaurant Association’s Gala Dinner. I’m literally ready to pop! The most incredible food, four delicious courses and I ate every single one. All for a great cause too, Hospitality Action, an incredible charity raising money for people who have worked in the hospitality industry who have fallen onto hard times and less fortunate than us. So an amazing night raising lots of money and celebrating amazing chefs. Well done to Brian Turner who won his award tonight, it was very emotional and very sweet.”
I love food, and I’m always really keen to try new restaurants. For me I try to experiment more and more. I went pescatarian recently and I quite like vegetarian food. So for me, a good restaurant has a varied menu, lots of local and seasonal produce and a good ambience.”
Jodie Kidd, co-owner of The Half Moon Inn Kirdford said: “I’m happy to be here tonight to celebrate, amazing people in the industry. I think it’s really important because it’s hard, hard, hard work and the number of hours and these chefs and all the people behind the scenes and front of the house, it’s lovely that they get put on a roster and get congratulated and given lovely awards. We all get together, have a good natter, a good catch-up all, have a good moan and then back to it tomorrow.”
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