Story of the week: Jonathan Raggett became the latest captain of industry to take the prestigious Hotelier of the Year title at the 2009 Hotel Cateys, which took place at the Lancaster London hotel last Friday, while fellow Hotel Cateys winner, the Michelin-starred chef Kenny Atkinson, announced that he was to leave Seaham Hall at the end of this month to join Rockliffe Hall, a newly created luxury hotel, golf and spa development in County Durham.
British chef Mark Hix confirmed that he is to add to his burgeoning empire of restaurants by opening a Hix Restaurant and Champagne bar at the Oxford Street branch of department store Selfridges, clearly not put off that the rate of restaurant insolvencies has risen 25% over the last nine months and, in the run-up to Christmas, the industry could be facing its quietest festive season since the 1990s, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Small Berkshire caterer Artizian fought off competition from bigger companies including the Admiral Group to win the Health, Work and Well Being award at this year’s National Business Awards. However, the world’s second largest contract caterer, Sodexo, saw UK and Ireland revenue fall by 3% in its last financial year.
Chef Andrew Bennett, food and beverage director at the Park Lane hotel, London, was presented with an MBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome in Yorkshire had a better week, reopening this week after it closed following an outbreak of norovirus.
After two years of planning, a date has been announced for the opening of the Galvin brother’s latest venture and the full team has been named. Galvin La Chapelle and Café de Luxe is set to open next Wednesday, 18 November.
Brian Wisdom, chief executive of sector skills council People 1st, called on the industry to unite to compete successfully in the next WorldSkills competition, which is due to be held in London in 2011.
Almost three-quarters of UK consumers plan to take a holiday in England next year, research has revealed. In the TNS poll of more than 1,000 UK residents, commissioned by tourist board VisitEngland, 72% said they are likely to take a break in England in 2010.
D&D London is to make its debut in the hotel market, with a boutique property in the City of London, it announced today. The restaurant group has signed a deal with Frogmore to develop and operate an 80-bedroom boutique hotel at South Place, off Moorgate in the heart of the City.
A new campaign calling on the Government to reduce VAT for tourism businesses to 5% has received a lukewarm welcome from the hospitality industry.
Pubs, clubs and restaurants open past midnight on New Year’s Eve will be allowed to continue charging VAT at 15% on their sales until they close or until 6am on New Year’s Day, the Government has announced.
Finally, former Mitchells & Butlers retail manager Howard Ebison, who rose to fame in the 2009 BBC2 series The Apprentice and made it to the final six before being fired by Sir Alan Sugar, talked to us about his recent appointment at the No. 1 Lounge group of airport lounges.
Watch highlights from the Hotel Cateys here
The results of the search for Britain's favourite school meals
Check out photographs from the Hotel Cateys on Table Talk
Win tickets to Taste of Christmas
And win a MIDI 425 refrigerator worth more than £1,650
Quote of the Week
"Chefs are in great demand here, but only for their cooking skills. They don't need to know English to cook a damned good curry!"
Tougher immigration laws are damaging the curry restaurant sector, warns Enam Ali, chairman of the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs Association