Lifetime Achievement Award

Thursday 8th July 2004 12:36

Sponsored by Chess Partnership

Anton Mosimann

 

Few chefs can justifiably claim to have changed the face of British dining. This year's Catey Lifetime Achievement Award winner is one of the few - not that Anton Mosimann would ever dream of making such a bold claim for himself. "The man's humility is inspiring", says Catey judge Chris Sheppardson.

 

Revered throughout the food industry, Mosimann revolutionised food in this country, and is widely credited with having introduced us to the concept of nouvelle cuisine.

 

As one of our judges said, "He's one of the most respected chefs working in Britain, both for his inspired approach to cooking and his gentlemanly conduct. His books have had a huge influence on the presentation of restaurant food worldwide and have inspired some of the UK's leading chefs."

 

Swiss-born Mosimann cites the aroma of Emmental cheese as his first culinary recollection. His ensuing love affair with food and cooking took him from Italy to Japan and from Canada to London, where, in 1975, he became the youngest-ever chef de cuisine to head up the Dorchester Hotel, aged 28. By the time he left the Dorchester in 1988, he had earned Michelin stars.

 

Since then, Anton has forged a glittering career, spanning Club London (his private dining club in Knightsbridge), an event catering company that can count Prince of Wales among its regular clients and numerous books and TV appearances.

 

Ever keen to pass on his culinary expertise to future generations of chefs and food fans, Anton set up the Mosimann Academy of Culinary Excellence in London in 1996. The academy houses one of the largest private collections of cookery books, some of which date back to the 15th century. In addition to the books and amazing collections of menus and culinary art, the academy offers a wide range of courses for all levels of chefs.

 

For all his efforts, Anton has, over the years, collected international awards, honorary degrees and other accolades like some of us collect stamps, and at the 1985 Cateys he became only the second recipient of the prestigious Chef Award. His first royal seal of approval came when he was granted the Royal Warrant of appointment from Prince of Wales for catering services. This was followed by an OBE in this year's New Year Honours list, for his contributions to the tourism and food industries.

 

But beyond the plaudits, the success and the influence, remains the man - a man who, as Chris Sheppardson, says, "has clearly made it, but who is humble, generous, gracious and always ready to praise others. He's a real gentleman".

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