Legendary French chef Pierre Koffmann picked up the prestigious Chefs’ Chef accolade at last night’s AA Hospitality Awards in an evening which also saw Antonio Carluccio, Hibiscus and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal take home some of the top gongs.
At an Awards Dinner held at the London Hilton Park Lane, the event saw some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry come together to celebrate the various achievements of individuals and establishments in the restaurant, hotel and pub sectors. The occasion also marked 20 years of the AA Restaurant Guide.
Koffmann, who has been working in restaurants for over 40 years and now runs his eponymous restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel, beat of competition from the likes of Sat Baines, Claude Bosi and Michel Roux Jnr to win the award which is voted for by fellow AA Rosette-awarded chefs.
“I am thrilled to have won this,” said Koffmann upon receiving his award. “It means so much as it was voted for by fellow chefs.”
Having worked with the Roux brothers at Le Gavroche and the Waterside Inn, Koffmann ran London restaurant La Tante Claire for 25 years, gaining three Michelin stars and mentoring the likes of Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens. He came out of retirement three years ago to open Koffmann’s at The Berkeley, which serves a provincial French menu.
Other big winners
Carluccio, whose career in the industry spans five decades, won the AA Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising ‘the highest quality of service and standards, a track record of constant improvement and a unswerving dedication’.
Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus was the only restaurant to receive five AA Rosettes on the night, while The Pass at South Lodge Hotel, Casamia, Pollen Street Social and 7 Park Place by William Drabble were each awarded four Rosettes.
In the hotel sector, 45 Park Lane and Dukes London were the two hotels to receive five AA Red Stars, while Cortswolds88 in Gloucestershir and Macdonald Windsor were awarded four.
England’s AA Pub of the Year went to The Black Swan in Ravenstonedale, Cumbria, while the West Brewery in Glasgow and The Inn at Penallt in Monmouth scooped the awards for Scotland and Wales respectively.
Last night's awards were presented by the BBC's Kate Silverton. Chef Jason Atherton was in charge of the kitchen team while entertainment was provided by string quartet, Siren.
Full list of winners at the AA Hospitality Awards 2012-2013
Chefs’ Chef - Pierre Koffmann
Lifetime Achievement – Antonio Carluccio
Hotel of the Year
- England – Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
- London – Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane
- Scotland – The Torridon, Torridon, Highlands
- Wales - Bodysgallen Hotel, Llandudno
Restaurant of the Year
- England – The Church Green British Grill, Lymm, Cheshire
- London – Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
- Scotland – Rogano, Glasgow
- Wales – Sosban, Llanelli
Pub of the Year
- England – The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale, Cumbria
- Scotland – West Brewery, Glasgow
- Wales – The Inn at Penallt, Monmouth
AA Wine Award
- England – L’Etranger, London
- Scotland – Castle Terrace Restaurant, Edinburgh
- Wales – The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Wales
Small Hotel Group of the Year
- Cotswold Inns and Hotels
Hotel Group of the Year
- Hand Picked Hotels
Eco Hotel of the Year
- The Green House, Bournemouth
Eco Hotel Group of the Year
- Macdonald Hotels and Resorts
Four AA Red Stars
- Cotswolds88, Gloucestershire
Five AA Red Stars
- 45 Park Lane,London