Chef, businessman and food-writer Rick Stein was awarded a lifetime achievement award at last night’s AA Centenary Awards.
The 61-year-old chef, who has developed his business in Padstow over the past 32 years, partly dedicated the award to his ex-wife and business partner Jill.
He told an audience of 1,000 guests at London`s Grosvenor House Hotel: "I’m very grateful and actually would like to mention my ex-wife and still business partner in Jill because I feel together we created what we have got in Padstow, and long may it continue because it’s fun."
Stein said he had "particular affection" for the industry because "we work so hard."
He said: "I like it and just feel at home with people in our industry. I feel, maybe a little bit too uniquely, in this country these days we do understand what hard work is about and how it does grow us as human beings."
AA Hotel Services Manager Simon Numphud said: "This award recognises a lifetime commitment to the highest quality of service and standards, and Rick Stein has proven his dedication to the quality of food and sustainable cooking."
More than 18 individuals and businesses picked up awards at yesterday`s ceremony where five renowned AA five rosette chefs - Tom Aikens, Raymond Blanc, David Nicholls, Chris Staines and Marcus Wareing - together with the Grosvenor`s kitchen team, cooked a gourmet meal for the attendees.