River Cafe co-founders Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers have been awarded MBEs in the 2010 New Year Honours list in recognition of their work in the hospitality industry.
The pair, who opened River Cafe at London's Thames Wharf in 1988 and who helped launch the careers of Jamie Oliver and Theo Randall, are accompanied on the list by Mohammed Aslam, executive chef and managing director of the Yorkshire-based Aagrah Group of Restaurants and Linda Kennedy, manager of Banqueting House in Whitehall who receive MBEs for their services to hospitality.
Cafe Spice Namaste chef and restaurateur Cyrus Todiwala, already the holder of an MBE, was awarded an OBE in the 2010 list as was William Baxter, deputy chief executive of contract caterer Baxterstorey, who was honoured for his services to the catering industry.
Restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab, founder of The Cinnamon Club and Roast, was also awarded an OBE for his public service duties as well as for services to the hospitality industry.
Wahab, who has been chair of the Department of Works and Pensions Ethnic Minority Advisory Group for three years and who sits on the boards of two of the Prince of Wales’s charities, said: "Both when I opened The Cinnamon Club and then Roast I set major challenges on the dining public, firstly to change the way we view Indian food and secondly to take British food seriously. Part of this award I believe is to encourage others to go out and successfully innovate.”
More than half of the 615 people receiving MBEs were put forward by members of the public and in total 979 people were recommended to The Queen for an award. This year's list saw more women than ever before receive honours with 45 per cent of them making up the list.