Hospitality’s Sir Rocco Forte, Martin Wishart and Richard Solomons receive honorary degrees

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Academic degree

Sir Rocco Forte receives his honorary degree from the University of West London
Sir Rocco Forte receives his honorary degree from the University of West London
Chef Martin Wishart and hoteliers Sir Rocco Forte and Richard Solomons are the members of the hospitality industry who have been awarded honorary degrees by universities this week.

Wishart, owner of a restaurant and brasserie in Edinburgh, became the first chef to be given an honorary degree by the University of Edinburgh in the institution’s 428-year history on Wednesday.

Awarded in recognition of Wishart’s contribution to the industry in Edinburgh and Scotland, the university’s professor Chris Haslett, said the chef had built a business of international standing.

“Martin has personally contributed a great deal in helping to establish the City’s reputation as a fine food destination, which has had a positive impact on tourism too,” he said. “It has created jobs and provided exceptional, international standard training to talented young chefs.”

Wishart said he was ‘thrilled and humbled’ to receive the accolade. On news that he was to receive the degree, he told Restaurant magazine​ it was 'better than getting any award from a guide'.

“It has been 10 years since Restaurant Martin Wishart in Leith received its Michelin star and my fondness and passion for the city has never abated. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the Edinburgh dining experience for years to come,” he said.

Hotelier honours

Sir Rocco Forte joined Richard Solomons, the chief executive of the InterContinental Hotels Group, in gaining degrees from the University of West London also this month.

The pair, who have both experienced long and successful careers in the hotel sector, received their degrees at a ceremony at Wembley Stadium. The degrees recognise their commitment to training both in their own companies and through the university and their success within the industry.

Forte said he was pleased to receive the award from the University of West London due to his long association with the institution 'and because has made such a huge contribution to the hotel and catering industry,' he said.

Solomons added: “This is a huge honour. I really appreciate it as I believe education and training is the best thing you can do for people”.

The trio join a number of members of the industry boasting honours from universities across the country. Chefs Brian Turner, Sat Bains and Cyrus Todiwala and restaurateur Jill Stein all have honorary doctorates.

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