The annual awards reward chefs from all sectors of the industry in a number of categories including Pub Restaurant Chef, Restaurant Chef and Young Chef. The 17 2012 winners included Atherton whose London restaurant Pollen Street Social took the New Restaurant of the Year Award.
Accepting the night's top prize, the Special Award, for his work in the industry and his training and charity initiatives, Todiwala thanked his wife Pervin who helps run his celebrated Indian eatery. "I always tell people I am only successful because I am allowed to do so and I truly believe that. If my team and my wife did not allow me I would not achieve as much as I have."
"This country is brilliant and has allowed me to do everything I want to do so thank you all very much - it is great, fantastic," he added.
The 2012 ceremony saw the inaugural presentation of a new award recognising the catering talent in the military in the Armed Services Chef Award and the rare presentation of an Honorary Award which the Craft Guild bestowed on the Guild's chief executive of six years Martin Bates.
Craft Guild of Chefs vice president Steve Munkley said: "To win a Craft Guild of Chefs award, you have to be more than just handy in the kitchen; you need that extra, stand-out ingredient. Every winner in this year’s awards can lay claim to this and thoroughly deserves their place in the association’s hall of fame."
The Craft Guild of Chefs Awards winners for 2012 are:
- Apprentice Chef Award - Lyndsay Michie, Le Gavroche
- Armed Services Chef Award - Mark Sweeney, Royal Air Force
- Banqueting & Event Chef Award -Phil Herd, Levy Restaurants
- Competition Chef Award - Mark Hill, House of Commons
- Contract Catering Chef Award - Mark Crowe, Elior UK
- Cost Sector Chef Award - Mark Hancock, University of Sussex
- Development Chef Award - Robin Turner, Sodexo
- Education Chef Award - Gary Hunter, Westminster Kingsway College
- Ethnic Chef Award - Mehernosh Mody, La Porte des Indes
- New Restaurant of the Year Award - Pollen Street Social, London – Jason Atherton
- Pastry Chef Award - Cherish Finden, The Langham Hotel
- People’s Choice Award - Michael Kitts, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management
- Pub Restaurant Chef Award - Rob Hartwell, The Peach Pub Company
- Restaurant Chef Award - Richard Allen, Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa
- Young Chef Award - Ben Murphy, Koffmann’s at the Berkeley Hotel
- Special Award - Cyrus Todiwala
- Honorary Award - Martin Bates, Craft Guild of Chefs