The chef, who opened St.John in Smithfield in 1994, has been recognised for raising the profile of British food through the promotion of nose-to-tail cooking, which is now practised across the Western culinary landscape.
“I am truly honoured to have been selected to receive this year’s Diners ClubLifetime Achievement Award,” he said. “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is an event that is very special to me – it’s very bonny indeed.”
William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, explained that Henderson has ‘pushed the boundaries of restaurant cooking’ and is now revered across the world by chefs and diners alike for his ‘intelligence and affable manner’.
“We are thrilled to be able to present this prestigious award to one of the most celebrated chefs in Britain,” said Drew. “Fergus Henderson has always carved his own path in the culinary world by creating a new approach to cooking and with it he has gained the respect and admiration of chefs and food lovers around the world.
“This award is a symbol of recognition from the restaurant world of his talent and positive influence on our industry.”
Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the late Nineties, Henderson has proved that major obstacles can be overcome. He was recognised in 2005 when he received an MBE for services to gastronomy. Under him, great cheffing talent has been nurtured, with a number of his young protégés currently blooming in solo ventures.
Eduardo Tobon, president of Diners Club International, added: “For members of the Diners Club International community, fine dining is an exploration of different cultures and flavours. As such, we are pleased to honour chef Fergus Henderson, who has dedicated his career to indigenous gastronomy, using ingredients and techniques that pay homage to classic British dining.
“We congratulate chef Henderson and his many contributions.”
The St. John Group was founded by Trevor Gulliver and Henderson in 1994 with the opening of the original St John restaurant in Smithfield, which last year made a reappearance on the top 100 list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, coming back in at number 71.
This prestigious award, which was last year won by Alain Ducasse, is voted for by over 900 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Academy.
The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2014 will take place in London on Monday, 28 April. BigHospitality will be reporting news from the event live on the night via our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.