Finally: Angela Hartnett Becomes First Woman to Win UK Top Chef Award

LONDON - Angela Hartnett of Murano has become the first woman to win the top UK chef’s award in the 26 years of its existence.

By Richard Vines

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Published: Sun 12 Jul 2009, 12:19 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:35 AM

Hartnett, 40, beat Jason Atherton of Maze, her colleague in Gordon Ramsay Holdings, and John Williams of the Ritz to win the Chef Award at the Cateys, the annual gathering that “Caterer & Hotelkeeper,” the industry magazine, had held since 1984.

Previous winners include Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing, Rick Stein and Ramsay. Best Menu went to the Harwood Arms, a pub in Fulham backed by Brett Graham, the Michelin-starred chef of the Ledbury restaurant. (I was a judge for that award.) Blanc, of Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, is also known as a star of “The Restaurant” series on television.

Raymond Blanc won the Lifetime Achievement award.

The award ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on July 7 was hosted by the comedian Michael McIntyre.

If you’re not too tired of the hospitality business celebrating itself, more awards are coming up. Restaurant magazine will hold the National Restaurant Awards on October 12 at the Hurlingham Club.

A total of 300 voters have been asked to pick their five favourite eateries in the UK, with a maximum of three in their own region. I’m one of the lucky 300 but it’s quite fun for anyone who enjoys eating out to come up with a list. I probably shouldn’t disclose my five. I should say that if Lahore Kebab House features, I should be celebrating.

Jamie Oliver’s fans might like to note that the television chef will be hosting his annual charity dinner on Thursday, November 12, at Shoreditch Town Hall, in London.

It will be limited to 200 people. Oliver usually brings along one or two of his celebrity friends and I had a great time when I attended a couple of years back and Ronan Keating was singing. Information should appear shortly on the Fifteen restaurant Web site.

Another date to note — this one for lovers of Indian food — is September 16, when some of the capital’s top chefs will prepare a five-course feast for charity. Vineet Bhatia of Rasoi Vineet Bhatia, Sriram Aylur of Quilon, Alfred Prasad of Tamarind, Cyrus Todiwala of Cafe Spice Namaste and Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon Club will cook up a feast at the Asian Enterprise Charity Dinner. Tickets for the event at the new Grange St. Paul’s Hotel are £175.

Tatsuso, the Japanese restaurant at Broadgate, has closed its doors after 20 years, Financial News reports. A collapse in corporate entertainment had cut sales by half and even a late surge in Champagne sales couldn’t save the place, the news service said.

It’s hard to believe that never again will we smell the smoke from the teppanyaki grill.

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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