BRITISH CULINARY FEDERATION’S EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT, ANDREAS ANTONA OF ANTONA RESTAURANT GROUP AW
Andreas Antona, owner of Michelin starred restaurants Simpsons in Birmingham and The Cross in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, Eureka Kitchen Cookery School, chocolate and patisserie brand, Soko and Antona at Home has been recognised by judges including Michelin chefs Tom Kerridge and Phil Howard, not only for his 'exemplary credentials' but his work to mentor and nurture chef talent within the industry.
After collecting the award Andreas said: “I feel very honoured, humbled and privileged to be recognised as The Cateys Restaurateur of the Year - Independent by my industry peers. It means such a lot to me and it’s created a real buzz amongst my teams. I’d like to thank all the judges, those who nominated me and the Caterer team for organising such a fantastic awards event”
The Caterer said of Andreas: 'Described by The Times as "the godfather of modern Birmingham food", Antona has built two of the most respected restaurants [and] founded the Antona at Home meals delivery service, Soko – an artisan and pâtisserie business – and Eureka, a successful cookery school.
'Antona has done as much... to mentor and encourage chef talent. He is one of the key UK figures for Bocuse d'Or and an ambassador for University College Birmingham for 35 years.
“Having dealt with serious illness... he puts particular emphasis on looking after employees' mental health and wellbeing... He has also worked with psychotherapist Stelios Kiosses, who has implemented his course in the psychology of food at Harvard. The pair are now working towards establishing modules at University College Birmingham.”
Well respected amongst his peers, Andreas received high praise:
Chef and restaurateur Simon Rogan said: 'Andreas Antona has already built a reputation as a talented chef and mentor to many of the Midlands' top chefs. In recent years, he has further demonstrated his passion for hospitality through his commitment to the Bocuse d'Or UK Academy.’
'Andreas is a true pro, consistently maintaining his restaurants both at the highest level and as successful businesses. He is a gentleman and has given back enormously to the industry.' said judge, Phil Howard
Fellow judge, Tom Kerridge commented 'An exceptional restaurateur whose passion for our sector is inspirational. He has shown pure class, integrity and commitment to the industry, not only through exceptional stewardship of his restaurants but also through charity, the British Culinary Federation and the Bocuse D'Or.'
Andreas saw-off strong competition in the category including renowned chefs and restaurateurs, Clare Smyth, James Sommerin, Adam Handling and Rebecca Mascarenha.