September 2013

Andreas Antona awarded Honorary Doctorate

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Michelin star chef, Andreas Antona, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the recent University College Birmingham (UCB) Awards Congregations.

The Doctorate, which is awarded by The University of Birmingham, has been given in recognition of his dedication and contribution to the life of UCB and to hospitality education.

Andreas, a leading figure in the hospitality sector both locally and nationally, is a longstanding Governor of UCB and has played a pivotal role in shaping the hospitality training provision at the University. He has also been instrumental in developing effective relationships with leading players in the industry.

Earlier this year, on behalf of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, he was the driving force behind the UK team that competed in the Bocuse d’Or - the most prestigious and demanding professional cookery competition in the world.  

With his encouragement, University College Birmingham developed a replica Bocuse kitchen and he released his own Head Chef and his Commis for nearly six months to prepare for the competition. As a result of his efforts and support, the UK came fourth, the highest placing ever achieved. 

In his glowing career Andreas has worked for the best in industry including The Dorchester and The Ritz and he was Head Chef at Birmingham’s Plough and Harrow Hotel when it was a prestige destination in the mid-eighties.

He is now Chef Patron of the Michelin Star Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston – the first and still one of only three Michelin Star restaurants in the City.   In addition, he owns two restaurants in Kenilworth and will shortly be opening another new venture in Birmingham city centre. In June 2006 he was described by Alex Renton in The Times as “the Godfather of modern Birmingham food”.

He has been a key supporter and contributor to a number of campaigns launched by the City to promote its culinary offer, including Taste of Birmingham and the Birmingham Food Festival. 

He is Chair of the Culinary Alliance of Birmingham – a group of leading local chefs who are committed to raising Birmingham’s profile as a food destination; to promoting the sustainable sourcing of produce and, to nurturing talented young chefs to achieve their full potential. 

Andreas is also a leading figure in both the British Culinary Federation (BCF) and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts – the two leading professional bodies for chefs in the UK. He is Vice-President of the BCF and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. 

Unlike many of his contemporaries, he has never courted celebrity; rather, he has worked quietly to build his own highly successful business whilst playing a key role in the industry and in supporting the development of talent. Through his own kitchens he has nurtured chefs such as the Yummy Brummie, Glyn Purnell, Luke Tipping, Adam Bennett and Andy Waters as well as tutors at UCB.

Andreas Antona has made an immense contribution to University College Birmingham and the lives and careers of many young hospitality and chef students. For him to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate is a fitting tribute to his sheer dedication and commitment to give something back and nurture the talents and skills of young people. He has guided the thinking in terms of industry trends; has helped to shape courses to ensure that they meet industry requirements and are fit for purpose; provided sound, practical, advice on equipment purchases; helped to develop strong, effective relationships with leading players in the industry and, most importantly, worked with our students and provided work placements and full-time employment at the end of their courses. We offer many congratulations to Andreas at this very special time.

Professor Ray Linforth, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, University College Birmingham

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