Merry Christmas

Publish Date: December 17, 2019 Posted By: Rosanna Frost

A message from our Chief Executive Sara Jayne Stanes OBE;

Is it me or has the world gone bonkers for I could have sworn Christmas 2018 was only yesterday!

And it is our 40th anniversary in 2020. It all began as the Académie Culinaire de France back at the Connaught on December 6th 1980 with Michel Bourdin and Albert Roux and Richard Shepherd among it ‘innocent’ heroes. Who could have possibly prophesied that we would develop into Britain’s leading association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Restaurant Managers, together with Associate suppliers and Friends with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as our Royal Patron.
600 AAEs; 50 MCAs countless graduate apprentices many of whom are now Academicians.

As we look back over the past 12 months and forward to the next, we have made headway in ‘spades’ – but never one for complacency, we will continue to rev up new ideas and to improve both the Royal Academy and Adopt a School revenue streams so that we can expand and deliver our education and training initiatives and maintain our position at the forefront of the education industry. But we need your input please. The success of the RACA and Adopt a School is a team effort.

Thank you to everyone who has made it all possible including our Royal Patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to our President Brian Turner and to our Chairman John Williams, to the Chairman of Les Arts: Silvano Giraldin, Sergio Rebecchi and John Cousins and to Jason Atherton as Honorary President of the AAE to all the committees and to the Board of Governors and David Coubrough as its chairman, and to my fellow RACA Trustees: David Coubrough (Chairman)*, Willy Bauer OBE, Albert Roux OBE, *Richard Shepherd CBE, Fredrick Mostert, *Brian Turner CBE, John W Valentine and *John Williams MBE; *also AAS Trustees: and to all Academicians, Friends and Sponsors.

Next year is the 30th anniversary of the RACA Adopt a School Trust. Let’s think of it as a campaign as we have every intention for next year to be a memorable celebration year. That means we need you all, each and every one, to do your bit, please. There are so many schools across the country who need us – many children for whom learning about food and cookery can make an overwhelming difference to their lives. We love encouraging children on to farms to strengthen the links with farming, growing and the food chain and the impact of food on the environment and life around us.

And fundraising too please. Please make this year the best ever. We cannot do it without you.

Thank you to everyone who has made it all possible including all the hosts of our fund raising events, to the committees and to my fellow RACA AAS Trustees: David Coubrough (Chairman); Amanda Afiya, Myles Bremner, Richard Dunne, Frederick Mostert, Richard Shepherd CBE, Brian Turner CBE and John Williams MBE and, again, to all Academicians, Friends and Sponsors including the Worshipful Company of Cooks, the Savoy Educational Trust and Garfield Weston and more.

On both the RACA and AAS, I am keen to reiterate, as I do most years, what a great pleasure and a privilege it is to work with the RACA and the AAS teams: Idris Caldora MCA; James Holden; Ashley Marsh and Helena Houghton. We said goodbye to Sarah Howard (after 12 years although Sarah is still very much an Academician and flies the flag for Adopt a School) and to Alys Bannister and to Alix Webster (after 11 years).

And thanks in abundance from the RACA to Rosanna Frost as Executive PA and Public Relations including Membership and Sustainability and more; and thanks to Daniel Moriss Jeffery for the Annual Awards of Excellence, Plenaries, Friends and much more. And a big welcome to Richard Larkin who has joined the RACA team as General Manager and whom you will all be meeting in the New Year.

May I wish you a very festive and Happy Christmas, a peaceful New Year and a very healthy and prosperous 2020.

Sara Jayne Stanes OBE
Chief Executive

A message from the Chairman, John Williams MBE;

2019 has been yet another exceptional year. I would personally like to thank each and every one of our members who have got involved and made it all possible. It is to the credit of all you that we are a buoyant, highly respected association reputed for our dedication to the careers of young people in this industry.

Here we are about to start our 40th year with some 600 Members (Academicians, Associates and Friends); and a successful portfolio of activities such as the four yearly Master of Culinary Arts, the Annual Awards of Excellence, our Apprenticeships and Adopt a School, all benchmarks of an association with an impressive heritage and a powerful, aspiring future. 2020 will also be an important year for our Sustainability Philosophy. with your support we hope that in 2020 we can enforce change and encourage a concerted effort in the industry to ‘do better’.

I use this seasonal opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy, Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2020.

John Williams MBE

And from the President, Brian J. Turner CBE

I am sure that many of you, like myself, would have been shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Gary Rhodes in late November. Although he hadn't been in the UK much over the last decade, Gary's name and influence was felt by everyone who had met him over the years. A passionate, enthusiastic love of all things good and a great ambassador for British produce and British cooking.

It was in his early years that I was privileged to work with him and counted him as a pal, in fact we spent a super evening together in late October sharing stories and memories and a few Gin and tonics. He was a great believer in the Academy and pledged his continued support.

Last year was not a great year in that many of us lost friends and family and my feelings go with you all. None of us know what is round the corner so lets live life to the full, remembering there are many people out there who are not as lucky as we are.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Brian Turner CBE