On Tuesday the 2nd of July 2019, Berkeley Scott sponsored their second year of the Cateys Awards held in the beautiful Grosvenor house. Amongst the many prestigious awards of the night, Berkeley Scotts MD Liam Humphreys presented the final, and arguably most prestigious, to Chef Shaun Hill. Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, Shaun follows the esteemed line of previous year’s winners with his impressive accomplishments. Here, we’ll take a look back at Shaun’s amazing career to show you why he deserved this award. You can also see who the previous winners were in our last blog. *LINK*
The 72-year-old chef has spent almost 50 years in the kitchen, there is nothing that Shaun doesn’t know about serving up a top class menu. Born in Ireland and brought up in London, after graduating, Shaun decided to take his first role in the kitchen as Commis Chef in Southgate London. Here, Shaun learnt the basics of how a kitchen operates and how to prepare food in the most traditional manner.
Moving onto some of London’s most prestigious restaurants through the 1960’s such as The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, Shaun began building his skill set higher and higher through the years. This lead Shaun into becoming a significant influence in the 1980’s Modern-British’ food movement, which saw a fusion of local seasonal produce with global influences. He achieved all this while also working as a Michelin starred chef at Gidleigh Park in Devon for 9 years.
Shaun earned his second Michelin star when he opened ‘The Merchant House’ with this wife Anja in 1994. Once awarded the 14th best restaurant in the world by fellow restaurateurs and critics, and finally closing in 2005 being known as ‘one of the most respected British restaurants of the past decade’.
Shaun then went into consulting where he advised top restaurants such as The Montagu Arms in Hampshire and even aided Fortnum & Mason on their refurbishment of their five London restaurants. Keeping busy, Shaun was also writing reviews for The Guardian and a recipe column in The Telegraph’s magazine. He also worked with Exeter University as a researcher, using his knowledge and education to lecture on food and ancient taboos.
However, Shaun could not keep himself away from the Kitchen. In 2008 he joined the Welsh restaurant The Walnut Tree, his current role. Earning his third Michelin Star, Shaun is described as a ‘chef’s chef’, inspiring the restaurant industry with his 50 years’ experience behind the stove.
Shaun’s cooking is a collection of his experiences and personal creativity, he finds inspiration from all around him, such as his latest travels or the most recent book he has read. Shaun then fuses these inspirations with his years of knowledge to make truly impressive dishes. Never chasing fads or trends, Shaun’s straight-talking menus see no sign of slowing down as he continues to show Chef’s how to differentiate themselves within the kitchen and throughout the industry.
Winning his third Catey, having been presented with the Restaurateur of the Year – Independent Award in 2001 and the Chef Award in 1993, Shaun couldn’t be more deserving of this year’s lifetime achievement award. A great chef and a great man, Shaun Hill leaves a legend of brilliance in his field and an inspirational path for future chefs to follow.