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The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts announces a new chair

“Adam Byatt, chair of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts”
Adam Byatt, the chef patron of the Michelin-starred restaurant Trinity and culinary director of Brown’s Hotel in London, has been appointed as the new chair of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA).

John Williams, who has served as chair for 20 years, will step up to become president, succeeding Brian Turner CBE, who will take on the role of honorary president of the organisation.

Turner CBE, who, along with the late hospitality legend Richard Shepherd CBE, was one of the original members of the Club 9 group of trailblazing chefs in the 1970s, served as chair of the RACA from 1993 to 2004 and has been president since 2004. The Academy of Culinary Arts received its Royal Patronage in 2013.

The RACA is also implementing several other organisational changes:

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, the Michelin-starred chef of Northcote hotel in Lancashire and The Stafford in London, will assume the role of co-deputy chair (North). Chef Gary Jones, formerly head chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, will take on the position of co-deputy chair (South).

Mark Flanagan LVO, Royal chef and Assistant to the Master in the Master of the Household’s Department, will take on the role of chair of sustainability.

Lisa Jenkins, chief executive of the RACA explained: “It’s exciting to be announcing several changes across the organisation. Adam is passionate about education and mentorship and that is RACA’s core purpose. His appointment coincides with our funding grant from the Savoy Educational Trust and Neil Rippington, our RACA College Community Programme Director, and I will work closely with Adam on all areas of education.”

Commenting on the changes, John Williams, said: “We’re embarking on a fresh horizon and a new phase at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, as Brian and I step up to make room for a new generation poised to lead. It’s imperative that we progress and adapt to stay pertinent while honouring the wisdom of the past.”

Byatt added: “I am honoured to be taking on the role of chair at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. The Academy is a highly prestigious institution which helps, educates, and inspires young professionals in the hospitality profession. I was once one of those young chefs and was given an opportunity which changed the trajectory of my life. I was inspired by the Academy and mentored and guided by those who have helped to run this organisation. Now I have a fundamental part to play, and it feels as if a circle of my career has been completed.

“I am indebted to all of those who have placed their trust in me. I would like to thank Brian Turner, our new honorary president. I am also hugely grateful to John Williams, who has steered this mighty ship for two decades and has been instrumental in shaping who we are today. I am proud to say that he also shaped my career – John and I met many years ago, when I trained with him at Claridge’s.

“I have been given a golden opportunity to steer the Academy into the next leg of its journey, and to help improve its impact on the wider industry. As someone who is passionate about improving education for young professionals in hospitality, this will be my main area of focus.”