Adam Byatt named new chair of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

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

Byatt, a protégé of Ritz executive chef and Michelin star holder John Williams MBE, will take over the role as chair of RACA as John Williams (who has held the role of chair for 20 years) steps up into the role of president. Chef Williams will take over from Brian Turner CBE, who will assume the role of honorary president of the organisation.

Turner CBE, who alongside late hospitality legend Richard Shepherd CBE was one of the original members of the Club 9 group of trailblazing chefs in the 1970s, was chair of the RACA from 1993-2004, and president from 2004. The Academy of Culinary Arts gained its Royal Patronage in 2013.

A number of other organisational changes are also being made at RACA:

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

Mark Flanagan LVO, Royal chef and Assistant to the Master, Master of the Household’s Department, takes up 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.”