Scottish and NI restaurateurs awarded MBE in 2017’s New Year’s Honours List

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Scottish food ambassador Tony Singh awarded for his services to hospitality, along with Northern Ireland restaurateur and caterer Simon Dougan.

SINGH and Dougan became Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) alongside  restaurateur Mark Hix, restaurateur and hotelier Nick Jones, Melanie Andrews, director and founder of the Scottish Baking Awards and education catering specialist Patricia Fellows.

Singh, a wee Leith lad, said on twitter that he was “gobsmacked and honoured to have been recognised in this way.”

Singh is a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, the Craft Guild of Chefs and a Master Chef of Great Britain. He runs Tasty restaurant in Glasgow along with the Apex Grassmarket hotel in Edinburgh.

As a long serving ambassador for all things Scottish, he rose to fame as one half of the Incredible Spice Men on BBC TV with Cyrus Todiwala in 2013. The men travelled the length of the country giving many of Britain’s most famous dishes a spicy twist.

Despite his MBE, Singh is still banned from cooking at home. The dad-of-four’s wife Bechan won’t allow him to cook at home because he makes too much mess.

NI Food Heritage

picture of Simon Dougan
Picture by Belfast Food

Dougan, managing director of the award-winning Yellow Door Portadown deli, bakery and catering business was awarded his MBE for championing Northern Ireland’s food heritage and its local producers.

In May 2016, Dougan welcomed the Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, to his Portadown deli and in July was appointed the new Deputy Lieutenant of County Armagh.

The 2016 Year of Food and Drink was billed as part of a ‘food revolution’ for Northern Ireland, of which Dougan was instrumental in. It is said to have generated more than £30m worth of publicity for the region.

Other MBE’s in the hospitality industry were awarded to Mark Hix, the super-chef, who spent 17 years as chef director at Caprice Holdings before opening HIX Oyster & Chop House in 2008, then HIX Mayfair, HIX Soho and HIX City as well as Tramshed – all regarded as restaurants among the world’s best.

And Nick Jones dubbed one of hospitality’s most successful entrepreneurs. The 2015 Hotelier of the Year is the founder and chief executive of Soho House & Co.

Jones was responsible for the design ethos of Babington House in Somerset, seen as being revolutionary. More recently he has opened Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, which was equally ground-setting with its offer of rustic cabins and extensive eating and leisure outlets within a resort setting. In between he has created a whole raft of impressive city properties, both at home and abroad.


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