A top Sodexo chef has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.
Food innovation director David Mulcahy received the historic honour for his contribution to culinary excellence in the hospitality industry.
Mr Mulcahy is responsible for menu creation and the culinary development of some 2,500 chefs working across the UK and Ireland in workplaces, schools, universities, army barracks and providing hospitality at major events such as The Open, Henley Royal Regatta, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot.
In his voluntary role as vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Mr Mulcahy organises the National Chef of the Year competition, considered the most prestigious culinary accolade in the UK.
Previous National Chef of the Year winners include Michelin-starred chefs Gordon Ramsay, David Everitt Matthias, Alyn Williams and Russell Bateman. He also co-ordinates the FutureChef competition which this year saw almost 10,500 12-16 year olds across the UK compete for the FutureChef title.
As well as organising and driving many national competitions, he has won International Culinary Olympic and World Cup Gold awards and is involved in a number of charities, particularly Stop Hunger the charity of the Sodexo Foundation.
One of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today, the Freedom of the City of London was first presented in 1237. Notable recipients of the honour include internet inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Judi Dench and Florence Nightingale.
Mr Mulcahy said: “I was delighted to receive this prestigious honour in recognition of my involvement within the hospitality industry. I have long been motivated by supporting and developing others, particularly young chef talent of which there is so much across the UK and Ireland. I am very proud of our industry and the good that it does and very proud of this recognition.”
Fellow Craft Guild of Chefs vice-president Steve Munkley also received the award.