Lifetime Achievement Award 2023: Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver

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St John founders Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver win Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Restaurant Awards 2023

Related tags St John St John Bread and Wine Fergus henderson Trevor Gulliver Restaurant London Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Fine dining

The St John founders are the recipients of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Restaurant Awards 2023.

St John founders Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver could have won this lifetime achievement award years ago, but the indefatigable pair continue to make their mark on Britain’s – and the world’s - food scene today, most recently with the opening of a St John restaurant in Marylebone in 2022​.

To understand the impact this pair has had on the British dining scene you need to go much further back, all the way to 1994 when they opened their debut restaurant St.John in Smithfield​. Back then, British food was still largely maligned by the rest of the world and serious restaurants tended to follow a more traditional dining model. St John changed all that.

Prior to the launch, Henderson cooked with his wife Margot above The French House​ in Soho while Gulliver had opened The Fire Station in Waterloo. The pair decided to join forces to open St John in a rundown former smoke house combining Henderson’s nose famous nose-to-tail approach to cooking with Gulliver’s stripped back design aesthetic that is a relevant today as it was 30 years ago.

Like many ground-breaking occurrences it wasn’t an instant success, a factor which probably contributed to St John’s enduring appeal today, with the pair having to work hard to spread the gospel of this bold new approach to British cooking. But spread it they did, and today Henderson’s nose-to-tail is practiced across the Western culinary landscape.


Their journey to this point has been colourful and not without its challenges. In 1998 Henderson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s but remained in the kitchen, a year later publishing his debut cookbook Nose to Tail Eating (he has since published a number of other books).

In 2003 they launched St John Bread & Wine in Spitalfields to equal acclaim and in 2009 St John finally won a Michelin star. A year later the pair opened the St John Bakery in a railway arch in Bermondsey, later adding a second standalone bakery in Borough​, and supplies numerous London restaurants with is bread.

St John has made many appearances on the list of the UK’s top 100 Restaurants and on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and Henderson has become one of the world’s most recognised chefs. In 2005 he received an MBE for services to gastronomy.

The pair continue to champion British food and its restaurant scene across the world through teaching and campaigning. UK chefs and restaurateurs have much to thank them for.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by Nespresso Professional​.








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