Rogan, who is chef patron of the three Michelin-starred L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, was awarded an MBE for services to the food industry; as was Lee, who is chef-proprietor of Quo Vadis in London's Soho.
“It is a great honour to be recognised with an MBE and I’m proud to have made an impact on the hospitality landscape, all of which would not have been possible without my amazing team,” says Rogan.
“The British dining scene has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and it has been invigorating to be a part of that, namely raising the profile of the ‘farm-to-fork’ way of growing and eating, and hopefully inspiring others to follow suit.
“I believe that promoting our incredible produce and farmers in the Lake District has an important, long-lasting effect on the whole industry which will support British agriculture for years to come.
“Looking ahead at the next decade, I will strive to continue learning and building on our philosophy further whilst focusing on paying it forward, such as through the Simon Rogan Academy, which provides opportunities for future generations of aspiring young chefs and front of house – our work is never done.”
Handling, whose London-based estate includes Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden, also received an MBE for services to hospitality and international trade in recognition of his work as an ambassador for the GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign.
“It’s incredible to be appointed an MBE for two things that mean the most to me - education and hospitality,” says Handling.
“I always instil education, inspiration, motivation into my team – that’s our ethos and how we work every day.
“Inspiring not only my team but also our guests, the future of the industry and the wider public in terms of what British food is all about, in a sustainable and luxury manner, is what I set out to do and what I intend to continue to focus on.
“I am so overwhelmingly happy - this is, to date, the most heart-warming, humbling recognition I've ever received in my almost 20 years of cooking.”
Other industry names to be recognised in the 2024 New Year’s Honours list include celebrity chef and TV personality Paul Hollywood, who received an MBE for services to baking and broadcasting; and JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin, who was knighted for his services to hospitality and culture.
Elsewhere, Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor founders Nick and Jenny Thompson were honoured with MBEs for services to the food and business sectors, after kickstarting the food hall trend.
“It’s difficult to believe,” says Nick.
“There is a massive sense of recognition for what we set out to achieve 10 years ago. We have tried to balance the need to be successful in business and assist other independent enterprises to success by delivering a really different approach to community and involving the community in the operation.
“Given my background before this, it was all about regeneration and transformation and change. We were trying to achieve reinvigorating places and bringing about transformative change whilst working with people to deliver that.”