QANTAS and Australian Business last night announced the winner of the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in UK 2011 as Skye Gyngell, Michelin Star award winning Head Chef at Petersham Nurseries and acclaimed cookery writer.
Nominees and over 150 guests gathered at the Langham, London last night for a very special award reception to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and to recognise the many great achievements of Australian women in the UK. The annual award is open to Australian women from all walks of life including business, the arts, science, community, government, research and other industries.
The star studded short-list of nominees included Bronwyn Curtis, Head of HSBC Global Research; internationally acclaimed and celebrated author, Nikki Gemmell; Chief Executive of the English National Opera, Loretta Tomasi; and the British Museum’s principal specialist for Australia and Oceania, Lissant Bolton.
Award winner Skye Gyngell has received international recognition for her work at Petersham Nurseries. Her philosophy to serve simple, sustainable and seasonal produce has won Skye a strong following and recently in its 100th award season the Michelin Guild recognised Skye’s cooking by awarding her restaurant a star. She is the first Australian woman to receive this honour.
Commencing her culinary career in Sydney, Skye flew to Paris to complete her training under Anne Willan at La Varenne. After a stint at the Dodin-Bouffant, Skye moved to London to work at The French House and notably, The Dorchester with Anton Mossiman. Before establishing the Petersham Nurseries Café, Skye worked with a rota of high profile private clients.
Skye has attributed her own success to the hard work of her team. Of being awarded the Michelin Star Skye said, “Winning a Michelin star is not something we have ever looked for, we have always just put our heads down and worked, putting one foot in front of the other. But it is thrilling to have a star, because it shows that if you believe in something and are true to yourself — recognition will follow. This is an affirmation of those beliefs.”
Skye was also recently been named as a UK winner in the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2010. Her third book `How I Cook` won the Best Woman Chef Book category. She will now compete against winners in the same category in other countries for The Best in the World.
Of winning the Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK Award, Skye said: “I’m truly very honoured to be given this award and to have been considered alongside such other great Australian women. I have built my career and life here in the UK but I love Australia and its special to be recognised by fellow Australians for the work achieved here.”
Qantas Airways Regional General Manager for UK & Ireland, Paul Yankson said, “Qantas has been a proud supporter of this Award since its inception four years ago and we are thrilled to be recognising the achievements of Skye and her work at Petersham Nurseries. The candidates this year were of an extremely high calibre and this is testament to the great Australian spirit of achieving success away from home.”
Together with the honorary title of Qantas Australian Woman of the Year in the UK, Skye has won two (2) return Business Class tickets to Australia on the award-winning Qantas A380, plus a two (2) night stay at the Langham, Melbourne courtesy of Qantas Holidays and the Langham Melbourne.
IMAGE: By Andrea Le Steange