In 1975 Roy opened his first restaurant, Quincy's Bistro in Oxford, and went on to form Kennedy Brookes with then business partner, the late Michael Golder. From humble beginnings with 5 restaurants the group grew to over 130 restaurants and hotels, including names such as Wheelers, Mario & Franco, The Ivy, Bertorelli and Café des Amis. Outside catering including Henley Royal Regatta, the then publicly quoted company was taken over in the late 80s. Roy then became involved with the Gay Hussar, The White Tower, Eleanor’s L’Etoile, Simply Nico, Thierry’s Bistro, 190 Queensgate and Simpsons of Cornhill.

Roy’s impact in the world of publishing saw the production of guidebooks in the 90’s with the notable Ackerman Guides, Egon Ronay Guides, Cafes of Europe and the Martell Guide to Europe. His involvement in the world of film takes shape as producer of numerous culinary programmes aired on mainstream TV, including The Chefs Apprentice.  Currently, his online food and drink review programme, Coolcucumber TV, showcases leading chefs and restaurants in the UK and abroad.

His long-established consultancy, Tadema Studios has gained prestige over the years with the corporate consultancy side offering a service to international and local hotel groups and provides links with restaurant owners and hoteliers with chefs and restaurateurs. In recent years he has been involved with chefs and restaurateurs including Giorgio Locatelli, Theo Randall, Cyrus Todiwala and Silvena Rowe acting as mentor and advisor. The consultancy has worked with hotels and restaurants such as Rezidor, Missoni, Dorchester Collection, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group. Roy also works with privately owned inns and hotels. 

The art division of Tadema Studios specialises in providing artwork for hotels, restaurants and private commissions. The studio works with both internationally renowned artists as well as emerging artists. 

Roy was Chairman, then President of The Restaurant Association in the 80s and Chairman of the Hotel and Catering Training Board.  His other honorary positions include President of the Academy of Food and Wine, Chairman of the Governors of the Academy of Culinary Arts, and Chairman of the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom.  In this role he was responsible for instigating the international conference of the F.I.C.B in Great Britain in 2008 and represents Britain at the F.I.C.B conferences worldwide.

Roy originated and became joint Chairman of the Henley Festival of Music and the Arts and is now Honorary President. Still going from strength to strength after 30 years, the Festival hosts stars of the classical and pop scene and showcases art and sculpture, and dining for 4000 guests each night.

Roy was appointed OBE in 1990 for his contribution to tourism and training and a CBE in 2000 for services to gastronomy. In 2010 he received the coveted Catey's Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the hospitality industry.


Roy Ackerman CBE biography

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