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Ron with some of his former students who cooked for him at the 75th anniversary of 4th Worcester Park Scout Group in 2008.
19th April 2021

Lecture to celebrate 100th birthday of ‘culinary legend’ Ron Kinton

Written by: Edward Waddell
Westminster Kingsway College and the Institute of Hospitality are planning to host a lecture to celebrate the 100th birthday of ‘culinary legend’ Ron Kinton.

The Ron Kinton Anniversary Lecture is being held in recognition of the chefs ‘huge influence’ on the catering profession. It will be streamed live online from the college’s Victoria Centre on Wednesday 28 April at 3pm.

Kinton and fellow chef Victor Cesarani recognised the need for a dedicated cookery book for catering students. The chef duo would go onto produce the first ten editions of Practical Cookery and the first 11 editions of The Theory of Catering, with later volumes being co-written by Professor David Foskett FIH a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.

Kinton trained at the college, then Westminster Technical Institute, in 1936 and began his culinary career at the Waldorf Hotel and Claridge’s. He joined the Army Catering Corps at the outbreak of the Second World War, working his way up to the rank of Sergeant Instructor at the Army Catering School of Cookery.

After the war, he returned to Claridge’s and then worked in catering for industrial giant ICI. He then trained to become a teacher and was one of the founding members of Acton Hotel School, which would later move to a new location and become Ealing School of Hotel Keeping and Catering, and subsequently the University of West London. In 1978 he graduated with a BEd (Hons) from Garnett College.

Gary Hunter FIH, interim principal of Westminster Kingsway College, said: “Ron Kinton’s story is still hugely inspirational and just shows where a career in hospitality can take you.

“The fact students here at WestKing and around the world still use The Theory of Catering as part of their learning, is testament to how influential he has been in education and how respected he remains within the industry.

“Ron’s work has had an impact on so many, which is why we and our good friends at the Institute of Hospitality wanted to celebrate his life, passion and commitment in this way.”

The speakers include Wendy Bartlett MBE FIH founder of contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell, Frederick Forster head chef at Read's Restaurant in Faversham and John Williams MBE executive chef of The Ritz London.

Peter Ducker FIH, outgoing chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, added: “I hope that Ron’s remarkable story, and the amazing journeys our speakers at this event have had, will strike a chord with students today and inspire them. I love the thought that perhaps many decades from now a student, inspired by our speakers and Ron’s example, will be celebrated in a similar way.”