RACA MCA winners 2022

Source: RACA

A total of eight candidates were awarded the title of Master of Culinary Arts

Two pastry chefs have won the coveted title of Master of Culinary Arts (MCA).

Alistair Birt, senior head pastry chef at Harrods, and Jamie Houghton, senior sous chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, have received the title after displaying their specialist knowledge and skills.

Awarded every four years, the MCA is described by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) as the UK’s highest culinary honour. It is an award rather than a competition, and all or none of the entrants can achieve the title depending on their ability to reach the required standard.

Pastry chef candidates completed an 11-hour test over two days. They were required to present gateaux de voyages, savoury vegetable St Honoré, strawberry vol au vents and coffee & chocolate Othellos, on an edible stand. Candidates also presented a pre-prepared centrepiece on the theme of Alice in Wonderland.

The MCA is judged by a panel consisting of past winners of the MCA, senior members of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and other industry professionals.

Awards are also presented in two other categories, chef and restaurant management & service, with all eight winners revealed at a celebratory gala dinner in Claridge’s (See list below). Guests included Raymond Blanc OBE, John Williams MBE, Michel Roux Jnr, Alain Roux, Benoit Blin MCA and William Curley MCA.

RACA is a professional membership association of head chefs, head pastry chefs, restaurant managers and suppliers providing education, career opportunities and the recognition of the talent and skills of current and future hospitality professionals.

In August, Harrods pastry chef de partie Caitlin Walsh was crowned RACA’s Young Pastry Chef of the Year.

Full list of 2022 MCA winners:


  • George Blogg, executive head chef, Gravetye Manor
  • Spencer Metzger, head chef, The Ritz London

Pastry chefs

  • Alistair Birt, senior head pastry chef, Harrods
  • Jamie Houghton, senior sous chef, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Restaurant management & service

  • Thomas Borghi, restaurant manager, The Lanesborough, London
  • Daniel Crump, proprietor/director, The Greyhound, Beaconsfield
  • Antonino Forte, restaurant manager, Galvin at Windows
  • Devid Isabella, director of food and beverage, The Goring