A chef has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his contribution to culinary excellence in the hospitality industry.

David Mulcahy, 53, from Buckden, who is food innovation director for Sodexo UK and Ireland, was presented with the award at a special ceremony.

He is responsible for menu creation and the culinary development of 2,500 chefs in workplaces, schools, universities, the army and hospitality at events such as The Open, Henley Royal Regatta, the Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot.

David is also vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, and organises the national Chef of the Year contest.

He is a winner of International Culinary Olympic and World Cup Gold awards and carries out charity work, particularly Stop Hunger, the charity of the Sodexo Foundation.

The Freedom of the City of London award dates back to 1237 and David’s fellow vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Steve Munkley, also received the award.

David said: “I was delighted to receive this prestigious honour in recognition of my involvement within the hospitality industry. I have long been motivated by supporting and developing others, particularly young chef talent of which there is so much across the UK and Ireland.

“I am very proud of our industry and the good that it does and very proud of this recognition.”