Honorary fellowship for culinary hero

10 Nov, 2020
Honorary fellowship for culinary hero
Ted Bryant and Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack (Photo credit: Matt Crawford)

Ted Bryant, a long-time hospitality industry stalwart, has been awarded the title of Reeves Honorary Fellow of AUT.

A Reeves Honorary Fellowship is awarded to former staff or Council members who have made outstanding contributions to the leadership, teaching and research, life and well-being, and strategic development of the University.

Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack, on behalf of AUT Council, hosted a celebration at Four Seasons Restaurant last week to formally acknowledge Ted Bryant’s achievement.

“Ted has demonstrated innovative and strategically important leadership to AUT and to his industry, and has made an outstanding contribution to the life and wellbeing of this university in numerous ways. Therefore I am delighted to award him with a Reeves Honorary Fellowship,” said Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack.

Ted Bryant joined in 1975 as a senior lecturer in Hospitality. In 1981 he was appointed Head of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Studies, a position he held for 24 years until 2005. Following this, he was Director of the Summer School and retired from AUT in 2010 concluding 35 years of service. During this time he also completed his Master of Science in International Hotel and Tourism Management in 1999 at Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

An outstanding leader in an industry that was in its infancy, as Head of School Ted Bryant successfully married trade training qualifications with degree and postgraduate awards in the hospitality discipline. He developed and introduced new programmes including the Bachelor of Hospitality and Management, which was at that time the only specialised hospitality and management degree in the New Zealand university sector.

He was also a key advocate for the establishment of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Studies building, which opened in 1996. Its state of the art training facilities strengthened the School and helped to attract new staff and students.

As a consummate performer, actor and master of ceremonies, Ted Bryant often contributed his abilities to AUT Graduation and other University events, such as shows and exhibitions in fashion and the arts. He also contributed in many other ways in the wider community including amateur theatre, arts and crafts.

In recognition of his significant contribution to the hospitality industry in New Zealand, in 2007, he received a Lewisham Lifetime Achievement Award. One example is his involvement in the annual food and wine festivals at the ASB Showgrounds, as well as his support of many new initiatives which have led to the strong position of the hospitality industry today. He also trained renowned kiwi chefs including Geoff Scott, Simon Gault, Alan Brown and Judith Tabron.