The University was saddened by the passing of Victor Ceserani MBE, who died in February at the age of 97. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Victor made an enormous impact on the culinary world; not just as a chef, but also as a highly respected catering educator, author and industry advisor. Victor spent 30 years teaching at Ealing Hotel School (now the University’s London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism) including being Head of the School for 16 years, influencing generations of students and staff.
Chancellor of the University of West London, Laurence Geller – himself a former student of Victor’s at Ealing Hotel School - paid warm tribute to ‘a unique and great person.’ He said: ‘I had the privilege of knowing Vic for some 55 years and the world is a poorer place for his passing. His positive impact on not only the hospitality industry but on the lives of thousands of young and eager people who crossed his threshold will never be forgotten.
‘The trademarks that made Vic a true family man and a great person were his never-wavering faith in the goodness of people and his common sense wisdom. His door was always open to every one of us under his tutelage and care, while everyone respected his understated humility, sensitive diplomacy and above all his honesty and compassion. He has left a legacy which will endure and for which we are all grateful.’
As head of Ealing Hotel School, Victor oversaw the growth of its reputation internationally and paved the way for hospitality and culinary arts education, culminating in the award of an MBE for services to catering education in 1975. During this period he also found time to publish a number of books which became flagship publications and essential textbooks for generations of hospitality and catering students.
Victor retired in 1980 but always maintained strong links with the University. In 2016, UWL was proud to name a lecture series in his honour – The Victor Ceserani Lecture Series – which promotes discussion and debate on important issues in the hospitality and catering industry today.
Also in 2016, with Victor’s blessing, the University was honoured to set up the Victor Ceserani MBE Scholarship. It was Victor’s wish that the money raised would be used to support the next generation of culinary arts and hospitality professionals.