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WEDNESDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER 14.00HRS: Celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire this afternoon, Wednesday 5th September, 2007 at 2pm in honour of his outstanding achievements in the culinary arts and broadcast industry.

A previous recipient of an honorary degree from the university was Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, but it is believed to be the first time a celebrity chef has ever been awarded a doctorate.

Novelli is said to be thrilled, as the award will be his first EVER academic qualification!

The popular French chef, who runs his world-renowned Novelli Academy cookery school at nearby Tea Green, Luton in Bedfordshire as well as his first gastropub The White Horse in Harpenden, Hertfordshire will be receiving his Doctor of Arts award alongside hundreds of other graduates of the university at their annual awards ceremony at St. Mary’s Chuch in Luton this afternoon. TV cameras will be following his achievement.

Novelli left school at 14 without any qualifications and went straight to work in a bakery in his hometown of Arras, France, and began his long career in the catering and restaurant trade which has resulted in him becoming a Michelin and 5AA Rosette award winning French chef, whose attributes include AA Chef’s Chef of the Year, European Chef of the Year finalist representing Great Britain and the prestigious Egon Ronay Desert of the Year. He won Restaurant of the Year on numerous occasions and many other awards for culinary excellence.

His Novelli Academy Cookery School, where he personally teaches all the courses, is placed one of the top in the world. He is also described as making women swoon with the flick of his whisk, “The worlds Sexiest Chef” by New York Times and voted in the sky viewers “Top 50 beautiful Men” poll.

The University of Bedfordshire selected Novelli for their highest possible award based on his exceptional creativity and artistic flair combined with his positive attitude and tenacity in the face of adversity, and felt he was an ideal role model to their students and young people. He was originally nominated for the award by Head of School of Media, Art and Design, Antony Eddison and his doctorate will be bestowed upon him by Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ebdon.

Novelli said:

“When I left school perhaps I was too young, and never had any diploma – but the only thing I did not have until recently is money.
Living with fame can be a privilege and a wonderful “lease”, only if you can maintain it, but luckily and importantly the only thing you can pass on is success and that’s what I call the “freehold”. I can only acknowledge and accept this award on the basis and subject of inspiring others. It’s a great honour to be picked and recognised out of those millions of people who are there all around us, who I will always respect and admire."

It is believed to be the first time that a chef has ever been awarded a doctorate, the highest academic achievement possible, and certainly the first time ever that a French chef has been given such an honorary award in the UK. Although Novelli is believed to be the third chef in the UK to receive an honorary degree he is the only one to have been awarded an ultimate doctorate, and as from TODAY will be entitled to be called Dr. Jean Christophe Novelli.

More information can be seen about Jean-Christophe and his cookery school at or by calling Novelli Academy on 01582-453215 and a recent videoclip of the cookery school can be seen at youtube on: .



For further information or to arrange an interview with Jean-Christophe Novelli about his new doctorate call 01582-453215 or Mobile 07988023940 or email


There will be a press photocall today on Wednesday 5th September at 3.30pm immediately after the awards ceremony in Luton at which time the newly awarded Dr. Jean Christophe Novelli can be photographed in his gown! To attend, or to book a telephone or personal interview with Jean-Christophe on the subject of his new doctorate, or obtain photos of the event please contact or email: or contact Mobile: 07988023940

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