Wendy Bartlett, founding owner of contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell, has been awarded an MBE for her services to the hospitality sector in the New Year Honours List 2015.

Bartlett launched independent foodservice company Bartlett Mitchell as chief executive in 2000 with chairman Ian Mitchell. Today the company enjoys a turnover of £30m and has more than 700 employees and 70 contracts.

Bartlett, who is “completely overwhelmed” by news of the honour, commented: “I have worked in this amazing industry of hospitality all my career and I hope it’s an inspiration to others,” she said, speaking from Australia where she has spent Christmas visiting family. “Bartlett Mitchell is a thriving business that has great opportunities for others and my success is down to a great team and their back up.

“In recent years I’ve been able to do a bit more in giving back to the industry, so this will hopefully let others, and females in particular, see that it’s a great opportunity – you just need to put the effort, passion and hard work in, in particularly with the people who will make it happen with you.”

Christine Yau, founder in 1986 of Yming’s restaurant in Soho, London, has also been awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry. Two leading suppliers to the foodservice industry were also named on the list: Fiona Kendrick, chairman and chief executive of Nestle, UK & Ireland, while Laila Remtulla, managing director of family-owned business Laila’s Fine Foods, receives an MBE.

My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

More from Wendy Bartlett