A Short History

1972 - 1973

La Fondation is born when M. Emile Wolfe sells the Lancaster Hotel for shares in the Savoy Group and then, at the suggestion of Sir Hugh Wontner (the Savoy’s Chairman), endows some of these to La Fondation pour la Formation Hôtelière.


On 9th November the Berlin Wall falls, reuniting East and West Germany and paving the way for previously Soviet bloc counties to become future members of the EU.


The 1st ‘Train the Trainer’ seminar is presented on behalf of La Fondation by Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne at the Kempinski
Hotel, Moscow.


Professor Gianfranco Nobis agrees to present a seminar programme at the Budapest Business School’s Faculty of Commerce, Catering and Tourism on the principles underlying each area of hospitality operation.


Following the sale of the  Savoy Group, La Fondation realises a significant return on the sale of its shares, creating new opportunities for La Fondation to expand its work.

Professor Gianfranco Nobis is appointed to advise the Board on projects and to develop a programme of ‘train the trainer’ seminars as well as present ‘Special Lectures’.


The 1st ‘Special Lecture’ is given by Kevin Collins, and held at the Stredni Hotelova Skola, Prague, Czech Republic.

La Fondation’s 1st ‘kitchen project’ is launched at the University of Food Technology, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Our 1st Annual Conference is held at the Budapest Business School’s Faculty of Commerce, Catering and Tourism. It is
dedicated to Martin Radcliffe, a former director of the Savoy Group and long term Board member of La Fondation, who passed away in August 1999. Victor Emery has represented the Board at the Annual Conference since 2003.


The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia become members of the
European Union.

La Fondation’s 1st Training Restaurant is officially opened at the University of Food Technology, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, by Jenifer Emery and Francesca Radcliffe.


Romania and Bulgaria became members of the European Union.


The Micros Fidelio Training project takes place for representatives from partner institutions from  Odessa, Opava, Presov and Plovdiv.


Croatia becomes a member of the European Union.


La Fondation recommits to helping develop the hospitality sector in Central and Eastern Europe in the face of a changing
political landscape.


La Fondation appoints Andrea Kracht to the Board 


La Fondation holds the 19th Annual Conference in Sofia and Plovdiv in June 2019 where a minute's silence is held  in memory of Professor Gianfranco Nobis who sadly passed away in April 2019


Lord Thurso takes over as Chairman of the Board


La Fondation appoints Dr Willi Leimer to the Board