A celebrity cook has called the Prince of Wales “the best possible spokesperson” for sustainable and organic farming, as the future king collected a top industry award.

TV cook Nigel Slater made the comments as Charles picked up the Special Award at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards, in recognition of his contribution to farming.

Slater, who spoke to Charles at the event, praised his commitment to organic food and protecting the environment.

He said: “The environment, what food production is doing to the environment, the prince has been on about this stuff for 25 years, way before many other people.

“He is the best spokesperson we could possibly have for this.”

Slater’s sentiments were echoed by other guests at the event, including comedian Jimmy Carr.

The Prince of Wales with Jimmy Carr at the annual Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards
Charles with Jimmy Carr at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards (Jeff Spicer/PA)

Carr said: “I remember Charles talking about organic and farming when I was a kid. He was way ahead of the curve on this.”

Charles chatted to a number of other celebrity guests at the event, including TV baker Mary Berry, Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and radio presenter Chris Evans.

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Stanley Tucci, watched by Nadiya Hussain
The prince with Stanley Tucci and Nadiya Hussain (Jeff Spicer/PA)

The prince runs the Duchy Farm on his Highgrove Estate and is involved with a number of agricultural projects, including the Royal Agricultural University and the Soil Association.

Speaking at the ceremony, presented by TV star Claudia Winkleman, Charles said: “Despite all the arguments about the facts, the complications over the rules for subsidies, the endless battles to avoid a ban on things like cheese made from raw milk … organic food is a remarkable success story.”

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman shakes hands with Charles (Jeff Spicer/PA)

He also paid tribute to “pioneers” in farming.

The prince said: “There are, of course, a great many people who have helped to pioneer what we might call ‘real food’ and who have also given me help and inspiration over many years.

“We should all be indebted to them for their efforts on behalf of good food from good farming.”