Catherine Fulvio scooped the top award for Entrepreneur of the Year for the region of Europe and Africa, at the Business Excellence Forum in Lisbon, Portugal over the weekend.

Presenting the award, Brad Sugars, Chairman, ActionCOACH, described Catherine's journey from bed and breakfast owner to celebrity chef in international demand, award-winning author and leading cookery school owner as an "outstanding example of entrepreneurial spirit."

A popular food presenter on radio and television, Catherine runs Ballyknocken House, Farm and Cookery School in County Wicklow. She recently signed a contract to bring an additional 1200 visitors to Ballyknocken in 2013, resulting in the recruitment of new staff.

Catherine will cook live on both NBC's Today Show (USA) and with James Martin on BBC One's Saturday Kitchen in London in March. She is currently working on her next cookbook, which will be released later this year.

Attending the conference with Catherine was her business coach, Marina Bleahen, among over two hundred business entrepreneurs from all over Europe.