The Réunion des Gastronomes has announced three finalists for its inaugural award, with the winner to be announced at the 99th annual banquet at the Langham on 24 November.
Following a series of interviews Yacine Bezegouche, restaurant and bar manager at the Hilton Bankside, Paul Clarkson, head chef trainer at the Clink, Brixton and Raul Martinez, brasserie manager at the Arts Club will compete for the title.
The judging panel, chaired by John Cousins, director of the Food & Beverage Training Company, comprises: Alison Frith, managing director of Artizian Catering Services; hospitality consultant Theresa Maw; Wally Vincent, executive secretary of the Master Innholders, (vice president of the Réunion).
There will be a final interview with the panel to decide the winner.
The winner will be given the opportunity of four two-day placements with expenses covered across a range of different industry sectors. They will also receive invitations to attend five further Gastronome events in the year after the award and be given Associate membership of the Réunion des Gastronomes for up to four years.
President of the Réunion des Gastronomes Serge Pradier said: "We were really impressed with the calibre of all the entrants, and it wasn't an easy decision to select the original shortlist, let alone hone it down to the three finalists. There is so much talent in our industry and it is most encouraging to learn the career aspirations and of challenges that our finalists have already overcome to achieve their goals. The next stage of the judging will be even more difficult but just as rewarding, I'm sure."
The Réunion des Gastronomes was formed in London in August 1899. It aims to raise the standards of hotelkeeping and catering and is made up of many of the senior figures from the hotel and catering industry.
(L to R): Raul Martinez, The Arts Club; Yacine Bezegouche of The Hilton Bankside; Paul Clarkson of The Clink
Videos from The Caterer archives