From 32 semi-finalists, eight finalists have been chosen for this year’s Gold Service Scholarship competition.
The semi-finals took place at the Rosewood London hotel on 21 November, where trustees and judges charged competitors with a series of tasks covering all aspects of the front-of-house role, from wine decanting and table layout to service priorities and a general interview to discuss the crucial role of service.
The finalists are:
• Laudy Gibba-Smith, head waitress at L’Enclume, Cumbria
• Sebastian Koewius, assistant room service manager at the Corinthia Hotel London
• Christian Köhle, head waiter at Fera at Claridge’s, London
• Sarah May Coward, senior footman of the Glass Pantry at the Royal Household, London
• Beatriz Pinto Da Silva, butler at the Savoy hotel, London
• Charlotte Poynton, sommelier and assistant restaurant manager at the Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
• Eugenio Simonelli, junior maître d’hotel at Le Gavroche, London
• Michael Staub, floor manager at the Rosewood London
The finalists will compete in a new set of tasks at the finals on 29 January 2018, at Massimo restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel London. The winning scholar will be announced at the awards ceremony at Claridge’s on 6 February 2018.
Now in its sixth year, the Gold Service Scholarship is an annual competition for young, front of house professionals working in the hospitality industry. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to undertake a variety of training placements, including a state banquet at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, a five-day stage at the Waterside Inn in Bray or Le Gavroche in London, and a one-week work stint at a Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Chairman of the judges Edward Griffiths said: “This has been an amazing competition so far – the quality has been exceptionally high. The task of whittling down the numbers to get a final eight has been difficult.”
Trustee and judge Sergio Rebecchi added: “We are so proud of the growing reputation of the Gold Service Scholarship in just six years. This is proven by the fact that we had a record number of applications from a broad base of hospitality businesses throughout the UK.”
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