The Royal Academy of Arts celebrated its Annual Awards of Excellence winners at a gala dinner held at Claridge’s hotel in London last night.
The awards recognised 21 young hospitality professionals in kitchen, pastry and service disciplines [see full list below]. Competitors had reached a standard set by the judges, with the highest scoring individuals in each discipline singled out for praise.
The highest scoring in the kitchen discipline was Connor Farrer, of the Ritz London, in the pastry division Sophie Bamford, of 21, Newcastle, scored the top mark while Catarina Caldeira, of the Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Stockross, was recognised from service.
The three most successful candidates won prizes including a scholarship, thanks to the Savoy Educational Trust, MAC knives and cookware from Continental Chef Supplies, and a day’s work experience at Heston Blumenthal’s the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire.
Judges included the Academy’s honorary president for 2018 Jason Atherton and chairman John Williams, as well as Claridge’s executive chef Martyn Nail, pastry expert Yolande Stanley and service expert Sergio Rebecchi.
Gercelynn Mae Dionio, Restaurant Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa)
Connor Farrer, the Ritz London
Faye De Souza, Restaurant Associates, Deloitte
Frederick Smith, the Pig on the Beach
Jade Stevens, Restaurant Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa)
Andrew Tranter, Trinity
Sophie Bamford, 21, Newcastle
Nicholas Bentley, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons
Bastien Carriou, Harrods
Nikola Krikavova, Hakkasan, Hanway Place
Dimitri Auriant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Alessandro Bello, the Ritz London
Catarina Caldeira, the Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Stockross
Elizabeth Forkuoh, the Strathearn – the Gleneagles Hotel
Giovanna Gucciardo, Le Gavroche
Valerija Kirjackaja, the Ritz London
Ryan Kenyon, André Garrett at Cliveden House
Marion Pépin, Core by Clare Smyth
Andrea Saccogna, the Woodspeen
Bethan Sampson, Pollen Street Social
Alana Quigley, the Birnam Brasserie – the Gleneagles hotel