The winners of the 33rd Acorn Awards have been announced, celebrating 30 of the industry’s most talented stars aged under 30.
The 2019 Acorn recipients will collect their CH&Co-sponsored awards at a prize-giving event at the Dorchester Collection’s luxury five-red-AA-star Coworth Park hotel in Ascot, Berkshire, tomorrow. The awards will be presented by The Caterer’s products and suppliers editor Lisa Jenkins and CH&Co chief operating officer Terry Waldron.
Guest speaker Jon Reed, brand director for Paddy & Scott’s, will share his inspiring career with the winners and tell of his journey from hotel operations to Acorn Scholarship and Acorn Awards winner, judge and nominator.
The annual awards highlight and celebrate the achievements of 30 of the industry’s brightest stars, with each winner nominated by their peers for their outstanding ability and successes in their field.
The winners arrived at Coworth Park this morning for a celebratory weekend, including a welcome dinner and team-building exercises led by activity organiser Team Spirit, to test their teamwork and competition skills.
Zoe Jenkins, general manager at Coworth Park, said: “As a past Acorn winner I am delighted to welcome the 33rd Acorn Awards back to Coworth Park.
“The Acorn winners represent the very best of young aspiring leaders in the hospitality business. It is our pleasure to make sure that they all celebrate this very special recognition in style, in the countryside.”
Waldron added: “Congratulations to the Acorn Awards Winners 2019. The 30 talented rising stars each have incredible stories of achievement so early on in their careers and they absolutely deserve this recognition. Their potential is truly limitless, and we look forward to seeing them continue to flourish.
“Inspiring and nurturing emerging talent is important for everyone. They’re tomorrow’s leaders of hospitality, and giving them the support and opportunities to develop professionally and personally is an investment in the future of our wonderful industry.”
The 2019 Acorn winners
Rebecca Armstrong, operations manager, the Genuine Dining Co
Sandra Bein, head sommelier, Mere Restaurant
Craig Bennett, general manager, Cairn Group
Tom Booton, head chef, Alyn Williams at the Westbury
Asimakis Chaniotis, head chef, Pied à Terre
Jack Clements, chef-director, Rojano’s in the Square
Charles Coulombeau, head chef, Gravetye Manor
Terri Dell, general manager, Brookmans, the Peach Pub Company
Max Fenlon, financial controller UK, Park Plaza Hotels UK
Shelley Freeland, operations manager, Goodwood House, the Goodwood Group
Liam Hatcher, senior people and development business partner (London), CH&Co
Tomáš Kubart, restaurant director, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London
Robbie Laidlaw, business development manager, the Genuine Dining Co
Rita Martins Bengtsson, business development director, InterContinental London Park Lane
Kieran McLoughlin, general manager, Hide Ground
Lee Melton, head of learning and development, the Coaching Inn Group
Katie Mulliss, restaurant manager, the Hand & Flowers
William Nisbet, regional operations manager, Whitbread
Abby Palmer, groups and reservations manager, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington
Robert Simmonds, general manager, Eastwell Manor – a Champneys Hotel & Spa
Chris Tod, learning and development officer, Exclusive Hotels and Venues
Judith van der Heijden, assistant chief concierge, Rosewood London
Jill Van Rest, operations manager, Park Plaza London Park Royal
Ilona van Rooij, commercial director (maternity cover), Conrad London St James
Digby Vollrath, chief executive and co-founder, Feast It
Alex Von Ulmenstein, food and beverage manager, Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
Joe Walker, executive chef, Hermitage Rd Bar & Restaurant
Jamie Warley, head pastry chef, St Ermin’s hotel
Elly Wentworth, head chef, the Angel – Taste of Devon
Alexander Wilson, reception manager, Brown’s hotel, Rocco Forte Hotels
The Acorn Awards 2019 is in partnership with CH&Co and sponsored by M and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. The Acorn Awards 2019 would like to thank wine supplier Matthew Clark and activities supplier Team Spirit.