The Caterer

2020 Acorn Awards open for entries

17 December 2019 by
2020 Acorn Awards open for entries

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Acorn Awards, which recognise 30 of the most exciting, up and coming hospitality stars under the age of 30.

Organised by The Caterer and now in their 34th year, the Acorn Awards have recognised and honoured many people who have gone on to become big names in the industry over the years, including chefs Jason Atherton, Marcus Wareing and the late Gary Rhodes; founder of Soho House Nick Jones; and Tim Axe, commercial director, Benugo.

There are only three criteria to enter. If you are nominating someone for an Acorn Award, they must work in the hospitality industry; be under the age of 30 on 30 May 2020 and be available for the winners' weekend, which will take place at South Lodge Hotel & Spa in Horsham, West Sussex on the 31 May and 1 June 2020.

David Connell, general manager of South Lodge Hotel & Spa, said: "We are delighted to be hosting this year's Acorn Awards at South Lodge Hotel & Spa and cannot wait to welcome the deserving winners. Having had a couple of team members win Acorns in recent years, we fully appreciate the importance of the awards in providing a platform for the next generation of hospitality leaders.

"The opening of our new £14m spa in March 2019, gives us an opportunity to showcase the wonderful facilities we have created and by working with some of our local partners provide an experience the winners will remember. With health and wellbeing being a hot topic, we will focus on incorporating this into the weekend, but of course leave time to celebrate in style!"

After a series of team-building activities and an informal dinner on Sunday 31 May, a formal presentation lunch will take place on Monday 1 June 2020. The closing date for nominations is 21 February 2020.

The Acorn Awards are organised in partnership with headline sponsor CH&Co. Terry Waldron, chief operating officer at CH&Co, commented: "The 2019 Acorn Awards weekend was an energy fuelled celebration of the Acorn winners and their fantastic achievements to date. I really enjoyed getting to know the individuals and watching the different characters bond and approach the challenges the activities posed.

"Their competitive nature was definitely there but also their supportive teamwork which was great to see. As an Acorn alumnus myself, I know the opportunities that an Acorn Award can create so I am already watching last year's winners with interest, there's no doubt they have bright futures in hospitality ahead."

This year, the Wine & Sprit Education Trust (WSET) joins CH&Co as the Acorn Award's training partner, and Graham Cox, business development director, for WSET UK, added: "We are delighted to be supporting the Acorn Awards 2020. Our mission at WSET is to inspire and empower professionals in the trade at every level so working with these awards to recognise the hospitality industry's up and coming young talent is a natural fit for us."

Click here for the 2020 Acorn Awards nomination form

More details of the 2020 Acorn Awards will be available in the 3 January 2020 issue of The Caterer.

For further information, contact Martha Allardyce at or Lisa Jenkins at


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