The winners of the 32nd Acorn Awards have been announced, celebrating 30 of the industry's most talented stars aged under 30.
The 2018 Acorn recipients will collect their ACT Clean-sponsored awards at a prize-giving event held at the Grade II-listed Lygon Arms hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire, today. The awards will be presented by The Caterer's products and suppliers editor Lisa Jenkins and ACT Clean CEO, John Stevenson.
Guest speaker Josh Eggleton, chef and co-owner of Bristol restaurants the Pony & Trap, Salt & Malt, Root and the Kensington Arms, will share his inspiring career success with the winners. He runs the business with his sister Holly, who won an Acorn Award in 2016, along with his parents (Gail and Chris) and brother Scott.
The annual awards seek to highlight and celebrate the achievements of 30 of the industry's brightest prospects, with each winner nominated by their peers for their outstanding ability in their field.
The winners arrived at the Lygon Arms on Sunday for a celebratory weekend including a welcome dinner plus a team-building exercise led by activity organisers Team Spirit, testing their ‘Apprentice-style' scavenging and football-related teamwork skills.
Jason Adams, general manager at the Lygon Arms, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Acorn Awards at one of our properties once again this year. The awards identify the extraordinary talent in our wonderful industry and we are delighted to have them all with us here at the Lygon Arms for what will be a very significant occasion in their careers."
Stevenson added: "We are delighted to sponsor the Acorn Awards for the seventh consecutive year and are thrilled to play a part in recognising and developing the incredible careers to date of each of our winners. We are always in admiration of the calibre of the winners, and this year is no different."
The 2018 Acorn winners in full
- Emma Abruzzese, catering manager for Vacherin at Hiscox Insurance, Vacherin
- Romain Bourger, head sommelier, the Vineyard, Berkshire
- Charlie Brodie, learning and development manager, the London Edition
- Rob Burden, HR business partner, CH&Co
- Ben Carroll, head of insight, Whitbread
- Christopher Chester-Sterne, owner and landlord, the Rose and Thistle
- Sophie Cox, chief operating officer, Koh UK Ltd
- Joshua Craddock, F&B sales and marketing manager, the Bloomsbury London
- Jack Davies, senior sous chef, the London Clinic
- Tom De Keyser, head chef, the Coach, Marlow
- James Durrant, senior head chef, the Bear & Ragged Staff, Peach Pub Company
- Gillian Duthie, general manager, Jurys Inn Hotel Group
- Jonathan Ellson, director of Restaurant Coworth Park, Coworth Park, Dorchester Collection
- James Fleming, reception manager, the Stafford London
- Darryl Harris, restaurant manager, Home Grown Hotels, the Pig near Bath
- Rachael Henley, F&B manager, the Idle Rocks Hotel
- Rhiannon Heseltine, general manager, Lexington Catering
- Charlotte Horler, front of house manager, Red Carnation Hotels
- Tom Jackson, area manager, Wilson Vale
- Aaron Kibble, general manager, Oakman Inns and Restaurants
- Gabrielle Le Roux, programme developer, BaxterStorey
- Jack McCarthy, deputy head concierge, the Cavendish London
- Stephen Moran, director of marketing, InterContinental London Park Lane
- Ben Murphy, head chef, Launceston Place, London
- Lucy Louise Murphy, operations manager, Premier Inn - Whitbread
- Hannah Robson, head of bespoke events, Concerto
- Tom Shepherd, head chef, Adam's restaurant, Birmingham
- Catherine St John, executive assistant, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
- Kit Wilkins-Smith, head of coffee excellence, Paddy & Scott's