Thirty of the brightest prospects in the hospitality industry under the age of 30 picked up their Acorn Awards today.
The youthful high-achievers were presented with their awards at a celebration lunch held at Bovey Castle in Devon's Dartmoor National Park.
The winners represented every sector of the hospitality industry, including hotels (budget to five-star properties) and restaurants (both in groups and those with Michelin stars), as well as contract catering companies.
They arrived at Bovey Castle yesterday (Sunday) and, after welcome speeches from Mark Lewis, group editor of Caterer and Hotelkeeper, and John Stevenson, founder and commercial director of sponsor ACT Clean, set about the challenge of creating and performing a professional television advertisement.
With a variety of roles to be filled - including camera people, sound technicians, lighting designers, script writers and, of course, actors - and extensive location opportunities around the Bovey estate at their disposal, teamwork was tested to the extreme.
At today's formal proceedings Philip Newman-Hall, managing director of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, gave an inspirational speech, sharing with the audience his experience of reaching the top of his profession via a vocational route.
He told the audience that the hospitality industry was one in which anyone who took opportunities, used their mentors and was continually inquisitive could achieve anything they desire.
"Volunteer to do that extra shift in a different department, take a stage in another hotel or restaurant and get out of your comfort zone," he advised.
ACT Clean founder and commercial director John Stevenson said: "We are delighted to have been able to support the 26th annual Acorn Awards and would like to extend our congratulations, not only to each and every winner, but also to those nominated."
The 2012 Acorn Award winners are:
Omar Allibhoy, 28, Owner, Tapas Revolution, Westfield London
Dimitri Bellos, 29, Restaurant manager, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, London
Scott Brown, 29, National account manager, Marriott National Sales Team
Frankie Brennan, 22, Assistant catering manager, Wilson Vale
Katarina Burikova, 25, Front office manager, the Cavendish, London, SW1
James Chapman, 27, Second chef, Harper Adams University College catering department, Newport, Shropshire
Katarzyna Ciblic, 28, Revenue manager, the Cavendish, London
Tara Cruise, 27, Operations manager, Premier Inn Heathrow
Frederic Dallot , 28, Resident manager, Hotel 41, London SW1
Ben Dantzic, 27, Restaurant manager Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Perthshire
Shaun Dickens, 28, Head chef and farm manager, Fallowfields Hotel & Restaurant, Oxford
Joel Fagg, 26, general manager, Palace hotel, Buxton, Puma Hotels Collection
Sarah Frankland, 24, Head patissier, William Curley
Lucy Gregory, 29, Rooms division manager, Flemings hotel, London W1
Simon Houston, 28, Group manager Europe, BaxterStorey
Laura Hinson-Yates, 29, Cluster general manager, MK/Banbury & Northampton Clusters, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants
Catherine Lavin, 29, Director of finance, Liverpool City Centre and Preston Marriott
Claire Livingston, 29, General manager, Jurys Inn Edinburgh
Kerry Mabbley, 29, Head of ambassadors, the Springboard Charity
Fritz Müller, 26, Event and group manager, London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
Ryan Neill, 29, Executive chef, Devere Cameron House, Loch Lomond
Edouard Oger , 27, Head sommelier Gidleigh Park, Chagford
Assia Riccio-Smith , 27, Guest services manager, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
Adam Rowledge, 27, Rooms division manager, the Hempel, London SW1
Alan Shaw, 29, Finance director, De Vere Academy of Hospitality, Blackpool
Francesca Skeffington, 25, Senior events manager, Ampersand Events
Steven Smith, 29, Chef-patron, Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe
Charlie Williams, 27 , Private dining manager, the Lanesborough
Ben Woodward, 25, Front office manager, Lucknam Park hotel & spa, Colerne, Wiltshire
Stuart Yeates, 29, Regional revenue manager - UK South, Ireland & Prague, Jurys Inn
By James Stagg
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