Thirty of the brightest prospects in the hospitality industry under the age of 30 were presented with an Acorn Award today.
The youthful high-achievers were handed their awards, which are run in association with ACT Clean, at a celebration lunch held at Rockliffe Hall, County Durham.
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.
Designed to acknowledge flair and reward good work, each year the Acorns recognise 30 people under 30 who are nominated by their peers and colleagues for having made an impression in their field. This year, the talented group were invited to take part in an Acorn weekend on 9/10 June at Rockliffe Hall.
They arrived at the hotel on 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 challenges based on going back to school.
The groups undertook various classes, including painting, photography and PE, which took the form of human table football. There were also sports day races such as egg and spoon, before the Acorns relaxed at Rockliffe Hall's clubhouse for a barbecue of hog roast and lamb, finished off with classic school dinner dishes such as sticky toffee pudding and treacle sponge.
At today's formal proceedings Claridge's general manager Thomas Kochs gave an inspirational speech, sharing with the audience his experience of reaching the top of his profession and maintaining the exacting standards expected at the world renowned hotel.
ACT Clean founder and commercial director John Stevenson said: "We are delighted to have been able to continue our support of the Acorn Awards in 2013 and would like to extend our congratulations, not only to each and every winner, but also to those nominated. Each winner joins a very elite band of the highest achievers in our industry and should be very proud."
The 2013 Acorn Award winners are:
Chloe Banks, human resources manager, York Marriott Hotel
Alistair Birt, head chocolatier, William Curley, Richmond
Chris Broderick, general manager, Jurys Inn Hotel Group
Chris Convery, human resources manager, the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
Kristian Curtis, chef de partie, Simpson's Restaurant, Edgbaston
Sarah Drew, cluster learning & development manager, Hilton Gatwick Airport Hotel
Leigh Evans, head chef, The Chequers, Bath
Tara Farnham, business transformation manager, Guoman and Thistle Hotels, London
Mark Froydenlund, head chef, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London
Tiffany Goodall, sales, events & marketing manager, Bluebird Chelsea, D&D London
Adam Handling, head chef, Caxton Bar & Grill, St Ermin's Hotel, London
Daniel Hollett, director of sales & marketing, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Dean Jarvis, deputy foyer & reading room manager, Claridge's hotel, London
Jordan Kiziuk, chino latino brand manager EU, Chino Latino/PPHE Hotel Group
Laura Marlow, social events sales manager, London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
Alexis Meszoly, head sommelier, Skylon, D&D London
Stephen Mileham, director of sales and marketing, Crowne Plaza Marlow
Emily Perry, head of commercial development, Purple Cubed
Lin Pidsley, head chef, Hix Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis, Dorset
Jacqui Pilling, director of sales, Liverpool Marriott Hotel, Liverpool
Jamie Raftery, head chef, Lower Slaughter Manor, the Cotswolds
Emma Rogers, deputy general manager, Lexington Catering, London
Ewan Simpson, sous chef, Claridge's hotel, London
Hina Simpson, director of operations, Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh
Jonathan Taylor, general manager, the Embankment Hotel, Bedford
Stephanie Wade, sales & operations manager, Tennent's Training Academy, Glasgow
Scott Wakefield, general manager, Lexington Catering, London
Claire Whiteford, multi-property HR manager, Marriott Hotels, Aberdeen
Sarah Winterton, assistant client services manager, Portico Corporate Reception, London
Acorn Awards 2012 winners revealed >>
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Acorn Awards 2011 winners revealed >>