Almost quarter of a century has passed since Caterer first started recognising the brightest talent in the hospitality industry with the Acorn Awards.
In that time, only 720 people who work in hospitality and tourism have ever earned the right to attach the words "Acorn Award Winner" to their CV, in a sector that employs almost two million.
Many of those, including such stellar names as Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing and Michael Caines, have gone on to become major figures in their industry.
So the winners of the 2011 awards, the 25th ceremony since the Acorns were originally conceived in 1986, will be in very distinguished company.
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.
Tracey Rogers, managing director of Unilever Foodsolutions, said: "For us, the Acorn Awards mean more than applauding the industry's outstanding talent. By rewarding true ability, creativity and dedication, we can help to boost young careers and keep them loyal to the sector."
Next year, those who succeed will be invited to take part in an Acorn weekend on 22-23 May at the newly-opened Coworth Park, a luxury hotel in Berkshire that is part of the Dorchester Collection. Coworth Park boasts not one but two former winners in its ranks - general manager Zoë Jenkins and John Campbell, who runs his eponymous restaurant within the 70-bedroom property.
Entrants from all sections of the hospitality industry - from pubs and restaurants to hotels, bars, food service and contract catering - are welcome, and you can make your nominations online today.
2011 acorn sponsor message
Acorn Awards 2011 sponsor's statement by Tracey Rogers, managing director of Unilever Foodsolutions
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Acorn Awards and we're especially excited because the celebrations will be bigger than ever.
Each year, the Acorn Awards create a fantastic opportunity to reward the skills and dedication of 30 individuals working in the industry, while recognising past winners who have entered the Acorns' hall of fame.
It is of upmost importance to Unilever Foodsolutions that we continue to inspire our customers and those that bring great skills, commercialism and aptitude to the industry. We love what we do and we want others to share our passion, which is why we have sponsored the Acorn Awards since its inception in 1986.
The next couple of years will be key for everyone working in hospitality, so we must encourage and keep the great young talent we have, whilst also attracting rising new stars. This is a great way to say thank you to 30 exceptional individuals who are making an incredible contribution to our industry and yet are still so early on in their careers.
I have no doubt that this year's nominees will show an impressive degree of creativity and will be an inspiration to their peers. I wish them the very best of luck in this very special year and look forward to meeting the winners at the exclusive Coworth Park next year.