The Caterer has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Acorn Scholarship, an independent development bursary award created by previous winners of The Caterer's Acorn Awards.
The final 10 shortlisted candidates will now prepare for their presentation slots in front of the scholarship judges to be held at Coworth Park in Berkshire on the 21 November 2016.
The finalists are:
• Alastair Linton, Amaranto manager, Four Seasons hotel, London
• Natalie Sefton-Fiddian, MPP, The Duke of Richmond, Guernsey (Red Carnation hotels)
• Andrew Muir, guest experience manager, Hotel 41, London, (Red Carnation hotels)
• Douglas Sanham, sous chef, The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells
• Rowan McFeat, executive housekeeping, Coworth Park, Berkshire, (Dorchester Collection)
• Lee Bye, head chef, Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk
• David Donnelly, new site openings operations manager, Premier Inn, St Andrews
• Paul Geissel, SLD program participant, The Savoy, London, (Fairmont)
• William Yarney, restaurant manager, The Woodford, London
• George Lee, assistant manager, The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells
With a prize worth more than £5,000, the 2017 Acorn Scholar will become part of a prestigious Acorn Scholarship alumni. The scholarship is now in its 14th year, and past winners include Simon Houston, now sales director of Bartlett Mitchell, award-winning chocolatier and patissier Will Torrent and Daniel McLoughlin, opening project manager of Shoda Café & Restaurant.
The judging panel who will interview the finalists face-to-face includes William Baxter, chairman of Hospitality Action; Sean Wheeler, director of people development - Principal Hotels; Laura Wigley, global director of learning and talent, Dorchester Collection; Moira Laird, human resources director, Valor Hospitality Partners; Ruston Toms, founding trustee of The PM Trust and director of Blue Apple Contract Catering, Hannah Horler, managing director of Cartwheel Recruitment; current Acorn Scholarship winner Charlotte Horler, front of house manager at the Red Carnation Hotel Collection's Montague on the Gardens and Jo Harley, managing director of PurpleCubed.
Harley commented: "As a people and talent specialist, I take on the role of coach for our winning scholar each year and the judges and I will be looking for a determinedly ambitious individual, and a leader of tomorrow with drive and passion for our diverse, fast-moving and exciting industry."
The competition presents a young manager, chef, HR manager, sommelier, or any young high-achiever involved in hospitality with the opportunity to make a name for themselves by presenting their skills and ambitions to some of the most respected names in the industry.
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