Laura Amos has been crowned the 2017 ACE Robyns Award winner at the Association of Catering Excellence's (ACE) annual summer party at ZSL London Zoo.
Amos, catering manager at CH&Co Group's venue and visitor attraction catering business Ampersand, was declared the overall winner at the event in front of 250 hospitality guests.
Marta Pegram from Lexington, Sam Roth from BaxterStorey and Rebecca Cupitt from Lusso were also highly commended.
Amos is catering manager for Ampersand at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, responsible for a range of catering functions including the Café at the Palace and formal receptions and events. In 2016 her innovative approach in the Café realised an increase in afternoon tea sales by 400% and her customer numbers were up by 30,000. She is respected by her client, customers and team for her verve, forward-thinking, innovative marketing ideas, commitment to ensuring first-class experiences across a range of catering functions, and her commitment to developing her team.
The other finalists were Sonia Carvalho of Restaurant Associates, Amanda Cox of Sodexo, Nicolé du Preez of Restaurant Associates, Teresa Gohil of Amadeus, Christopher Howard-Kraft of Blue Apple, Rob Simmons of BaxterStorey, Miguel Teixeira of Bartlett Mitchell, Adam Thomason of Restaurant Associates and David Touizer of CH&Co Group.
Tim Jones, chairman of CH&Co Group, who co-founded CH&Co with his late wife Robyn, and ACE Robyns Award judge, said: "The overall winner is someone that typifies Robyn's drive, passion and attention to detail and the judges found this in Laura Amos. She excels in her role, as the results and client feedback clearly show, and contributes significantly to both the success of the business and her team members. She is a deserved winner who should be very excited about what the future holds."
Paul Hurren, chair of ACE and winner of this year's Foodservice Caterer Award at the Cateys, added: "It's very important to recognise the young talent in our industry. They are, after all, our leaders of tomorrow. It's crucial that they're engaged, inspired and supported in their pursuit of a fulfilling and successful hospitality career. The ACE Robyns Award is a key part of ACE's work in this field."
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