Royal Academy of Culinary Arts announces overall Annual Award winners

15 July 2015 by
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts announces overall Annual Award winners

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) has announced its highest scorers at its Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) dinner, held last night, on 14 July, at Claridge's hotel in London.

The three overall winners were:

RACA Young Chef of the Year Dorian Janmaat, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

RACA Young Pastry Chef of the Year Gabriella Cugno, William Curley

RACA Young Waiter of the Year Thomas Borghi, the Ritz London

President of RACA Brian Turner and chairman John Williams announced the winners, who each received silver trophies (donated by Gordon Hogg and Finclass), Meyer cookware, MAC knives, a bursary worth £2,000 from the Savoy Educational Trust, and a day's work experience at Michelin-starred restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

The three highest scorers were chosen from a list of 35 young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters overall, who all received the RACA Award of Excellence 2015 after the finals held in May and June.

Chef candidates had five hours to produce a summer soup starter, using ingredients from a mystery box; turbot Á la Normande; a whole duck dish; and a modern interpretation of a raspberry millefeuille.

Pastry finalists had five and a half hours to produce two bÁ»ches de NoÁ«l; a sugar stand on which to display one of them, using any techniques across poured, pulled, blown cooked sugar, nougatine and/or royal icing; four portions of a fruit based verrine; and 20 petits fours using nougat de Montélimar.

Service finalists were asked to decant and describe wines to the judging panel, as well as set up and serve a three-course meal with wines and liqueurs.

The purpose of the awards is to inspire and encourage young professionals to achieve high standards in their chosen discipline. Last year's winners were Spencer Metzger (chef); Bianka Molnar (pastry); and Sandra Bein (waiter).

Founded in 1980, the Academy of Culinary Arts is a British professional association of head chefs, pastry chefs, restaurant managers and suppliers. It was gifted the "royal" title in 2013.

The event was sponsored by the Savoy Educational Trust; City & Guilds; the Maldon Crystal Salt Co; ACT Clean; FCSI (Foodservice Consultants Society International); L'Unico Caffe Musetti; Wedgwood; Champagne Laurent-Perrier; Speyside Glenlivet; James Knight of Mayfair; Fairfax Meadow; The Caterer; Continental Chef Supplies; Meyer and MAC.

Commenting on his overall kitchen win last year, chef Spencer Metzger said: "Winning the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts' Annual Award of Excellence was a turning point in my career. It opened new horizons for me and has given me the confidence and ambition to reach my full potential at this stage in my profession. I highly recommend all young chefs who are ambitious and determined to succeed to enter this competition."

Full list of winners


Stacey Harris KPMG Restaurant Associates

Aaron Middleton Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Theodore Selby Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Michael Thompson Fera at Claridge's


Jamie Butler Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Rebecca Gawn Bachmann's Patisserie

Roberto Guzzi the Langham hotel

Theresa Martinez the Park Lane hotel

Paul Maxwell - the Ritz London

Elisha Shek Yauatcha

Stephen Smith the Ritz London


Ferraro Ambrogio the Ritz London

Kevin Barbry Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Jonathan Boyer Luton Hoo

Enzo Buonocore the Ritz London

Andrea Caputo the Ritz London

Claudiu Gheorghita Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Manolo Giannico the Ritz London

Emily Goossens Northcote

Peter Ioannou Sea Containers at Mondrian London

Lucy Jones Chewton Glen hotel & spa

Michelle Maida-Re the Gleneagles hotel

Stanislas Mascaro the Waterside Inn

Louis Muller the Ritz London

Gabriela Murea Opus restaurant

Declan Nye Cliveden House hotel

Benjamin Sananes Le Gavroche

Jennifer Santner Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill

Christoph Schrottenbaum Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Klaus Schwebach the Gleneagles hotel

Ilias Skordilis the Gleneagles hotel

Jamie Tones Café 21

Lucy Yates the Gleneagles hotel

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