Academy of Culinary Arts names 2012 Awards of Excellence winners

19 September 2012 by
Academy of Culinary Arts names 2012 Awards of Excellence winners

Staff at the Ritz, Galvin at Windows and William Curley were the big winners at this year's Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence.

Ian Musgrave, chef de partie at the Ritz, won the young chef of the year award, with Romain Crozat, chef de rang at the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows, picking up the young waiter of the year title, and Melissa Paul, apprentice chef at William Curley, being named the young pastry chef of the year.

The three winners picked up prizes including a scholarship worth £2,000, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust, which will see them take a trip to the Cayman Islands, as well as a day's work experience at Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray.

The academy also awarded 10 young chefs and pastry chefs as well as 14 waiters with its Annual Award of Excellence accolade.

The finals for the respective disciplines were held at Le Gavroche, Gleneagles hotel in Auchterarder, Perthshire, and the University of West London.

Kitchen candidates had four-and-a-half hours to produce a sea trout starter using ingredients from a mystery box; short saddle of lamb with fondant potatoes, turned glazed carrots, peas and broad beans; and a modern interpretation of an Eton mess.

Pastry finalists had five hours to produce two entremets gâteaux comprising strawberry mousse and a minimum of three other components; petits fours using choux paste, sable paste and spon/dacquoise/joconde and a display piece to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the awards.

Service finalists were required to decant and describe wines to the judging panel and set up and serve a three-course meal with wines and liqueurs to a table of two guest judges.

Those who achieved the award are (in alphabetical order):


Jack Allibone, Simpsons Restaurant
Michael Hodges, the Ebury
Ben Howarth, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Danny Lee, Galvin La Chapelle
Ian Musgrave, the Ritz
Aaron Potter, Trinity Restaurant
Luke Selby, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Thomas Swanborough


Melissa Paul, William Curley
Diana Sedlakova, Chancery Court Hotel


Charles Beaini, the Hand and Flowers
Colett Becker, the Ritz
Matthew Busby, Gleneagles
Romain Crozat, Galvin at Windows
Benjamin Debloos, Le Gavroche
Gavin Jones, Rudding Park Hotel
Stuart McIvor, Galvin at Windows
Mhairi Mutch, Gleneagles
Joana Maria Pons Gari, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
Claire Ratcliffe, Le Gavroche
Swayam Roka, Gleneagles
Alexandre Sojfer, Le Gavroche
Stephanie Srey, Galvin at Windows
Jonathan Whitemore, Ellenborough Park Hotel

ACA names Annual Awards of Excellence finalists >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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