Twenty-four young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters have achieved the Academy of Culinary Arts' Annual Award following finals at Thames Valley University, London's Le Gavroche and Gleneagles in Auchterarder.
The awards, now in their 26th year, require candidates to achieve a score of more than 70% in tasks set and judged by industry luminaries chaired by John Williams, executive chef of the Ritz and chairman of the Academy of Culinary Arts.
Kitchen finalists had five hours to produce four dishes including whole baked sea bream with fennel, shellfish velouté, pomme mousseline and petit pois à la Française, while pastry finalists had five hours to create a chocolate centrepiece, a gateaux Opéra and hot cross buns
The service finalists were required to decant and describe a wine to the judges, and set up and serve a three-course meal with wine and liqueurs to a table of two guests.
The three finalists who achieved the highest scores in the awards were James Mitchell of London's Royal Automobile Club in the kitchen; Alistair Birt of Tummies Bistro, Berkshire, in pastry; and Celia Vaughns of Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton Park Lane, in service.
Honorary President of the Awards, Heston Blumenthal, chef proprietor of the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck, said: "It is great to see so many talented and ambitious young people, who are the future of our industry, working so hard to achieve this prestigious award.
"I was really impressed with the overall standard and would like to personally congratulate all those who took part."
The finalists who successfully achieved the award were:
Kitchen Richard Broom, Claridge's, London
Oliver Farrar, Artisan Restaurant, The Westbury Hotel, London
James Mitchell, Royal Automobile Club, London
Ben Ternent, Opus Restaurant, Birmingham
Zac Whittle, Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Park Lane
Pastry Lucie Bennett, William Curley, London
Alistair Birt, Tummies Bistro, Berkshire
Daniel Fineder, Claridge's, London
Brett Pistorius, Mallard, Cheshire
Marco Rangoni, Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, London
Eleni Tzirki, The Ritz, London
Service Vanessa Alfano, Deseo Restaurant, The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Andrea Asciamprener, Franco's, London
Matteo Buso, Strathearn Restaurant, The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Ravi Chinian, Royal Society of Arts, London
Christophe Cormier, The Ritz, London
Fausto Giorlando, Le Gavroche, London
Paul Huet, Le Gavroche, London
Angelos Kyroussis, Strathearn Restaurant, The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Victoria Payne, Artisan Restaurant, The Westbury Hotel, London
Paolo Scano, Strathearn Restaurant, The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Charles Segond, Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Park Lane
Celia Vaughns, Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Park Lane
By Kerstin Kühn
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