Peter Avis, restaurant manager at Babylon Restaurant at the Roof Gardens, London, has scooped the Academy of Food & Wine's prestigious Dalmore Award for Excellence, given to an outstanding personality in the hospitality industry.
Avis who earlier this year became UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2009, was presented with a bottle of the rare, award-winning 40-year-old highland malt whisky, The Dalmore 40, worth over £1,200, by sponsor Whyte & Mackay.
"It has been an amazing year so far," said Avis adding, " I've also just returned from doing a ‘stage' at Danny Meyer's restaurant group in New York for winning Restaurant Manager of the Year. This accolade, and my time in New York, has really inspired me to keep moving forward with my team and the restaurant and made me realise how much I enjoy working in this amazing industry."
Liverpool-born Peter, 34, was praised for his complete dedication to the role of restaurant manager, his enthusiasm for service and his ability to inspire and lead his team.
"He has been a great supporter of the Academy and his dedication to the role of restaurant manager and the industry as a whole is an example we hope others follow in the future - he's a fantastic ambassador for this industry," said David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director of the Goring hotel, London, announcing the award
The award was part of the Academy's Annual Awards for Excellence, held last Thursday 24 September at London's Butchers' Hall.
The full list of award winners:
The Dalmore Award for Excellence
Sponsored by Whyte & Mackay
Awarded to an outstanding personality. Presented with a bottle of the award-winning whisky The Dalmore 40, worth over £1,200.
Winner: Peter Avis, restaurant manager, Babylon Restaurant at the Roof Gardens
Company of the Year Award 2009 Awarded to a company that has worked to raise the profile and standards of front-of-house service.
Winner: Rex Restaurant Group
College of the Year Award 2009 Awarded to a college that stands out in providing young people in our industry with outstanding support and encouragement.
Winner: South Trafford College, received by Kay Johnson, head of hospitality, tourism & aviation
The Virgin Rising Star Award
Sponsored by Virgin Limited Edition
Awarded to an up and coming star of the industry. The winner receives a ‘stage' at the Roof Gardens, London.
Winner: Alessandro Valvo, Royal Automobile Club
The Savoy Educational Trust Sommelier Scholarship 2009
Sponsored by The Savoy Educational Trust
This travel scholarship goes to someone who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the art of sommellerie. Winner receives work experience at the vineyards and wineries of Feudi di San Gregorio in Campania.
Winner: Laura Rhys, head sommelier, Hotel TerraVina, Hampshire (winner of the Academy of Food & Wine's UK Sommelier of the Year 2009)
The Philip Thornton Award
Sponsored by The Savoy Educational Trust
This award was launched in 2005 in memory of Philip Thornton LVO, past trustee of The Savoy Educational Trust. It is given to someone who, like Philip, understands and promotes the role of food service in the hospitality business. The winner will be given work experience at the Andaz hotel, London.
Winner: Andrew Sargent, University College, Birmingham
The Wines of Germany Travel AwardSponsored by Wines of Germany
Awarded to the candidate who submitted the best answers to a series of questions on the wines of Germany. The winner joins a trip in 2010 to a wine fair in Germany and visit to a number of top producers.
Winner: Patrick Salles, head sommelier, Fifth Floor Restaurant, Harvey Nichols, London
The New Zealand Winegrowers Award
Sponsored by the New Zealand Winegrowers
Given to the entrant who submitted the most comprehensive and imaginative answers to a series of questions on New Zealand wines and an essay question on how to drive sales. The winner of this award receives a mixed case of New Zealand wine and a copy of the Michael Cooper Wine Atlas.
Winner: Agustin Trapero, sommelier, Randolph Hotel, Oxford
Ramos Pinto Travel Award
Sponsored by Ramos Pinto
The winner submitting the best answers to a series of wine questions will travel to the Douro Valley, Portugal, to explore the quintas of Ramos Pinto.
Winner: Bastian Fischer, sommelier, Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Winchester
Honorary Fellowships for 2009
These are awarded to senior members of the industry who have an outstanding commitment to craft skills training and the encouragement of young people in the industry.
Recipients: Govert Deketh, general manager, London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch; Frederic Billet, food & beverage director, The Marylebone Hotel, London; Christian Horvath, general manager, RAC Pall Mall Clubhouse, London.
By Emily Manson
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