Industry heavyweights including Willy Bauer, Silvano Giraldin and Fred Sirieix have teamed up to launch a new restaurant service competition, a front-of-house equivalent to the Roux Scholarship, Caterer and Hotelkeeper can reveal.
The Gold Service Scholarship, which launches today, run in association with the Academy of Culinary Arts and the Academy of Food and Wine Service, is designed to promote excellence in restaurant service.
Backed by BaxterStorey, the scholarship is open to front-of-house staff from all areas of the of the hospitality industry - including restaurants, hotels, contract catering, licensed hospitality and clubs - aged between 22 and 30 years old.
The Gold Service Scholar will receive an unrivalled one-year mentoring programme, including one-on-one sessions with the scholarship's elite group of mentors as well as educational trips and stages at restaurants and hotels both in the UK and internationally.
Industry luminaries including Emmanuel Landre, general manager at Le Gavroche, Jesus Adorno, director at Le Caprice, and Edward Griffiths, deputy master of the household at Buckingham Palace, have all pledged their support of the competition.
The Gold Service Scholarship will be made up of four parts, including an initial online test of multiple choice questions and photo analysis as well as a series of practical tests in front of judges during regional finals. A group of six finalists will then receive a one-day masterclass from the mentors, before being asked to serve judges and invited guests at a special lunch during the competition's final next February.
Commenting on the launch of the Gold Service Scholarship, Willy Bauer, chairman of AB Hotels, said: "In years gone by it was the restaurant managers and not the chefs who were seen as the stars of the establishment but today the table has turned. The arrival of celebrity chefs and ever-growing popularity of TV cooking programmes have inspired many to join our industry but regretfully only a few choosing service as their career path.
"As a hotelier I appreciate that a successful restaurant is a delicate mixture of great food and great service and for many years it has been my ambition to create a special scholarship to excite young people to join the ranks of front of house professionals. I am delighted that we are now ready to launch with a great supporting team and as mentors our legacy will be to inspire enthusiasm and excitement as we pass on our knowledge to the next generation of stars."
Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of BaxterStorey and sponsor of the competition, added: "It's important that young people in Britain should aspire to a job in hospitality, which in most other countries is seen as a really important career.
"My dream for the scholarship is that it is inclusive, there are so many great mentors involved who are committed to encouraging aspiring young people to join the industry. Through entering the scholarship we can help them realise how much fun there is to be had and how much professionalism there is in this sector."
The deadline for entries to the Gold Service Scholarship is 19 November. For full details visit www.thegoldservicescholarship.co.uk.
Gold Service Scholarship Mentors:
Jesus Adorno, director, Le Caprice
Willy Bauer OBE, chairman, AB Hotels
John Davey, The John Davey Consultancy
Silvano Giraldin, director, Roux Restaurants
Edward Griffiths LVO, deputy master of the household, Buckingham Palace
Emmanuel Landre, general manager, Le Gavroche
Remy Lyse, chief operating officer, The Arts Club
Michael Newton-Young, owner, JMK Classic Catering
Sergio Rebecchi, director, Incognico/Quirinale
Fred Sirieix, general manager, Galvin at Windows
By Kerstin Kühn
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