Pamela Debattista from the Ritz has been crowned the Savoy Gastronomes Olive Barnett winner for 2012.
In one of the tightest competitions in years she narrowly beat Hannah Sherwood from London Marriott and Marrisa Doel from First Protocol Management, who took the runners up spots.
Judge Virginia Masser said: "We've seen the highest standard of entries in the history of the competition and it has led to one of the tightest finals of all time, but the judges were unanimous that Pamela was a worthy winner. The Savoy Gastronomes want to thank all their sponsors and supporters for helping make this such a fantastic competition."
The award was introduced to reward excellence in front of house staff up to 30 years of age. It award has been running since the early 1970s and is named after Olive Barnett who conducted training within the Savoy Hotel for 50 years.
On winning the award, Debattista said: "I'm over the moon with my win and it really does mean the world to me. It'll help my career progression enormously. My fellow contestants were brilliant and a massive thanks to the judges for picking me and to Springboard for organising it all."
Springboard's chief executive Anne Pierce added: "The future of hospitality is in good hands if the calibre of these finalists is anything to go by. These talented people are really helping to put an exciting career in the industry firmly on the map."
The judging panel were:
Virginia Masser - Savoy Gastronomes
Paul Brackley - Savoy Gastronomes
Assia Riccio-Smith - last year's winner
Alain Nagier - EHL
By James Stagg
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