The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts has announced the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence 2014, and includes winners from some of the industry's most iconic hotels and restaurants such as Le Gavroche, the Ritz and Claridge's.
The award is given to candidates who achieve a score of over 70% in the tasks set, in front of industry judges chaired by John Williams, executive chef at the Ritz London and chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
Finals were held at Le Gavroche, The Connaught Hotel, University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College.
There are three categories: kitchen, pastry and service. Kitchen had five hours to produce a lobster starter using ingredients from a mystery box; a saddle of mutton dish for the Prince of Wales (patron of the AAE); and their own version of rhubarb and custard.
Pastry finalists were asked to create two gateaux frasiers; a wedding-themed sugar/isomalt stand; 12 individual savarins and 12 French-style macaron petits fours.
The service tasks comprised setting up and serving a three course meal with wines and liqueurs for two guest judges, and decanting and describing wines before the judging panel.
The chairmen of the kitchen category were Martyn Nail, executive chef at Claridge's; and Adam Byatt, chef patron of Trinity. The chairman of pastry was Yolande Stanley, lecturer in patisserie at Westminster Kingsway College, while the chairmen of Service were Sergio Rebecchi and John Cousins, director of the Food and Beverage Training Company.
All winners are invited to a gala dinner at Claridge's on 16 July, while the highest scorer in each category will also be presented with a trophy and prizes including a travel scholarship.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts was founded in 1980 as the professional association of head chefs, pastry chefs, restaurant managers and suppliers. It seeks to raise standards and awareness of food, cooking and service, including through career development, and was granted the "royal" epithet in 2013. Its honorary president for 2014 is chef Heston Blumenthal, of the Fat Duck, and Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in London.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
KITCHEN Rosie Angus Coutts, The Strand
Adam Bateman, Restaurant Associates
Martin Carabott, Royal Automobile Club
Oliver Downey, Le Gavroche
Spencer Metzger, The Ritz London
Tom Phillips, The Ritz London
PASTRY Jamie Houghton, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Aisha Ibrahim, Hakkasan Mayfair
Sam Leatherby, London Hilton on Park Lane
Rhiann Mead, William Curley Pâtissier Chocolatier
Bianka Molnar, Yauatcha, London
Marco Pagos, Yauatcha, London
Steven Sherry, William Curley Pâtissier Chocolatier
Kae Shibata, The Ritz London
SERVICE Sandra Bein, Le Gavroche
Julia Brandacher, Outlaw's at the Capital
Valentina Carbone, Restaurant Associates
Adam Chambers, Café 21, Newcastle
James Dougan, The Waterside Inn
Steven Driscoll, Koffmann's at The Berkeley
Marina Emms, The Arts Club, Dover Street
Stephen Garrod, Park Restaurant, Lucknam Park Hotel
Daniel Harrison, Strathearn Restaurant, The Gleneagles Hotel
Manuel Marchetti, Galvin at Windows
Nicola Mognol, Le Gavroche
Stefano Parolin, The Ritz London
Zoe Simonneaux, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Doriane Stadelmann, Le Gavroche
Aurelien Torresan, Le Gavroche
Wouter Van Giel, Claridge's
Nicholas Winfield, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons