The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) announced the three overall winners of its Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) at a celebratory dinner at the Rosewood London, on Friday evening.
They each scored the highest mark in one of three sections of the AAE, the kitchen, pastry and service. The winners were:
RACA Young Chef of the Year: Henry Wadsworth, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
RACA Young Pastry Chef of the Year: Elena Bockshecker, Harrods, London
RACA Young Waiter of the Year: Lewis Hunter, Gleneagles hotel, Aucheterarder, Perthshire.
The evening was hosted by Brian Turner, president of the RACA, and John Williams, chairman of the RACA. Williams said: "I hope that through the Annual Awards of Excellence we can motivate and inspire the industry's young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters to undertake a career of training first themselves, and then others; and to look outside the workplace to wider industry and opportunities."
The gala dinner also celebrated a further 20 talented young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, who successfully achieved the AAE 2017 in finals held in May and June. They were:
Olivia Catherine Burt, Fera at Claridge's, London
Samuel King, the Ritz London
Tom Waters, Bonhams restaurant, London
Fergus Wilford, Andre Garrett at Cliveden, Taplow, Berkshire
Harry Barber, Hakkasan. London
Alan Holloway, Claridge's, London
Mathilde Pilaete, Alfred Dunhill, London
Lauren Chappell, Cromlix hotel, Dunblane, Perthshire
James Dainton, André Garrett at Cliveden, Taplow, Berkshire
Piers Gibson-Birch, Luton Hoo hotel, near Luton, Bedfordshire
Karen Gruet, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
Ross Hunter, the Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire
Stefanie Obermayer, the Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire
Remi Orero, the Greenhouse, London
Charlotte Poynton, the Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye
Giuseppe Scudiero, the Ritz London
Antonella Sinisgallo, Roux at the Landau, Langham London
Alexander Sumerauer, the Ritz London
Gabriele Tarantola, the Ritz London
Thomas Wickens, the Berkeley hotel, London
The kitchen finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a vegetable based starter, using ingredients from a mystery box, where celeriac was the central component of the dish; four portions of a quail dish; turbot á la Normande plated on a flat; and their own modern interpretation of an English summer berry dish from the original entry task each candidate had prepared.
Pastry finalists had five and a half hours to produce 24 dipped chocolates with a ganache centre of their choice; a chocolate stand with a minimum of three flowers to incorporate the summer season; 12 individual savarins, soaked and finished as desired but using mixed summer fruits; and four portions of crepe soufflé.
Meanwhile, the service finalists were required to decant and describe wine to the judging panel, as well as set up and serve a three-course meal with wines and liqueurs to a table of two guest judges.
RACA Annual Awards of Excellence overall winners revealed >>
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