Leonora Ramos Brebner from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Rosie Maguire from the University of Derby have won Young Guns 2017.
The two students, who are studying International Hospitality Management and Professional Culinary Arts respectively, were competing against six other finalists for the title, awarded by the Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME).
Young Guns is a competition open to students completing hospitality degrees, or degrees with hospitality focused modules, which include work experience as part of the programme. It gives students a chance to demonstrate their passion and drive, as well as the opportunity to get noticed by top employers.
Following a paper and video entry, Brebner and Maguire triumphed after a networking lunch held today at the RAF Club in London's Mayfair.
Brebner impressed the judges having spent a placement at Waccabuc Country Club in New York in the US where she was a rotational intern, earning a glowing reference from her employer there, who commended her on becoming a huge asset to the team in a short time.
Meanwhile Maguire spent her placement at Loews Portofino Bay hotel at Universal Orlando in Florida and won the Dean's award from the University of Derby on her return for her academic excellence and the feedback she received from the hotel. She is due to undertake a stage at Daniel Humm's Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York in June this year.
RAF Club chief executive and club secretary Miles Pooley presented the awards to the two winners in what was a very closely fought competition with little to separate the finalists.
Brebner and Maguire will receive assistance in gaining employment with a high-profile hospitality business, one year's membership for the Institute of Hospitality, and invitations to this year's Catey Awards, which take place on 4 July at London's Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel.
The Young Guns judges were: Liz Cave, director at Your Invisible Partner; Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality; Jackie Gilbert, vice president operation UK - midscale regional hotels at Accor; CH&Co communications director Andrew Merrett; Miles Pooley; Jane Sunley, chief executive officer and founder of Purple Cubed; Lexington Catering owner Tim West; and Neil Gerrard, associate editor at The Caterer.
Young Guns finalists
Leonora Ramos Brabner, Robert Gordon University
Jade Ephgrave, Leeds Beckett University
Daniel Hirst, Sheffield Hallam University
Dana Kanibolotska, Oxford Brookes University
Nicholas Louis Le Gal, Oxford Brookes University
Rosie Maguire, University of Derby
Yvette Moughton, Oxford Brookes University
Grant Sired-Hutson, Bournemouth University
Videos from The Caterer archives