The Pig's Fu Jian Ting and New Forest Hotels' Chloe Lancaster were named as joint winners of the top Purple Umbrella Award at a ceremony held at the Savoy in London last week.
The awards are presented to talented chefs, staff, supervisors and managers for their commitment to lifelong learning and their achievements over the past 12–18 months.
Lancaster, who works as a commis chef apprentice at New Forest Hotels, was praised for her commitment to her personal development and that of others, her leadership skills and for achieving a distinction grade.
She said: "I feel ecstatic, I really wasn't expecting that. It means a lot to me and I'm very grateful to everybody who has supported me to date. It has been fantastic and really made a difference to my learning."
Ting, a commis chef apprentice from the Pig hotel in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, was named as the winner for his dedication to learning as well as his exceptional cooking ability. Ting also achieved a distinction grade and demonstrated his commitment to the development of his culinary skills.
He said: "I'm excited and still shaking to be honest. I didn't expect to win this. It has been brilliant and is another step to help me progress in my career."
Additionally, Harry Murray, chairman of Lucknam Park in Colerne, Wiltshire, received the Special Award for his contribution to the development of apprentices in the industry.
Umbrella Training founder and managing director Adele Oxberry said: "Apprenticeship schemes provide people with meaningful opportunities to develop the skills and experience needed for a fulfilling and exciting career in hospitality. That's why the incredible level of talent on display among this year's Purple Umbrella Awards finalists and winners was so exciting and inspiring. We are immensely proud of everyone."
Purple Umbrella Award winners
- Best Chef Apprentice level 2 – Thomas Marriage, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
- Best Chef Apprentice level 3 – Benjamin Garnett-Sinclair, CH&Co
- Best Hospitality Team Member Apprentice – Alice Hockley, the Pig, Home Grown Hotels
- Best Hospitality Supervisor Apprentice – Aimee Reddick, AB Hotels
- Best Hospitality Manager Apprentice – Gabor Nagyvaradi, RAF Club
- Best Departmental and Operations Manager Apprentice – Selven Armoogum, Firmdale Hotels
- Best Learning & Development Apprentice – Katrina Brandt, Park Plaza Hotels Europe
- Best Apprentice (a non-Umbrella learner) – Charlotte Clarke, Kew Green Hotels
- Best Alumni Apprentice – Monika Soti, Rosewood London
- Special award – Harry Murray, Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire
- Purple Umbrella Award – Fu Jian Ting, the Pig, Brockenhurst, Hampshire
- Purple Umbrella Award – Chloe Lancaster, New Forest Hotels