The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) has announced the seven finalists for its annual UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition.
The seven finalists are: Damien Bastiat, restaurant manager, Gidleigh Park, Devon; Michele Caggianese, restaurant and bar manager, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London (last year's runner-up); Nicolas Chesneau, restaurant manager, La Becasse, Ludlow, Shropshire; Shaun Corrigan, restaurants manager, the Grand Jersey; Markus Ludewig, restaurant manager, One Aldwych, London; Peter McAlister, brasserie manager, Malmaison Hotel, Belfast; and Paul Shanahan, assistant food and beverage director, Waldorf Astoria London Syon Park.
"We had such a high standard of entries this year that we have put a total of seven candidates through rather than six," said Sophie Roberts-Brown, executive director of the AFWS. "All of them were extremely impressive at the semi-finals - so we are in for an exciting final."
The contestants were put through to the final by a panel of judges including former Hotelier of the Year Jonathan Raggett, former Le Gavroche maitre d' Silvano Giraldin, and chair of judges Conor O'Leary, food and beverage manager of the Hyatt Regency London - the Churchill.
All seven will compete at the final of the event being held on 16 May at the Corinthia Hotel, London. The winning restaurant manager will receive a week-long trip to New York to complete a stage at one of Danny Mayer's Union Square Hospitality Group properties.
The Restaurant Manager of the Year competition is supported by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality and the Savoy Educational Trust and sponsored by OpenTable.
By Kerstin Kühn
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