Two winners of the Réunion des Gastronomes President's Award have been named this year after the judges struggled to split the finalists.
Alexandros Kaloudas, restaurant manager at the Hilton Bankside, London, and Gabor Nagyvaradi, assistant conference and banqueting manager at the RAF Club in London were both named as winners at an awards ceremony on 1 November at the Réunion's annual banquet at the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London.
They were presented with trophies by Gastronome and guest speaker Chris Moore, chief executive of the Clink Charity, alongside the Réunion president Wallace Vincent. Both winners become an associate member of the Réunion for two years and receive invitations to attend up to five Gastronome events, as well as being supported in a range of industry-based development activities.
Alison Frith, vice president of the Réunion and one of the judges, said: "Each of our winners impressed us with their passion for our industry, their eagerness to develop their careers, and willingness to make contributions to the industry though the opportunities provided by the award".
Theresa Maw, another member of the panel, added: "Both Alexandros and Gabor inspired and impressed the panel. They each have shown strong leadership, and clearly have the ambition to succeed at a high level in our fabulous industry. Both are role models and very much deserve this prestigious award".
Chairman of the judging panel, John Cousins, said: "Once again we have been seriously impressed by the achievement in our industry, and keenness to progress further, that both winners displayed. Because of this, we had no hesitation in recommending two awards this year".
The judging panel comprised: Alison Frith, managing director of the Artizian Group, and vice president of the Réunion; Serge Pradier, director of food and beverage, the RAF Club, and immediate past president, and hospitality consultant Theresa Maw.