Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Announces Winners

The winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence 2014 have been announced by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, with staff at many of London’s most prestigious restaurants and hotels leading the way.
Following finals held at the likes of Le Gavroche, The Connaught Hotel, Westminster Kingsway College and the University of West London, the academy handed out awards to various front and back of house employees working in catering and hospitality jobs across the country.
Split into three categories of kitchen, pastry and service, candidates had to perform tasks and achieve a score of over 70 per cent from the judging panel, which included John Williams MBE, executive chef at The Ritz London and chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
Kitchen finalists were given five hours to come up with a lobster starter, followed by a salad or broth dish using mystery ingredients, a saddle of mutton and finally a modern version of a rhubarb and custard dessert.
Pastry chefs had five and a half hours to make two gateaux fraisiers, a wedding themed sugar/isomalt stand and 12 individual savarins, as well as 12 petits fours French style macarons.
Meanwhile, front of house staff were asked to decant and describe wines, and set up and serve a three course meal with wines and liqueurs.
Among the winners were Adam Chambers at Café 21 in Newcastle, Daniel Harrison at Strathearn Restaurant at The Gleneagles Hotel and Stephen Garrod at Park Restaurant at Lucknam Park Hotel, as well as various staff at London heavy hitters The Ritz and Le Gavroche.
Other awards went to employees at the likes of Claridge's, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, William Curley Pâtissier Chocolatier, Restaurant Associates and Yauatcha in London.
All the winners will be invited to accept their prizes at a gala dinner on 16th July at Claridge’s, with the highest scoring candidates in each category being given special trophies as well as travel scholarships.
By Owen Mckeon
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