The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts has announced the 18 winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) 2019.
The AAE is more of an examination than a competition where all or none of the candidates could achieve the award depending on their ability to attain the standard set by the judges. The candidate scoring the highest marks in their section is named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef or Young Waiter 2019.
The awards recognise and encourage the most talented ambitious chefs, pastry chefs and waiters. Since it began in 1983, over 600 young professionals have achieved the award.
The purpose of the awards is to inspire and encourage young professionals to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession – kitchen, pastry or service – and to offer them clear guidelines for success in their career.
Candidates had to attain a score of over 70% in the tasks set and judged by industry luminaries and chaired by John Williams MBE, executive chef, The Ritz London and chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
Service finalists were required to set up and silver serve a three-course meal and decant and describe wines, to a table of two guest judges.
Kitchen finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter, using ingredients from a mystery box, where mackerel was the central component and had to shine through; four portions of their own modern interpretation of a French trimmed rack of lamb from the entry task each candidate had previously prepared; and finally a single 20cm savarin finished with Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries and raspberries.
Pastry finalists were given the theme of a christening and had five and a half hours to produce 15 vegan bonbons (moulded chocolate with ganache) and 15 Swiss rochers. Accompanying these candidates needed to produce 15 marshmallow lollypops and a 20cm christening cake entremet style that sat on top of a nougatine stand.
The winners are as follows:
Thomas Gammella, The Woodspeen Restaurant & Cookery School
Dawid Szczucki, Number One, The Balmoral Hotel
Andrea Nuninger, Restaurant Coworth Park
Mattia Marcelli, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
Eleanor Dimes, Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
Sophie Heyer, The Strathearn, Gleneagles
Kayleigh Thorogood, L’Enclume
Miguel Blanco, The Ritz London
Mariangel Victoria Padrón Franchy, The Vineyard Hotel and Spa
Charles Parkins, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons
Lillian Savage, The Royal Household
Ellie Smith, The Wolseley
Lydia Uglow, Pretty Sweet
Daniel Cornish, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
Charlie Crote, Allegra
Rich Henderson, Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
Dwayne Marcellin, HSBC Restaurant Associates
Jamaar Semper-House, Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park