Annual Awards of Excellence 2015 finalists announced

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd April 2015
The finalists have been announced for the Annual Awards of Excellence 2015 following nine semi-finals around the UK. 47 candidates have successfully reached the standard of excellence required by The Royal Academy of Culinary Art. The AAE is the most prestigious award available to young professionals in the hospitality industry today, recognising and encouraging the most talented ambitious Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Waiters.  Since it began in 1983 over 480 young professionals have achieved the award, setting them off on highly successful career paths.


  • Viktorija Bernataviciute - The Elephant Restaurant
  • Stacey Harris - KPMG Restaurant Associates
  • Danny Hoang - Colette's Restaurant
  • Dorian Janmaat - Belmond  Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Robin McCrindle - Chez Roux Restaurant at Cromlix House
  • Aaron Middleton - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Richard Pascoe - Feversham Arms Hotel
  • Theodore Selby - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Michael Thompson - Fera at Claridge's
  • Tom Waters - Odette's Restaurant
  • Peter Webster - Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
  • Hannah Westphalen - Lexington Catering
Kitchen semi-final tasks: For the kitchen semi-finals, which took place at the University of West London, University College Birmingham and the Bournemouth & Poole College, candidates were required to undertake the following tasks: a theory test; a one hour skills test including preparing an omelette aux fines herbs, preparing a trout, and preparing vegetables brunoise and julienne; trout en papillote; osso bucco milanese; and chocolate éclairs.


  • Jamie Butler - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'SaisonsBournemouth & Poole Graduation Dinner - Andrew Plant photography
  • Gabriella Cugno - William Curley
  • Rebecca Gawn - Bachmann's Patisserie
  • Roberto Guzzi - The Langham hotel
  • Theresa Martinez - The Park Lane hotel
  • Paul Maxwell - The Ritz London
  • Elisha Shek - Yauatcha
  • Stephen Smith - The Ritz London
  • Jess Thorne - The Mason Arms
Pastry semi-final tasks: For the Pastry semi-finals, which took place at University of West London and University College Birmingham, candidates were required to produce puff pastry and present apple turnovers, eccles cakes and fleurons; an Easter gateau/cake; and chocolate snacking bars.


  • Ferraro Ambrogio - The Ritz London
  • Kevin Barbry - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Thomas Borghi - The Ritz London
  • Jonathan Boyer - Luton Hoo
  • Enzo Buonocore - The Ritz London
  • Andrea Caputo - The Ritz London
  • Claudiu Gheorghita - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
  • Manolo Giannico - The Ritz London
  • Alex Golding - Rudding Park
  • Emily Goossens - Northcote
  • Peter Ioannou - Sea Containers at Mondrian London
  • Lucy Jones - Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
  • Owen Haydn Jones - The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Michelle Maida-Re - The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Stanislas Mascaro - The Waterside Inn
  • Louis Muller - The Ritz London
  • Gabriela Murea - Opus Restaurant
  • Declan Nye - Cliveden House Hotel
  • Benjamin Sananes - Le Gavroche
  • Jennifer Santner - Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill
  • Christoph Schrottenbaum - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
  • Klaus Schwebach - The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Ilias Skordilis - The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Ross Teven - The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Jamie Tones -  Café 21
  • Lucy Yates - The Gleneagles Hotel
Service semi-final tasks: For the Service semi-finals, which took place at The Ritz London and The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland, candidates were required to sit a one hour theory paper which tested their knowledge on a range of food and beverage service aspects and were interviewed by the judges about their establishments menu and wine list.


The Service finals will take place at Le Gavroche on Saturday 16th May and The Gleneagles Hotel on Monday 26th May; Kitchen and Pastry finals will take place at the University of West London on Wednesday 3rd June.


  • Honorary President of the AAE 2015: HESTON BLUMENTHAL OBE, Chef Patron, The Fat Duck
  • Chairman of the AAE: JOHN WILLIAMS MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London
  • Chairmen of Kitchen: MARTYN NAIL, Executive Chef, Claridge’s and ADAM BYATT, Chef Patron, Trinity
  • Chairmen of Pastry: YOLANDE STANLEY MCA, Lecturer in Patisserie, Westminster Kingsway College and SARAH HARTNETT, Head Pastry Chef, The Park Lane Hotel
  • Chairmen of Service: SERGIO REBECCHI and JOHN COUSINS, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd April 2015

Annual Awards of Excellence 2015 finalists announced