Final winners announced at the Annual Awards of Excellence 2019 Gala

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The best and most promising professionals in the UK hospitality industry were celebrated at Claridge's last night, where the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts held its Annual Awards of Excellence Gala. 

Launched in 1983, the Annual Awards of Excellence recognise Great Britain's most talented young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters.

In addition to the 18 young professionals who passed the examination, last night, an honorary candidate was selected in each category, becoming this year's young chef of the year, young pastry chef of the year and young waiter of the year. 

This year's young chef of the year is Dwayne Marcellin of HSBC Restaurant Associates; the young pastry chef of the year is Charles Parkins of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and the young waiter of the year award is Eleanor Dimes  of Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park. 

Dwayne Marcellin thanked his whole kitchen team for helping him see the

Dwayne Marcellin
Dwayne Marcellin

 examination through, "especially David Simms," who he called "an amazing guy." 

The next step, he said, will be "to move onto somewhere better and be the best [he] can. " 

Open to  professionals aged between 20 and 26, the Awards of Excellence were designed to inspire and encourage them to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession and to give them a leg up to become successful in their career.

To be successful, candidates had to attain a score of 70% or over in the tasks set and judged by honorary president, Jason Atherton, chef-patron of the Social Company, Martyn Nail, executive chef at Claridge’s in London and Hywel Jones, head chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park and chaired by John Williams MBE, executive chef at The Ritz London and chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

The finals saw service finalists set up and silver serve a 3-course meal, decant and describe wines to a table of two guest judges.

Then, kitchen finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter with ingredients from a mystery box with mackerel as a central component. Then they had to make four portions of their interpretation of a French trimmed rack of lamb; and finally a Savarin finished with Chantilly cream, strawberries and raspberries.

Pastry finalists  had five and a half hours to produce 15 vegan bonbons, 15 Swiss rochers, 15 marshmallow lollipops and an entremet-style christening cake that sat on a nougatine stand.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 13th July 2019

Final winners announced at the Annual Awards of Excellence 2019 Gala