Lisa Jenkins

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

Premium Supplier 27th July 2022
Lisa Jenkins


The leading lights of the hospitality industry came together on Monday 25th July at Rosewood London to celebrate the winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE). The evening was hosted by John Williams MBE, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Sergio Rebecchi Chairman of Service for the Annual Awards of Excellence. The candidate who scored the highest mark in each section was announced as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the year: 

KITCHEN: Thomas Fenemer, Junior Sous Chef at The Newt in Somerset 

PASTRY: Caitlin Walsh, Pastry Chef de Partie at Harrods, London 

SERVICE: Daniela Mayer, Assistant Restaurant Manager, at The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland 

The Gala Dinner also celebrated a further 28 talented young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, who successfully achieved the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence 2022 in finals held in May and June (full list in editors notes).

To achieve the award candidates had to attain a score of over 70% in the tasks set and judged by industry luminaries chaired by John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London, and Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (see end for full list of judges). 

Daniela Mayer, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel said:
“I feel extremely excited! After all the rounds of the competition, I was of course hoping to win but certainly didn’t expect it, so when it was announced it was such a shock to the system and I feel very honoured to be named Young Waitress of the Year.” 

Caitlin Walsh, Pastry Chef De Partie, Harrods said:
“I’m so shocked, but very grateful. I didn’t expect to be awarded Young Pastry Chef of the Year, but I’m completely honoured and beyond happy. 

“Being here at the Rosewood is amazing and the whole AAE process was a testing and rewarding experience. I never pictured anything like this happening in my career and would encourage anyone to enter the competition!” 

Thomas Fenemer, Junior Sous Chef, The Newt in Somerset said:
“I feel really excited, can’t wait to get back to the kitchen and show the youngsters what I’ve done and hopefully encourage them to get them to get back on it next year - I’m really proud and grateful to the Academy for the opportunity.” 

John Williams, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts said:
“The Annual Awards of Excellence provides a much-needed opportunity to showcase the exemplary talent of our brightest young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters working throughout our culinary and hospitality industries. I hope that by taking part in the process, all candidates are motivated and inspired to continually better themselves through training and experiences, and then pass their knowledge onto others as they progress through their careers.” 

Richard Larkin, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts said:
“The Annual Awards of Excellence remains the essence of the Academy’s education philosophy and was, in 1983 when it was launched, the first of the Academy’s many initiatives that have raised the bar and set standards for the industry over the past three decades.” 

Kitchen Finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter, using ingredients from a mystery basket, where globe artichoke and poached egg were the central components and had to shine through; a single salmon en croute following a recipe; and finally four portions of their own interpretation of a strawberry vegan dessert. 

Pastry Finalists had five and a half hours to produce 30 canapes, comprising of 10 millefeuille, 10 sweet bouches and 10 savoury bouches; six verrines suitable for vegans and containing seasonal fruits; and finally two Sacher Torte following a recipe from the late Professor John Huber. 

Service Finalists were tested in their mise en place, silver service skills filleting a dover sole, and decanting and describing wines, to a table of two guest judges.

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