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Annual Awards of Excellence Winners Announced

The winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) were announced on Friday 12th July, at a black tie event hosted by Brian J. Turner CBE, President, and John Williams MBE, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

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: Dwayne Marcellin, Chef de Partie at HSBC Restaurant Associates, London
  • Pastry: Charles Parkins, Commis Chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton
  • Service: Eleanor Dimes, Head Waitress at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Chippenham

The gala dinner at Claridge’s also celebrated a further 18 young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, who successfully achieved the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence 2019 in finals held in May and June.

To achieve the award, candidates had to attain a score of over 70% in the tasks set and judged by a panel chaired by John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London, and Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

John Williams, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: “I hope that through the Annual Awards of Excellence we can motivate and inspire the industry’s young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters to undertake a career of training first themselves, and then others; and to look outside the workplace to wider industry and opportunities.”

Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, 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.”

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.

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