Following an extraordinary number of entries this year, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is proud to announce the names of the 21 Winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence 2018.
The AAE is not a competition rather an examination where all or none of the candidates could achieve the Award depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges. All those who successfully reach this standard win the AAE. In addition, 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 2018.
The Annual Awards of Excellence 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 600 young professionals have achieved the Award, setting them off on highly successful career paths.
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.
To participate in the AAE is a great learning experience in itself. To achieve the Award, 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.
Kitchen Finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter, using ingredients from a mystery box, where crab was the central component and had to shine through; four portions of a classic Alain Ducasse pigeon dish; roast squab pigeon, pommes dauphine and diable sauce plated on a flat; and finally their own modern interpretation of an gooseberry dessert from the entry task each candidate had previously prepared.
Pastry Finalists had five and a half hours to produce 12 allumettes, 16 dipped chocolates with a raspberry ganache centre of their choice; 16 sable tartlets and 16 creative financiers, and finally a sugar stand with a flower to incorporate the theme of a summer fairground.