The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence 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 2019.
The Annual Awards recognise and encourage 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.
Service Finalists were required to set up and silver serve a 3 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.
The 18 Winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence 2019 are…
- Thomas Gammella – The Woodspeen Restaurant & Cookery School
- Dawid Szczucki – Number One, The Balmoral Hotel
- Andrea Nuninger – Restaurant Coworth Park
- Mattia Marcelli – Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
- Eleanor Dimes – Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
- Sophie Heyer – The Strathearn, Gleneagles
- Kayleigh Thorogood – L’Enclume
- Miguel Blanco – The Ritz London
- Mariangel Victoria Padrón Franchy – The Vineyard Hotel and Spa
- Charles Parkins – Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons
- Lillian Savage – The Royal Household
- Ellie Smith – The Wolseley
- Lydia Uglow – Pretty Sweet
- Daniel Cornish – Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
- Charlie Crote – Allegra
- Rich Henderson – Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
- Dwayne Marcellin – HSBC Restaurant Associates
- Jamaar Semper-House – Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
Honorary President of the AAE 2019: JASON ATHERTON, Chef Patron, The Social Company
Chairman of the AAE: JOHN WILLIAMS MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London
Joint Chairmen of Kitchen: MARTYN NAIL, Executive Chef, Claridge’s and HYWEL JONES, Head Chef, Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
Joint Chairmen of Pastry: YOLANDE STANLEY MCA, The Pastry Training Company & SARAH HARTNETT, Pastry Consultant
Joint Chairmen of Service: SERGIO REBECCHI, Director, Serenata Hospitality and JOHN COUSINS, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company