The finalists for the 2019 Gold Service Scholarship have now been announced.
Following a series of interviews and performance tasks over the past few months, the trustees and judges whittled down 100 candidates to 40, with the semi-finals held in November in London then determining who should make the final eight.
Edward Griffiths, chairman of the judges, said the excellence among each candidate this year was particularly outstanding. He said: “The level of enthusiasm and expertise among the semi-finalists made the task quite challenging to whittle down the list to just eight finalists. Each year, we note the very high quality of candidates from hotels, restaurants, private clubs and many other service establishments from across the country. Our goal is to identify and encourage these young people to grow within the hospitality industry, and we are delighted with the group of eight making it to the final this year.”
The eight finalists represent broad backgrounds and expertise, and hail from London and beyond, into Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Scotland.
They are as follows:
George Austin, Maître d’Hotel – Annabel’s, London
Lauren Chappell, Assistant Restaurant Manager – Cromlix Hotel, Kinbuck, Sterling, Scotland
James Dainton, Assistant Restaurant Manager – The Northall, Corinthia Hotel London
Tiziano de Mattia, Assistant Restaurant Manager – Hide, London
Eleanor Dimes, Junior Head Waitress – Lucknam Park Hotel, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Karen Gruet, Assistant Restaurant Manager – Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford
Laura Schlegel, Head Waitress – Dinner by Blumenthal, London
Alexander Sumerauer, First Head Waiter – The Ritz, London
The final of the Gold Service Scholarship competition will take place on 21 January 2019 at Corinthia Hotel London, where eight candidates will vie for the winning Scholar accolade.
That result will be announced and presented on 4 February 2019 at Claridge’s.
The winning scholar will receive an array of prizes, including placements at a leading international hotel, as well as at prestigious UK restaurants and at a Buckingham Palace State Visit, in addition to ongoing mentoring from the Trustees.
All of the finalists will enjoy European wine tours and ‘stages’ at top restaurants, and will join the recently launched Team Gold, a forum for networking and communication which had its most recent event at Brown’s Hotel with Sir Rocco Forte who shared his insights at a dinner and an ‘In Conversation’ presentation.
The Scholarship was launched in 2012 with the programme designed to celebrate the craft of service in F&B and front-of-house and nurtures the young talent through tailored mentoring.
The winner of the Gold Service Scholarship last year was Michael Staub from the Rosewood London.