An array of service professionals have launched The Gold Service Scholarship - a new UK scholarship for front-of-house professionals in a bid to inspire a new generation of young people to make a career out of front-of-house hospitality.
Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin at Windows; Willy Bauer, chairman of AB Hotels and John Davey from his eponymous restaurant consultancy are among those behind the scholarship, which is open now for anybody working in any area of hospitality front-of-house service, aged between 22 and 30.
"Service and front of house professionals have long awaited a deserved recognition,” said Sirieix, who last year launched The Art of Service - a board game to help restaurateurs and hoteliers train their staff to deliver the very best service.
“I hope that this scholarship will not only help raise the industry's profile but inspire a new generation to join the hospitality world."
Gold Service competiton
Backed by BaxterStorey and organised in conjunction with The Academy of Culinary Arts and The Academy of Food and Wine Service, The Gold Service Scholarship will see candidates participate in a four-part competition with the winner receiving a year of mentoring; educational training, travel and work experience.
The first is an online test comprising multiple-choice questions and simple photo analysis; the second phase involves candidates meeting the judges, performing some basic service tasks and answering more questions to assess their approach and potential.
Finalists will then receive a one-day master class, with personal mentoring to develop their skills to a higher level. The final will take place in February 2013 where contestants will show off their service skills to judges and invited guests at a special lunch, with the winner announced at a high profile awards ceremony the same evening.
Some of those involved with The Gold Service Scholarship include:
- Alastair Storey (BaxterStorey): “It’s important that young people in Britain should aspire to a job in hospitality, which in most other countries is seen as a really important career. My dream for the scholarship is that it is inclusive, there are so many great mentors involved who are committed to encouraging aspiring young people to join the industry.
"Through entering the scholarship we can help them realise how much fun there is to be had and how much professionalism there is in this sector.”
- Willy Bauer (chairman, AB Hotels): "In years gone by it was the restaurant managers and not the chefs who were seen as the stars of the establishment but today the table has turned. The arrival of celebrity chefs and ever growing popularity of TV cooking programmes have inspired many to join our industry but regretfully only a few choosing service as their career path.
As an hotelier I appreciate that a successful restaurant is a delicate mixture of great food and great service and for many years it has been my ambition to create a special scholarship to excite young people to join the ranks of front-of-house professionals."
- Silvano Giraldin (director, Roux Restaurants): “Through the scholarship we can take a young person who has great potential and give them the knowledge they need to go on and become one of the elite people of the industry of service.”
- Sergio Rebecchi (director, Incognico / Quirinale): “We are a group of like-minded people from the service industry and its lovely to be in a position to give back and recognise young people who do not currently have the spotlight that their counterparts the chefs have.”
- Emmanuel Landré (general manager, Le Gavroche): “We are looking for young people who will one day take our place, so teaching them the right lessons now is so important.”
The winning prize could include work experience with several of the above mentors at their establishments. It could also mean a trip to a famous vineyard or champagne house with another of the mentors and visits to restaurants to discuss food and wine pairing.
Entrants have until midnight on Monday 19th November 2012 to apply online. For full details of The Gold Service Scholarship, visit www.thegoldservicescholarship.co.uk