Gleneagles restaurant supervisor Rebecca Dibben wins first Gold Service Scholarship

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gold service scholarship, Westminster kingsway college, Gleneagles hotel

Rebecca Dibben picks up her Gold Service Scholarship. Photo: Graham Flack
Rebecca Dibben picks up her Gold Service Scholarship. Photo: Graham Flack
Rebecca Dibben, restaurant supervisor at Deseo Mediterranean Restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, has won the first Gold Service Scholarship after wowing judges with her 'charm, enthusiasm and technical skill'.

The 22-year-old picked up her award at a ceremony at Claridge's in London on Monday night following the final at Westminster Kingsway College earlier that day. 

Following regional finals in Birmingham and London, six finalists​ were tasked with serving a three-course lunch with wines for a table of four, but it was Dibben who stood out according to judge John Davey. 

"She was the clear winner," he said. "There was no argument among the judges. Rebecca had a winning combination of charm, enthusiasm and technical skill that just captured her guests and us as judges."

Dibben wins a year's worth of mentoring from service stalwarts such as Silvano Giraldin, Le Gavroche general manager Emmanuel Land​ and Galvin at Windows general manager Fred Sirieix​ and a painted portrait by artist Henrietta Graham. 

Service standards

The Gold Service Scholarship was launched last year to help inspire a generation of front-of-house professionals. Open to anyone working in the UK in any aspect of restaurant service, including hotels, restaurants, contract catering, licensed hospitality and clubs aged 22 to 30, it aims to boost the profile of front-of-house careers and raise standards among those working in that area. 

Chairman of the judges Edward Griffiths, deputy master of the household at Buckingham Palace, said: “We want this scholarship to inspire young people to join this profession and see what an opportunity it presents. By learning hospitality skills a world of possibilities opens up.”

The scholarship has been set up and supported by a large number of hospitality professionals including hotelier Willy Bauer, former Le Gavroche general manager Silvano Giraldin and Griffiths, who are all scholarship trustees. 

The technical advisory group is made up of Craig Bancroft, Joel Claustre MCA, John Cousins, John Croft, David Foskett, Didier Garnier, Silvano Giraldin, Simon Girling, Emmanuel Landré, Rémy Lyse, Nigel McEvoy, Michael Newton-Young MCA, Nick Shottel and Elaine Watson while guest judges are Andrew Baker, Paul Brackley, Saverio Buchicchio, Stéphane Davaine, Stephen MacIntosh, Diego Masciaga, Ian Stewardson, Fred Sirieix, Danielle Thompson and Marc Verstringhe.

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