The Hot Talent 2014 awards, which were launched in 2012 to reward people working in the industry who go above and beyond the expectations of their job title, will this year look both a front-of-house and back-of-house champion.
The awards are open to under-30s working in the hospitality sector, with winners to be revealed at Hotelympia’s ‘Big Event’ on the evening of 29 April 2014.
The back-of-house winner will get the chance to work with former Roganic chef Ben Spalding on his new venture, bespoke events caterer Creative Belly, while the front-of-house winner will be given a work placement with hospitality consultant and trainer Esher Williams.
Both winners will also be sent on a two-day study tour at award sponsor Villeroy & Boch’s Luxmbourg HQ.
Toby Wand, managing director at Hotelympia organiser, Fresh Montgomery, said: “Attracting and retaining the best young talent is crucial for the future of the hospitality industry which is why we have reprised the Hot Talent scheme for 2014.
“This time around we have decided to crown both a front-of-house and back-of-house champion. Eating out is not just about the quality of the food anymore. A dining establishment stands or falls on being able to offer the full consumer experience – good front-of-house people are more crucial than ever, which is why we have chosen to recognise and reward the most promising individuals.”
Hot Talent 2012 winner April Partridge, a chef de parti at London’s Ivy, won a two-week work experience placement at Alan Murchison’s l’ortolan before graduating her scholarship as Student of the Year and winning the Young Chef of the Year award at last year’s Craft Guild of Chefs Awards.
“I really enjoyed my work placement as it gave me the opportunity to see and understand just how a Michelin star kitchen works, and learnt so much,” she said.
“I would definitely recommend entering Hotelympia’s Hot Talent; it’s a fantastic way of meeting new people in the industry and makes you feel incredibly motivated and inspired.”
Head Judge and Restaurant magazine editor, William Drew, said: “In April Partridge we have a real star of the future – a tenacious character with a real passion for the industry – and a true hot talent.
“Now we begin the search for not one, but two young candidates. I’m confident we can uncover and reward equally talented young professionals who are more than worthy of the accolade.”