Launched in 2012, the Hot Talent Awards aim to recognise the hospitality industry's brightest young stars and will this year crown both a front-of-house champion and back-of-house champion.
The short-listed front-of-house candidates are working in a variety of roles, but all of them showed passion and determination that impressed the judging panel.
The finalists are:
- Kogila Cavoordin, duty manager at the Cavendish, London
- Chris Ward, front office manager at the Aberdeen Marriott Hotel
- Alissa Clarke, front office manager at Village Urban Resorts, Walsall
- Simon Barratt, deputy general manager at Village Urban Resorts
- Sarah Tregoning, senior event manager at St Pancras Rennaisance Hotel
Judge Esher Williams said she was impressed by the volume and quality of entries to the front-of-house category.
“There has been a really high standard this year, with not only more entries but more quality entries and people who can really prove that they are dedicated to what they are doing,” she said.
The finalists will now go through to a second round of judging, where they will be asked to produce a ‘talking-heads’ style video introducing themselves and explaining why they should win.
Williams said she will look for ‘originality, consistency and longevity’ in the entrants’ efforts.
“There will have to be something that makes them stand out – it is hard to know what until you see it but there will have to be something special,” she explained.
“They are all going to have to work extra hard to do that this year because the competition is so tight.
“But I am looking for someone who knows how to go above and beyond their job description and go that extra mile.”
The finalists of the back-of-house category will be announced on BigHospitality soon, and the winners of both categories will 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 Creative Belly, while the front-of-house winner will be given a work placement with Williams.
Both winners will also be sent on a two-day study tour at award sponsor Villeroy & Boch’s Luxmbourg HQ.