The awards, organised by Hotelympia and supported by BigHospitality and Restaurant Magazine, aim to seek out and reward the hospitality industry’s brightest young stars, with the five front-of-house candidates unveiled last week.
Judging of all entries is being overseen by chef Ben Spalding (ex-Roganic, The Fat Duck and Le Manoir) and hospitality consultant and trainer, Esher Williams (formerly of The Savoy and L’Ortolan).
Back-of-House Hot Talent Finalists
- Jodie Britton - 19, Commis Chef, Bristol Marriott Royal
- Jack Pearce - 19, Chef de Partie, Strada, Billericay
- Jack Warren - 20, Demi Chef de Partie, Swindon Marriott Hotel
- Charles Gooneratne - 29, Junior Sous Chef, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
- Sam Bryant - 28, Head Chef, The Dabbling Duck, Kings Lynn
Only the two most outstanding candidates - one back-of-house and one front-of-house - will emerge victorious. Phase two of the competition calls upon each of the finalists to record a short ‘talking head’ video from which the eventual winners will be picked. The results will be announced at Hotelympia’s ‘The Next Big Event’ on the evening of Tuesday, 29 April.
Spalding and Williams are offering up ‘the opportunity-of-a-lifetime’ in the form of a prize. The back-of-house winner will receive a two-week work placement with Spalding at his bespoke event catering company, Creative Belly, with a week’s placement at a high end restaurant or hotel, going to the outstanding front-of-house candidate, courtesy of Esher.
As further incentive, Spalding is offering the two finalists a place worth £260 at his NoRules event – where he will cook for the winners using whatever is placed before them. The winners will also get to partake in an exclusive two-day study tour of Hot Talent sponsor, Villeroy and Boch’s Luxembourg headquarters.
The eight runners-up will also receive a certificate for their part in the competition.
Front-of-House Hot Talent Finalists:
- Sarah Tregoning - 25, Event Manager, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
- Chris Ward - 25, Front Office Manager, Aberdeen Marriott Hotel
- Alissia Clarke - 23, Reception Manager, Village Urban Resorts, Walsall
- Kogila Cavoordin - 26, Duty Manager, The Cavendish London
- Simon Barratt - 27, Deputy General Manager, Village Urban Resorts, Walsall
Hot Talent offers promising under-thirties the opportunity of work experience at some of the UK’s most respected restaurants and Hotels. In 2012, April Partridge, commis chef at The Ivy, was named winner of the Hot Talent award 2012.