The Queen presents the 2016 Gold Service Scholarship Award

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Queen presents the 2016 Gold Service Scholarship Award

Related tags: Gold service scholarship, Mandarin oriental hong kong, Mandarin oriental hotel group

Jennifer Santner from the Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden has been named the winner of the 2016 Gold Service Scholarship.

The restaurant manager beat seven other finalists to the award, which was presented by the Queen at a reception at Claridges last night.

Now in its fourth year, the Gold Service Scholarship recognises the skills of young front-of-house professionals working in the hospitality industry.

Writing in the ceremony’s programme Her Majesty– who is the patron of the Scholarship – praised the competition’s work to ‘raise the profile of hospitality and service skills’ in the UK.

She wrote: “The Scholarship also aims to motivate aspiring professionals so that service and hospitality will increasingly become one of the top career choices for young people.”

Santner will receive a year of expert mentoring from industry greats such as Diego Masciaga at The Waterside Inn and Silvano Giraldin, Director of Le Gavroche.

She will have the opportunity to work with the Royal Household at a state occasion, visit the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Europe, attend the Mondriaan Hotel School at The Hague, Netherlands and visit the vineyards of Champagne.

She said: “I have enjoyed every moment of this competition and cannot wait to start planning my Scholarship programme. I am sure that the next year will be a fantastic learning experience.  I am looking forward to working alongside senior industry professionals in so many renowned venues and establishments and making the most of this opportunity.”

Part of the judging process saw the seven finalists plan, prepare and serve a three-course lunch to leading industry professionals at London’s Connaught Hotel last week.

Three other finalists also received special awards from the judges.

Stephanie Beresforde from Scott’s Restaurant in London was named The One to Watch. Christoph Schrottenbau from Dinner by Heston Blumenthalwas recognised for his developing service skills and a member of the Queen’s own Buckingham Palace staff James Parums was awarded for having ‘developed most throughout the competition’.

This year’s National Finalists in full :

· Sophia Warland, RAF Odiham, Hampshire

· Christoph Schrottenbaum, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

· Tom Noller, Sexy Fish, London

· Stephanie Beresforde, Scott’s Restaurant, London

· James Parums, Buckingham Palace, London

· Jennifer Santner, Fenchurch Restaurant at Sky Garden, London

· Innes Haywood, L’Enclume, Cumbria

· Charlie Lee, Fera at Claridge’s, London

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