The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Awards of Excellence 2016: The winners

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Awards of Excellence 2016

Related tags: Belmond le manoir, Hotels in london

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts has announced the 27 winners of its Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE).

The finalists come from establishments including Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, The Ritz London, Yauatcha, L’Enclume, and Northcote Manor.

59 candidates took part in the finals, having reached the required 70% standard in their respective categories – Kitchen, Pastry, or Service ‒ in the semi-finals earlier in the year. Only those candidates who reach the required standard are awarded the ultimate accolade, and there is no set number who must pass.

The winners will now be invited to a presentation dinner at Mayfair hotel Claridge’s on 12 July, where they will receive their awards. The highest scorers in each section will also be announced. Prizes include a trophy and educational culinary travel scholarships.

The finalists sit within the usual three categories: Kitchen Finalists, Pastry Finalists, and Service Finalists, with all candidates asked to take part in different tasks designed to test the skills of their category, at finals held at some of London’s most prestigious venues: the two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche restaurant, The Connaught hotel in Mayfair, Scotland’s luxury Gleneagles hotel, the University of West London, and Westminster Kingsway College.

The judging panel was chaired by John Williams, executive chef at The Ritz hotel in London, and chairman of the Academy.

The kitchen tasks included producing a starter using mystery box ingredients, a veal dish with three garnishes and a sauce, and a chocolate orange dessert.

Pastry tasks included creating two tortes, a croquembouche with decorations, and four portions of fruit soufflé.

The service finals tested candidates’ wine knowledge with decanting, and candidates were also asked to serve a three course meal including wine to two guest judges.




Jack Croft, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Joel Gueller, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Ruth Hansom, The Ritz London

Elly Wentworth, Lucknam Park Hotel


Hannah Bagshaw, Hakkasan

Polly Chan, Yauatcha

Ethan Flack, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Irish Hacon, The Langham Hotel

Naomi Longfield, Hakkasan

Faye Weatherburn, The Ritz London


Rebecca Bauhofer, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles

Ashley Best, The Ritz London

Giuseppe Cola, The Ritz London

Francesco De Santo, The Ritz London

Lewis Dixon, Northcote Manor

Daniel Dreiseitel, The Ritz London

Emma Drummond, The Gleneagles Hotel

Melissa Fergus, The Fat Duck

Laudy Gibba-Smith, L'Enclume

Louis Gillibert, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Giuseppe Laboragine, Petrus

Alexander Macleod, The Balmoral Hotel

Gerald Murati, The Ritz London

Callum Rees, The Gleneagles Hotel

Gabriele Sorrentino, The Ritz London

Dimitar Tanev, The French by Simon Rogan

Laura Vernet, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

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