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.
WINNERS IN FULL
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