Candidates from The Ritz, Cartmel and Fortnum & Mason were among 27 front-of-house professionals who took part in the semi-finals at London’s Rosewood Hotel on 28 November.
Entrants had to tackle five challenging assessments, including Table Preparation, Salesmanship, Drinks Service, Deciding Service Priorities, and Individual Interviews.
The eight winners will go on to compete in the final on 6 February 2017, followed by an awards ceremony at Claridge’s on 28 February 2017.
Last year The Queen – who is patron of the scholarship – presented the 2016 awards at the famous London hotel.
Judge Sergio Rebecchi praised the ‘incredibly high standards’ of this year’s contestants.
He said: “It was wonderful to judge such a wide spectrum of candidates from different establishments from around the UK.
“From this extraordinary group, the eight finalists were selected for having excelled across the range of tasks, and we very much look forward to meeting them again.”
The 2017 finalists are:
Stephanie Beresforde – Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow, Cornwall
Ashley Best – Food & Beverage Management Trainee, The Ritz, London
Alexandra-Iulia Caciuc – Head Waitress, 45 Jermyn Street at Fortnum & Mason, London
Tom Noller – Assistant Restaurant Manager, Merchants Tavern, London
Manuel Marchetti – Assistant Maître d’Hôtel, The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire
Luis Oliveira Santos – Restaurant Supervisor, Rosewood London, London
Alexandra Spatar – Restaurant Supervisor, The Woodspeen Restaurant & Cookery School, Newbury, Berkshire
Nina Thomsen – Junior Sommelier, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria