The semi-finals for the 2019 awards took place on 26 November at Rosewood London. It saw 42 young professionals spending the day in judging sessions that included wine decanting, table layout and a general interview to discuss the role of service.
The judging day followed a paper judging stage that saw 100 applicants from all corners of the hospitality industry whittled down to 42.
Restaurants are especially well represented this year with every single finalist coming from a restaurant dining room bar one.
“The level of enthusiasm and expertise among the Semi-Finalists made the task quite challenging to whittle down the list to just eight finalists," says chairman of judges Edward Griffiths. "Each year, we note the very high quality of candidates from hotels, restaurants, private clubs and many other service establishments from across the country."
"Our goal is to identify and encourage these young people to grow within the hospitality industry, and we are delighted with the group of eight making it to the final this year.”
The Final of the Gold Service Scholarship competition will take place on 21 January 2019 at Corinthia Hotel London, where eight candidates will vie for the winning Scholar accolade. That result will be announced and presented on 4 February 2019 at Claridge’s.
The Scholarship was launched in 2012 to encourage a “lasting heritage of excellence in hospitality”. The programme celebrates the craft of service in F&B and front-of-house and nurtures the young talent through tailored mentoring.
Last year, a new ‘Team Gold’ platform was introduced for the eight finalists. It will provide ongoing mentoring for alumni to network, through regular events and social media interactions.
Her Majesty The Queen is patron of the scholarship, and presented the award in person in 2016.
The eight finalists
George Austin, Maître d’Hotel - Annabel’s, London
Lauren Chappell, Assistant Restaurant Manager - Cromlix Hotel, Kinbuck, Sterling, Scotland
James Dainton, Assistant Restaurant Manager - The Northall, Corinthia Hotel London
Tiziano de Mattia, Assistant Restaurant Manager - Hide, London
Eleanor Dimes, Junior Head Waitress - Lucknam Park Hotel, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Karen Gruet, Assistant Restaurant Manager - Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford
Laura Schlegel, Head Waitress - Dinner by Blumenthal, London
Alexander Sumerauer, First Head Waiter - The Ritz, London