It features a diverse list of front-of-house professionals from across the UK including a Buckingham Palace footman; a food and beverage service junior assistant manager from The Strathearn restaurant at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland; and a restaurant host from The Scarlett Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall.
A total of 44 people competed in this year’s semi-final event, which took place on 25 November at Rosewood London and involved a series of service tests as well as a general interview.
“It has definitely been a vintage year,” says Edward Griffiths, trustee and chairman of the judges, remarking on the standard of applicants for the 2020 competition.
“We’ve seen the service skills, enthusiasm and general professionalism continue to grow each year, and that makes the task of whittling the list down to just eight finalists very difficult.”
The Gold Service Scholarship, which counts the Queen as a patron, was launched in 2012 to encourage ‘a lasting heritage of excellence in hospitality’.
The programme celebrates the craft of service, and nurtures young talent through tailored mentoring.
“There was an exceptionally high level of scoring during the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and that made it tough for us to select just one person to be the new scholar,” adds trustee Silvano Giraldin.
“They are all already winners in our minds.”
The Gold Service Scholarship final will take place on 13 January 2020 at Corinthia London, and the winner will be announced at a gala ceremony at The Berkeley on 12 February.
The eight finalists are:
Rémy Baben | Wild Honey St James, Sofitel London (Assistant Restaurant Manager and Wine Buyer)
Stephen Kelly | Buckingham Palace (Footman)
Lauren Friday | Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental London (Restaurant Supervisor)
Clement Gosselin | Jean-Georges at The Connaught (Head Waiter)
Andreia Monteiro | MacDonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford (Conference & Banqueting Supervisor)
Elizabeth Forkuoh | Strathearn Restaurant, Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Scotland (FBS Junior Assistant Manager)
Claudio Bosio | The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire (Assistant Maître d’Hôtel)
Andrea Nuninger | The Scarlett Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall (Restaurant Host)