The Réunion des Gastronomes has announced the three finalists for its annual President’s Award: two from hotels and one from a restaurant. They are (l-r below) Andras Lakesi, Food & Drink Manager at the recently opened The Principal London, Kierran McLoughlin Ground Floor General Manager, at again recently opened Hide, Piccadilly and Jatin Parmar, who is Old Hall F&B Manager at Rockliffe Hall, Co Durham. It is the second year of the award scheme from the Gastronomes, believed to be the oldest culinary organisation in the UK.
“We interviewed our six shortlisted candidates and were very impressed with all of them.” Said Alison Frith, Vice President, and member of the judging panel. “It was encouraging to note that we were unanimous in our choice of the final three this year. But we have a truly stellar line up of highly experienced hospitality professionals, all with very strong track records… I fear the next decision will be far more difficult!”
All finalists are invited to attend the 100th Annual Banquet at Draper’s Hall in November, at which the winner will be announced.
The winner receives invitations to attend five further Gastronome events in the following year, plus benefiting from mentoring and networking opportunities throughout from the membership. In addition, the winner will be given Associate membership of the Réunion des Gastronomes for up to two years. There will also be the opportunity of up to four two-day placements (stages) with expenses, across a raft of different industry sectors.
“The total prize value for the winner is believed to be worth in excess of £3,000,” says Wallace Vincent, Gastronomes President and a member of last year’s panel, “but the mentoring and potential career enhancement offered as part of the prize is priceless”.
The judging panel comprises: Alison Frith, managing director of Artizian Catering Services; hospitality consultant Theresa Maw; Serge Pradier, general manager at the Institute of Directors and immediate past president of the Réunion and John Cousins, the chair of the judges, Director of The Food and Beverage Training Company.